Lynda Chalker

Lynda Chalker, Baroness Chalker of Wallasey, PC (née Bates; born 29 April 1942) is a British Conservative politician who was the Member of Parliament for Wallasey from 1974 to 1992. She served as Minister of State for Overseas Development and Africa at the Foreign Office, in the Conservative government from 1989 to 1997.

The Baroness Chalker of Wallasey

Lynda Chalker in 2018
Minister of State for Overseas Development & Africa
In office
24 July 1989  1 May 1997
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
John Major
Preceded byChris Patten
Succeeded byClare Short[nb]
Minister of State for Europe
In office
11 January 1986  24 July 1989
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byMalcolm Rifkind
Succeeded byFrancis Maude
Minister of State for Transport
In office
18 October 1983  11 January 1986
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byDavid Mitchell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport
In office
5 March 1982  18 October 1983
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byKenneth Clarke
Succeeded byDavid Mitchell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security
In office
7 May 1979  5 March 1982
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byEric Deakins
Succeeded byTony Newton
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
24 April 1992
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Wallasey
In office
28 February 1974  9 April 1992
Preceded byErnest Marples
Succeeded byAngela Eagle
Personal details
Lynda Bates

(1942-04-29) 29 April 1942
Political partyConservative
n.b. ^ As Secretary of State for International Development.

Chalker headed the British delegation which participated in the first Tokyo International Conference on African Development in October 1993.[1]

She jointly holds the 20th-century record for continuous government service, along with Kenneth Clarke, Malcolm Rifkind, Tony Newton and Patrick Mayhew, as she held office for the entire duration of the Conservatives' 18 years in power.

Education and career

Chalker was educated at Roedean (where she was head girl), Heidelberg University, Queen Mary University of London and the University of Westminster (then known as the Polytechnic of Central London), and worked as a statistician and market researcher, including spells with Shell-Mex and BP and Opinion Research Centre (ORC), before entering Parliament as MP for Wallasey, Merseyside, succeeding the former Cabinet minister Ernest Marples. She held a number of government posts, including spells as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Security from 1979 to 1982 and at the Department of Transport from 1982 to 1983. In 1983 she became Minister of State at Transport, being appointed Minister for Europe in 1986.

In June 2014, Chalker was awarded honorary citizenship of Mozambique by President Armando Guebuza for services to that country.[2]


Chalker was granted a life peerage as Baroness Chalker of Wallasey, of Leigh-on-Sea in the County of Essex in 1992,[3] after losing her seat at the General Election of that year.

Chalker is the founder and president of Africa Matters Limited, an independent consultancy providing advice and assistance to companies initiating, developing or growing their activities in Africa.[4] She is a member of the international advisory board of Lafarge and sits on the board of trustees of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa.

She is a consultant for Uganda's Presidential Investors Roundtable (PIRT) that advises the president Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, on ways to improve Uganda's investment climate and competitiveness.[5]

Patrick Chalker is a founding member of the Global Leadership Foundation, an organisation which works to support democratic leadership, prevent and resolve conflict through mediation and promote good governance in the form of democratic institutions, open markets, human rights and the rule of law. It does so by making available, discreetly and in confidence, the experience of former leaders to today's national leaders. It is a not-for-profit organisation composed of former heads of government, senior governmental and international organisation officials who work closely with heads of government on governance-related issues of concern to them.[5]

Chalker is a member of the board of trustees of Sentebale, a Charity set-up to reach Lesotho's neediest children, many of whom are the victims of extreme poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic of that area. Chalker founded the Chalker Foundation, which seeks to support the improvement of healthcare in Africa.

She held the position of non-executive director and chairman of the Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Committee for Unilever, retiring in May 2007, having served three terms of three years. She joined the board of Unilever as an advisory director in 1998, becoming a non-executive director in 2004. She also served on Africa Advisory Board of Renaissance Capital.

Chalker is a former chairman of the Medicines for Malaria Venture, a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to reducing the burden of malaria in disease endemic countries. She is a former non-executive director of Group Five (Pty). She was awarded the Livingstone Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 2000.[6]

Chalker was shortlisted for the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award in 2015 for her work with Africa Matters, and she remains in the directory of the Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who publication.[7]

In 2018, it was announced that Chalker would take over from Nicholas Crane as president of the Royal Geographical Society.


  1. Japan, Ministry for Foreign Affairs: 12 donor countries + EC
  2. Former Botswana president to mediate in dialogue with Renamo, Club of Mozambique, 18 July 2016
  3. "No. 52907". The London Gazette. 29 April 1992. p. 7461.
  4. "Lynda, Baroness Chalker of Wallasey". Africa Matters. Archived from the original on 23 January 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2009.
  5. Lynda Chalker biodata,; accessed 10 August 2014.
  6. Royal Scottish Geographical Society website Archived 12 August 2014 at; accessed 10 August 2014.
  7. "Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who". Grassroot Diplomat. 15 March 2015. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ernest Marples
Member of Parliament for Wallasey
February 19741992
Succeeded by
Angela Eagle
Political offices
Preceded by
Malcolm Rifkind
Minister for Europe
Succeeded by
Francis Maude
Preceded by
Chris Patten
Minister for Overseas Development
Succeeded by
Clare Short
as Secretary of State for International Development
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