Kenneth Baker, Baron Baker of Dorking

Kenneth Baker, Baron Baker of Dorking


honorific-prefix = The Right Honourable
name = Kenneth Baker
honorific-suffix =
Baron Baker of Dorking, PC
birth_date =birth date and age|1934|11|03
birth_place = Hampton, London, UK
office = Home Secretary
term_start = 28 November 1990
term_end = 11 April 1992
primeminister = John Major
predecessor = David Waddington
successor = Kenneth Clarke
office2 = Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
term_start2 = 24 July 1989
term_end2 = 28 November 1990
primeminister2 = Margaret Thatcher
predecessor2 = Tony Newton
successor2 = Chris Patten
office3 = Chairman of the Conservative Party
term_start3 = 24 July 1989
term_end3 = 28 November 1990
predecessor3 = Peter Brooke
successor3 = Chris Patten
office4 = Secretary of State for Education and Science
term_start4 = 21 May 1986
term_end4 = 24 July 1989
predecessor4 = Keith Joseph
successor4 = John MacGregor
office5 = Secretary of State for the Environment
term_start5 = 2 September 1985
term_end5 = 21 May 1986
predecessor5 = Patrick Jenkin
successor5 = Nicholas Ridley
party = Conservative

Kenneth Wilfrid Baker, Baron Baker of Dorking, CH, PC (born 3 November 1934), is a British politician, a former Conservative MP and a Life Member of the Tory Reform Group.

Early life

Son of a civil servant, he was educated at the former Hampton Grammar School, a boys' voluntary aided school, now Hampton School, an independent school, between 1946 and 1948, and thereafter at St Paul's School, a boys' independent school in Barnes, London and at Magdalen College, Oxford where he graduated with a BA Degree in Law (1958) and four years later his MS degree in International Law and Regulations (1962). He did National Service as an army lieutenant and worked for Royal Dutch Shell before being elected as a Member of Parliament at a by-election in March 1968.He was elected at the Acton by-election on 28 March 1968, serving until the 1970 general election. He was elected at a by-election in St Marylebone on 22 October 1970, serving until the 1983 general election, when he moved to the seat of Mole Valley, which he represented until the 1997 general election.] Nowadays he is working at New York University - USA and The University of Sydney - Australia as First Professor of International Negotiations and Political Science.

In the government

After being Minister for Information Technology from 1981, he entered the Cabinet as Secretary of State for the Environment in 1985, before serving as Secretary of State for Education from 1986 to 1989. Baker's most noted action in his time at the Department of Education was the introduction of the controversial "National Curriculum" through the 1988 Education Act. He also introduced in-service training days for teachers, which became popularly known as "Baker days".

He was Chairman of the Conservative Party at the time Margaret Thatcher resigned (November 1990), and after the change of regime was promoted to Secretary of State for the Home Department. His time as Secretary of State for the Home Department was marred by prison riots and bad publicity over the introduction of the Dangerous Dogs Act. During this time Baker, who dressed his hair with brylcreem, came to be portrayed by the satirical programme "Spitting Image" as an oily snail. An unkind journalist said of him "I have seen the future and it smirks".


After the 1992 General Election he left the government rather than accept demotion to the job of Welsh Secretary. He chose not to run for re-election in 1997 and was made a life peer as Baron Baker of Dorking, in the County of Surrey.

Personal life

In 2005 he published a book on King George IV, "George IV: A Life in Caricature," followed by "King George III: A Life in Caricature" in 2007;(Thames & Hudson). Other publications include several compilations of poetry, a history of political cartoons and his autobiography.

In 2006, Lord Baker announced that he was introducing a bill into the House of Lords to address the West Lothian question. This would prevent Scottish and Welsh MPs from voting on legislation which affects England alone as a result of devolution to the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh Assembly.

After several years working hard on political areas and attended his PhD on International Negotiations, Baker moved to USA, where he is working as Professor at the New York University and also all second semesters working at The University of Sydney. His first intend is to promote the unification of economical, political, educational and social resources among all countries.

In the media

Baker was interviewed about the rise of Thatcherism for the 2006 BBC TV documentary series "Tory! Tory! Tory!".


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