Not in Cabinet Norman Fowler, Transport Minister John Biffen, Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Howell, Energy Secretary Norman St John Stevas, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Humphrey Atkins, Northern Ireland Secretary George Younger, Scottish Secretary Michael Heseltine, Environment Secretary Nicholas Edwards, Welsh Secretary Patrick Jenkin, Social Services Secretary John Nott, Trade Secretary Mark Carlisle, Education Secretary Angus Maude, Paymaster General Sir John Hunt, Secretary to the Cabinet Sir Ian Gilmour, Lord Privy Seal Lord Soames, Lord President of the Council Sir Keith Joseph, Industry Secretary Lord Carrington, Foreign Secretary and Overseas Development William Whitelaw, Home Secretary Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister Lord Hailsham, Lord Chancellor Sir Geoffrey Howe, Chancellor of the Exchequer Francis Pym, Defence Minister James Prior, Employment Secretary Peter Walker, Agriculture Minister

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It is 25 years since Margaret Thatcher became prime minister. Click on an individual in the image or use the drop-down menu below to find out more about the members of her first cabinet, and what has happened to them since.

Humphrey Atkins

An affable character, Humphrey Atkins served both Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher as chief whip before taking on the Northern Ireland brief after the murder of Airey Neave by the IRA.

After a difficult two years, marred by IRA hunger strikes, he went to the Foreign Office but resigned, with boss Lord Carrington, over the withdrawal the gunboat Endurance, seen by Argentina as the green light to invade the Falklands.

As Lord Colnbrook, he was elected chairman of the Association of Conservative Peers. He died in 1996.

Humphrey Atkins, Northern Ireland Secretary


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