Robert Carr

Leonard Robert Carr, Baron Carr of Hadley, PC (11 November 1916 – 17 February 2012) was a British Conservative politician who served as Home Secretary from 1972 to 1974.

The Lord Carr of Hadley

Robert Carr
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
4 March 1974  11 February 1975
LeaderEdward Heath
Preceded byDenis Healey
Succeeded byGeoffrey Howe
Home Secretary
In office
18 July 1972  4 March 1974
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byReginald Maudling
Succeeded byRoy Jenkins
In office
7 April 1972  5 November 1972
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byWilliam Whitelaw
Succeeded byJim Prior
Secretary of State for Employment
In office
20 June 1970  7 April 1972
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byBarbara Castle
Succeeded byMaurice Macmillan
Member of Parliament
for Carshalton
In office
28 February 1974  15 January 1976
Preceded byWalter Elliot
Succeeded byNigel Forman
Member of Parliament
for Mitcham
In office
23 February 1950  8 February 1974
Preceded byTom Braddock
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
15 January 1976  17 February 2012
Life peerage
Personal details
Leonard Robert Carr

(1916-11-11)11 November 1916
Died17 February 2012(2012-02-17) (aged 95)
Political partyConservative
EducationWestminster School
Alma materGonville and Caius College, Cambridge

Early life

Robert Carr was educated at Westminster School[1] 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.[1]

Political career

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 The victorious Labour Party promptly repealed the Industrial Relations Act, replacing it with their own Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974 which, while scrapping the "offensive" provisions,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, Carr escaped injury when The Angry Brigade anarchist group exploded two bombs outside his house.[2] More than thirty years later, a member of the group issued a public apology to Carr, and sent him a Christmas card.[3]

In 1972, Carr 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.[4]

Later life

Carr was created a life peer as Baron Carr of Hadley, of Monken Hadley, North London, in 1976.[5]


Carr died 17 February 2012 at the age of 95 years.[6] His body was buried in the graveyard of St. Peters Church, in the Gloucestershire village of Farmington. He was survived by his wife, Joan, and two daughters.[6]


  1. Goodman, Geoffrey (20 February 2012). "Lord Carr of Hadley obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  2. "1971: British minister's home bombed". On This Day 19502005. BBC News. 6 December 1972. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  3. Bright, Martin (3 February 2002). "Angry Brigade's bomb plot apology". The Observer. London. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  4. The Times (59312). London. 5 February 1975. col A. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. "No. 46803". The London Gazette. 20 January 1976. p. 919.
  6. Millward, David (19 February 2012). "Baron Carr, former Tory cabinet minister dies, aged 95". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 November 2019.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tom Braddock
Member of Parliament for Mitcham
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Walter Elliot
Member of Parliament for Carshalton
Succeeded by
Nigel Forman
Political offices
Preceded by
Barbara Castle
as Secretary of State for
Employment and Productivity
Secretary of State for Employment
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
Succeeded by
Roy Jenkins
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