Monday, April 12, 2021

Baroness Williams of Crosby, CH, PC 1930-2021

 _. The Baroness Williams of Crosby, PC, who died 12 April, 2021, aged 90, was a former Labour Cabinet minister and a co-founder of the Social Democratic Party in 1981.

Baroness Williams was Professor of Elective Politics at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard 1988-2000, since when Emeritus.

She was born Shirley Vivien Teresa Brittain Catlin, 27 July, 1930, daughter of Prof Sir George Catlin [1896-1979], the political scientist and philosopher and his wife Vera Brittain [1893-1970], the nurse, writer, diarist, socialist and feminist.

She married firstly, 1955 [div 1974], Professor Bernard Arthur Owen Williams, by whom she had a daughter, Rebecca; married 2ndly, 1987, Prof Richard Elliott Neustadt [1919-2003].

As Shirley Williams she contested: [Labour] Harwich Essex, in 1954 and 1955, and Southampton Test in 1959; [SDP] Crosby in 1983; [SDP/Alliance] Cambridge, 1987. She served as Labout MP for Hitchin 1964-74; Labour MP for Hertford & Stevenage, 1974-79; [first elected SDP MP] for Crosby, Nov, 1981-1983; served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of Health 1964-66; Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Labour, 1966-67; Minister of State, Education & Science 1967-69; Minister of State, Home Office 1969-70; Opposition Spokesman on Social Services 1970-71; Opposition Spokesman on Home Affairs 1971-73; Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection, 1974-1976; Secretary of State for Education and Science and Paymaster General, 1976-79; &c.

She was raised to the peerage for lifein 1993 as Baroness Williams of Crosby, of Stevenage in the County of Herfordshire. She was Sworn on the Privy Council in 1974.

Between 2001 and 2004, she served as Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords and, from 2007 to 2010, as Adviser on Nuclear Proliferation to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. She served as an active member of the House of Lords, until announcing her retirement in January 2016.


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