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Margaret Thatcher 1979

Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first woman Prime Minister, at the beginning of her 11-year premiership.
Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first woman Prime Minister, at the beginning of her 11-year premiership.
©TopFoto

Conservative Government
4 May 1979 - 28 November 1990

The Conservatives came to power with 339 seats, Labour with 269 and other parties totalling 27. Painful economic reforms, a deep recession, the Falklands War and bitter disputes with trade unions dominated the first term of the Thatcher government.

Cabinet members
Position Name Dates
Prime Minister M. Thatcher 4 May 79 -9 Jun 83
Lord President Lord Soames 5 May 79 - 14 Sep 81
  F. Pym 14 Sep 81 - 7 Apr 82
  J. Biffin 7 Apr 82 - 9 Jun 83
Lord Chancellor Lord Hailsham 5 May 79 - 9 Jun 83
Lord Privy Seal Sir I. Gilmour 4 May 79 - 14 Sep 81
  H. Atkins 14 Sep 81 - 6 Apr 82
  Lady Young 6 Apr 82 - 9 Jun 83
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir G. Howe 5 May 79 - 9 Jun 83
Chief Secretary to the Treasury J. Biffin 5 May 79 - 5 Jan 81
  L. Brittan 5 Jan 81 - 9 Jun 83
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Lord Carrington 5 May 79 - 6 Apr 82
  F. Pym 6 Apr 82 - 9 Jun 83
Secretary of State for Home Affairs W. Whitelaw 5 May 79 - 9 Jun 83
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries P. Walker 5 May 79 - 9 Jun 83
Minister for the Arts N. St John-Stevas 5 May 79 - 5 Jan 81
Minister for Defence F. Pym 5 May 79 - 5 Jan 81
  J. Nott 5 Jan 81 - 6 Jan 83 
  M. Heseltine 6 Jan 83 - 9 Jun 83 
Secretary of State for Education and Science M. Carlisle 5 May 79 - 14 Sep 81
  Sir K. Joseph 14 Sep 81 - 9 Jun 83
Secretary of State for Employment J. Prior 5 May 79 - 14 Sep 81 
  N. Tebbit 14 Sep 81 - 9 Jun 83
Secretary of State for Energy D. Howell 5 May 79 - 14 Sep 81 
  N. Lawson 14 Sep 81 - 9 Jun 83
Minister for the Environment M. Heseltine 5 May 79 - 6 Jan 83
  T. King 6 Jan 83 - 9 Jun 83 
Secretary of State for Health and Social Security P. Jenkin 5 May 79 - 14 Sep 81
  N. Fowler 10 Feb 47 - 26 Oct 51
Secretary of State for Industry Sir K. Jospeh 7 May 79 - 14 Sep 81
  P. Jenkin 14 Sep 81 - 9 Jun 83 
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster N. St John-Stevas 5 May 79 - 5 Jan 81
  F. Pym 5 Jan 81 - 27 Oct 81
  Lady Young 27 Oct 81 - 6 Apr 82
  C. Parkinson 6 Apr 82 - 9 Jun 83 
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland H. Atkins 5 May 79 - 14 Sep 81
  J. Prior 14 Sep 81 - 9 Jun 83
Secretary of State for Scotland G. Younger 5 May 79 - 9 Jun 83
Secretary of State for Trade J. Nott 5 May 79 - 5 Jan 81
  J. Biffin 5 Jan 81 - 6 Apr 82
  Lord Cockfield 6 Apr 82 - 9 Jun 83 
Secretary of State for Transport N. Fowler 5 Jan 81 - 14 Sep 81
  D. Howell 14 Sep 81 - 9 Jun 83
Secretary of State for Wales N. Edwards 5 May 79 -9 Jun 83

Note:
Under the thirty year rule, Cabinet records for this government are not yet available to the public.