Shadow Cabinet of Margaret Thatcher

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Margaret Thatcher became the first female Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition after winning the 1975 leadership election, the first Conservative leadership election where the post was not vacant. A rule change to enable the election was largely prompted by dissatisfaction with the incumbent leader, Edward Heath, who had lost three of four general elections as leader, including two in 1974. After announcing her first Shadow Cabinet in February 1975, she reshuffled it twice: in January and November 1976. Minor subsequent changes were necessary to respond to various circumstances. Thatcher's Shadow Cabinet ceased to exist upon her becoming Prime Minister following the 1979 general election.

Shadow Cabinet list[edit]

Portfolio Shadow Minister Term
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition
Leader of the Conservative Party
The Rt Hon. Margaret Thatcher 1975–1979
Deputy Leader of the Opposition The Rt Hon. William Whitelaw 1975–1979
Shadow Minister responsible for Devolution 1975–1976
The Rt Hon. Francis Pym 1976–?
Shadow Minister with responsibility for policy formation and research The Rt Hon. Sir Keith Joseph, Bt 1975–1979
Shadow Minister without portfolio The Rt Hon. The Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone PC 1975–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs The Rt Hon. Reginald Maudling 1975–1976
The Rt Hon. John Davies 1976–1978
The Rt Hon. Francis Pym 1978–1979
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer The Rt Hon. Geoffrey Howe 1975–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department The Rt Hon. Ian Gilmour 1975–1976
The Rt Hon. William Whitelaw 1976–1979
Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington PC 1975–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for Employment The Rt Hon. James Prior 1975–1979
Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food The Rt Hon. Francis Pym 1975 & 1976
Michael Jopling 1975–1976
The Rt Hon. John Peyton 1976–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy The Rt Hon. Patrick Jenkin 1975–1976
John Biffen 1976
Tom King 1976–1979
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons The Rt Hon. John Peyton 1975–1976
The Rt Hon. Francis Pym 1976–1978
Norman St John-Stevas 1978–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Science 1975–1978
Mark Carlisle 1978–1979
Shadow Minister for the Arts Norman St John-Stevas 1975–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for Industry Michael Heseltine 1975–1976
John Biffen 1976–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment Timothy Raison 1975–1976
Michael Heseltine 1976–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Alick Buchanan-Smith 1975–1976
Teddy Taylor 1976–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Nicholas Edwards 1975–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Airey Neave 1975–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence The Hon. George Younger 1975–1976
The Rt Hon. Ian Gilmour[1] 1976–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Services Norman Fowler 1975–1976
The Rt Hon. Patrick Jenkin 1976–1979
Shadow Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection Sally Oppenheim 1975–1979
Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Commons The Rt Hon. Humphrey Atkins 1975–1979
Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Lords The Rt Hon. The Lord St Aldwyn PC 1975–1978
The Lord Denham 1978–1979
Shadow Attorney General The Rt Hon. Sir Michael Havers[2] 1975–1979

Initial Shadow Cabinet[edit]

Thatcher announced her first Shadow Cabinet on 18 February 1975.[3]

Changes

January 1976 reshuffle[edit]

On 15 January 1976, Thatcher reshuffled the Shadow Cabinet. Pym returned as Shadow Agriculture Minister, displacing Jopling. George Younger was dropped from the front bench, and he was replaced by Gilmour at Defence; Whitelaw, the Deputy Leader, added Gilmour's Home Affairs portfolio to his Devolution. John Biffen replaced Jenkin as Shadow Energy Secretary, and Jenkin took Health from Fowler, who was demoted to be a Shadow Transport Minister (which was not in Shadow Cabinet and was part of the Environment team).[4][6]

November 1976 reshuffle[edit]

On 19 November 1976, Thatcher reshuffled again. Maudling was dropped as Shadow Foreign Secretary and replaced by John Davies. Raison dropped, being replaced at Environment by Heseltine, who was replaced at the Industry portfolio by Biffen. He was in turn replaced as Shadow Energy Secretary by Tom King. Peyton and Pym switch roles (Shadow Leader of the House for Agriculture), with Pym also taking Devolution from Whitelaw.[7][8]

  • Keith Joseph – Shadow Minister with responsibility for policy formation and research
Changes
  • December 9, 1976: Buchanan-Smith is sacked as Shadow Scottish Secretary for failing to adhere to collective responsibility on devolution policy and is replaced by Teddy Taylor, who had been Shadow Trade Secretary, a role that appears not to have belonged to the Shadow Cabinet at this point.[9]
  • Approx. 17 January 1978: Lord St Aldwyn retires as Conservative Chief Whip and is replaced by Lord Denham.[10]
  • November 1978: On 6 November, John Davies retires from public life after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Pym is tapped to stand in for him, and is later given the post of Shadow Foreign Secretary full-time.[11] St John-Stevas replaces him Shadow Leader of the House,[12][13] and Mark Carlisle replaced the latter as Shadow Education Secretary.[14]
  • March 1979: Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Airey Neave is killed by an Irish National Liberation Army car bomb, just over a week before Parliament is dissolved ahead of the 1979 general election.

See also[edit]

Conservatism portal

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Styled Sir Ian Gilmour, Bt from 1977.
  2. ^ Privy Counsellor from 1973.
  3. ^ Robert Warden (19 February 1975). "Out go Carr and Walker, Maudling makes his comeback". The Glasgow Herald. p. 1. 
  4. ^ a b William Russell (16 January 1976). "Mrs Thatcher drops Younger in reshuffle". The Glasgow Herald. p. 1. 
  5. ^ House of Commons Debates 24 April 1975 c 1724.
  6. ^ House of Commons Debates 23 January 1976 c. 1753.
  7. ^ "Thatcher reshuffles her shadow Cabinet". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP–Reuters. 22 November 1976. 
  8. ^ Joseph W. Grigg (20 November 1976). "British Opposition names new spokesmen". St. Petersburg Times. United Press International. p. 8A. 
  9. ^ Cameron Forbes (10 September 1976). "Tories in a shambles over Scots". The Age. Melbourne, Victoria. p. 6. 
  10. ^ House of Commons Debates 17 January 1978 c 5–13.
  11. ^ Geoffrey Parkhouse (7 November 1978). "Pym favourite for top Thatcher post". The Glasgow Herald. p. 1. 
  12. ^ House of Commons Debates 21 November 1979 c 1092. (The Prime Minister, James Callaghan, welcoming St John-Stevas to "his new post").
  13. ^ House of Commons Debates 7 December 1979 c 1698. (St John-Stevas referring to his appointment as Shadow Leader).
  14. ^ House of Commons Debates 5 December 1978 c 1228. (Shirley Williams "welcoming [Carlisle] to his new responsibilities as the Shadow spokesperson on education and science").