Kenneth Clarke

Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe

Minister without Portfolio

Tel: 0115 981 7224 / Fax: 0115 981 7273 / The Rushcliffe Conservative Association, Rushcliffe House, 17/19 Rectory Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 6BE
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Kenneth Clarke was born in 1940. He was educated at Nottingham High School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

He is a barrister-at-law, having been called to the Bar by Gray's Inn in 1963 and becoming QC in 1980. He has practised on the Midland Circuit, based in Birmingham.

He first became active in politics at Cambridge, where he was President of the Union, and Chairman of the University Conservative Association. He was also the National Chairman of the Federation of University Conservative Associations.

He unsuccessfully contested Mansfield in the General Elections of 1964 and 1966. He was elected MP for Rushcliffe at the 1970 General Election, gaining the seat from Labour.

Ken has extensive experience in government, spanning three decades. He has served in two of the four Great Offices of State: Chancellor and Home Secretary.

During his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer, from 1993 to 1997, Britain recovered from recession and was set on a course of economic growth with low inflation. In addition, the budget deficit was halved and interest rates and unemployment fell. New Labour had simply to stick to his plans for the first three years of their Government to achieve a budget surplus. He bequeathed to Labour a golden economic legacy.

In December 2005, Ken was appointed head of the Democracy Task Force by David Cameron. The review ran for 18 months and looked at ways to reengage people in the democratic process and restore trust in politics by restoring Cabinet Government and accountability to the House of Commons.

In January 2009, Ken joined the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, bringing with him a wealth of experience from the public and private sectors.

In May 2010, Ken was appointed to join the Cabinet as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice.


  • MP for Rushcliffe, 1970 -
  • PPS to the Solicitor-General, January 1971 - April 1972
  • Assistant Government Whip, April 1972 - February 1974
  • Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, January 1974 - February 1974
  • Opposition Social Security Front Bench Spokesman, June 1974 - November 1976
  • Opposition Industry Spokesman, November 1976 - May 1979
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of Transport, May 1979 - March 1982
  • Minister for Health, March 1982 - September 1985
  • Entered Cabinet as Paymaster General and Minister for Employment, September 1985 - June 1987
  • Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for Trade & Industry, June 1987 - July 1988
  • Secretary of State for Health, July 1988 - November 1990
  • Secretary of State for Education and Science, November 1990 - April 1992
  • Home Secretary, April 1992 - May 1993
  • Chancellor of the Exchequer, May 1993 - May 1997
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Business, January 2009 - May 2010
  • Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, May 2010 - September 2012
  • Minister without Portfolio - September 2012 -


Creating economic conditions for British business which produced the first few years of a long period of economic growth with low inflation.


Football, cricket, jazz, bird-watching, Formula One motor racing


He has been married for more than forty years to Gillian. They have two adult children.