Humphrey Atkins


1922 – 1996

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Who was Humphrey Atkins?

Humphrey Edward Gregory Atkins, Baron Colnbrook KCMG PC was a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from 1979–82.

Atkins was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, and served in the Royal Navy from 1940–48. He worked for a linoleum manufacturer then as a director of a financial advertising agency.

Atkins contested the constituency of West Lothian in 1951, and was elected as Member of Parliament for Merton and Morden in 1955. He became MP for Spelthorne in 1970.

Atkins was Conservative Chief Whip from 1973–79, and served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1979–1981. He was appointed in September 1981 as Lord Privy Seal, in which role he was the chief government spokesman in the House of Commons for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The role was necessary because the Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, sat in the House of Lords. He resigned in April 1982 along with Lord Carrington over the Falklands invasion.

Atkins left the House of Commons in 1987, and was made a life peer as Baron Colnbrook of Waltham St Lawrence in the County of Berkshire. He died in 1996.

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Aug 12, 1922
Chalfont St Peter
  • United Kingdom
  • Wellington College, Berkshire
Oct 4, 1996

on July 23, 2013


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