The Essential: Richard Law
Richard Kidston Law, 1st Baron Coleraine PC
Born: 27 February 1901
Died: 15 November 1980 (aged 79)
Dates as Education Minister: 25 May 1945 – 26 July 1945 (62 days)
Age when Minister: 44 yrs (3m) to 44 yrs (5m)
Best Fact: Held position of Education Secretary for the shortest time, just 62 days.
Youngest son of ex-Prime Minister, Andrew Bonar Law, Richard held the position of Education Minister for just 62 days during Churchill’s caretaker government.
Educated first at Shrewsbury School and then at St. John’s College, Oxford, Law served Parliament for 23 years as an MP and a further 26 years as a peer – until his death in 1980.
As a hard ‘choice’ advocate we can only wonder what he might have done with the 1944 Education Act if he had remained in post. As it was, he had barely enough time for gathering paperwork before relinquishing the role to Ellen Wilkinson.
Is he a contender for ‘greatest’ ever education secretary? Barely even in the race.