BAKER, Kenneth (b.1934).



Family and Education

Offices Held


Kenneth Wilfred Baker was born on 3 November 1934 in Newport, Monmouthshire, and educated at St Paul's School, London and Magdalen College, Oxford. He married Mary Elizabeth Gray-Muir in 1963.

Having been secretary of the Union and Chairman of the Oxford University Conservative Club, Baker served as a councillor from 1960 to 1962 in Twickenham Borough Council. He unsuccessfully contested Poplar in 1964, but was elected for Acton in 1968. He served on the Public Accounts Committee from 1969-1970. He lost his seat at the 1970 election, but returned to Parliament after winning a by-election at St Marylebone later the same year. In 1972 he became Parliamentary Secretary at the Civil Service Department and in 1974 Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ted Heath. He was appointed Minister for Information Technology in 1981 and subsequently became Secretary of State for the Environment in 1985. He served as Secretary for Education from 1986 to 1989, after which he was appointed as Conservative Party Chairman (1989-90) and Home Secretary in the Major government (1990-92).

He stood down from the House of Commons in 1997 and was made a life peer as Baron Baker of Dorking, of Ilford in the County of East Sussex.

Click here to listen to the full interview with Ken Baker in the British Library.

Ref Volumes: Oral History