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Reginald Maudling

Reginald Maudling (March 7,1917-1979), probably most famous outside the United Kingdom as the frequent subject of Monty Python's barbs, was a barrister and British politician. After losing in the 1945 general election, he was elected a Conservative MP for Barnet in 1950. He rose rapidly in the party, serving as Minister of Supply (1955–1957), Paymaster General (1957–1959), President of the Board of Trade (1959–1961), Colonial Secretary (1961–1962), and Chancellor of the Exchequer (1962–1964). In 1965 he was surprisingly defeated by Edward Heath for the post of Conservative party leader when many MPs who said they’d support him voted instead for Heath.

When the Conservatives returned to power in 1970 he was named Home Secretary. After Bloody Sunday in January 1972, he was physically attacked and called a "murdering hypocrite" in the House of Commons by Independent Nationalist MP Bernadette Devlin after agreeing with the army's story that they were firing in self defense during his announcement of an inquiry in the incident. Shortly afterwards he resigned as Home Secretary over his connection to business associates under police investigation but he retained his seat in Parliament.

When the Conservative Party moved into opposition in 1974, Edward Heath was replaced as leader by Margaret Thatcher. She surprised many by appointing Maudling to the post of Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. However she later dismissed him. Maudling remained an MP until his death in 1979.


"There comes a time in every man's life when he must make way for an older man." -Remark made in Smoking Room of House of Commons on being dropped from Margaret Thatcher's Shadow Cabinet