Robert Carr

The Right Honourable
The Lord Carr of Hadley
Carr in 1951
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
4 March 1974  11 February 1975
Leader Edward Heath
Preceded by Denis Healey
Succeeded by Geoffrey Howe
Home Secretary
In office
18 July 1972  4 March 1974
Prime Minister Edward Heath
Preceded by Reginald Maudling
Succeeded by Roy Jenkins
Lord President of the Council
Leader of the House of Commons
In office
7 April 1972  5 November 1972
Prime Minister Edward Heath
Preceded by William Whitelaw
Succeeded by James Prior
Secretary of State for Employment
In office
20 June 1970  7 April 1972
Prime Minister Edward Heath
Preceded by Barbara Castle
Succeeded by Maurice Macmillan
Member of Parliament
for Mitcham
In office
23 February 1950  28 February 1974
Preceded by Tom Braddock
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Member of Parliament
for Carshalton
In office
28 February 1974  15 January 1976
Preceded by Walter Elliot
Succeeded by Nigel Forman
Personal details
Born (1916-11-11)11 November 1916
Died 17 February 2012(2012-02-17) (aged 95)
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

Leonard Robert Carr, Baron Carr of Hadley, PC (11 November 1916 – 17 February 2012)[1] was a British Conservative Party politician.

Early life

Robert Carr was educated at Westminster School[2] and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he read Natural Sciences, graduating in 1938. After graduation he applied his knowledge of metallurgy at John Dale & Co, the family metal engineering firm.[2]


He was elected Member of Parliament for Mitcham in 1950 and served there until 1974 when the seat was merged and he moved to Carshalton.

In Edward Heath's government he served as Secretary of State for Employment and was responsible for the modernising Industrial Relations Act 1971, which balanced the introduction of compensation for unfair dismissal with curbs on the freedom to strike and the virtual abolition of closed shop agreements. The Industrial Relations Act 1971 was deeply disliked by the trade unions whose industrial action lead to the three day week and ultimately to the defeat of the government. The victorious Labour Party promptly repealed the Industrial Relations Act, replacing it with their own Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974 which, while scrapping the "offensive" provisions, effectively re-enacted the remainder of Carr's 1971 Act.

In 1971 he escaped injury when The Angry Brigade anarchist group exploded two bombs outside his house.[3] More than thirty years later a member of the group issued a public apology to Carr, and sent him a Christmas card.[4]

In 1972 he served a brief period as Lord President of the Council and was then appointed Home Secretary after the resignation of Reginald Maudling. After his defeat in the first ballot of the 1975 Conservative leadership contest, Edward Heath asked Carr to "take over the functions of leader" until a new leader was elected.[5]

Later life

He was created a life peer as Baron Carr of Hadley, of Monken Hadley, North London, in 1976.[6]

Carr died in 2012 at the age of 95; he was survived by his wife Joan and two daughters. He was buried at St Peters Church, Farmington, Gloucestershire[1]


  1. 1 2 The Daily Telegraph, 19 February 2012: Baron Carr, former Tory cabinet minister dies, aged 95
  2. 1 2 "The Guardian Lord Carr Obituary". The Guardian. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  3. "BBC ON THIS DAY | 12 | 1971: British minister's home bombed". BBC News. 6 December 1972. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  4. Martin Bright, home affairs editor (3 February 2002). "Angry Brigade's bomb plot apology". London: Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  5. The Times, Wednesday, 5 Feb 1975; pg. 1; Issue 59312; col A
  6. "No. 46803". The London Gazette. 20 January 1976. p. 919.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tom Braddock
Member of Parliament for Mitcham
1950 1974
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Walter Elliot
Member of Parliament for Carshalton
1974 1976
Succeeded by
Nigel Forman
Political offices
Preceded by
Barbara Castle
as Secretary of State for
Employment and Productivity
Secretary of State for Employment
1970 1972
Succeeded by
Maurice Macmillan
Preceded by
William Whitelaw
Lord President of the Council
Succeeded by
James Prior
Leader of the House of Commons
Preceded by
Reginald Maudling
Home Secretary
1972 1974
Succeeded by
Roy Jenkins
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