The Lord Waddington
Portrait by Nick Sinclair, 1991
Governor of Bermuda
In office
11 April 1992 – 2 May 1997
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byDesmond Langley
Succeeded byThorold Masefield
In office
28 November 1990 – 11 April 1992
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byThe Lord Belstead
Succeeded byThe Lord Wakeham
Home Secretary
In office
26 October 1989 – 28 November 1990
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byDouglas Hurd
Succeeded byKenneth Baker
In office
13 June 1987 – 24 July 1989
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byJohn Wakeham
Succeeded byTim Renton
Minister of State for Immigration
In office
6 January 1983 – 13 June 1987
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byTimothy Raison
Succeeded byTim Renton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment
In office
5 January 1981 – 6 January 1983
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byPatrick Mayhew
Succeeded byJohn Gummer
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
16 May 1979 – 5 January 1981
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byAlfred Bates
Succeeded byJohn Wakeham
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
4 December 1990 – 26 March 2015
Life peerage
Member of Parliament
for Ribble Valley
Clitheroe (1979–1983)
In office
1 March 1979 – 29 November 1990
Preceded byDavid Walder
Succeeded byMichael Carr
Member of Parliament
for Nelson and Colne
In office
27 June 1968 – 20 September 1974
Preceded bySydney Silverman
Succeeded byDoug Hoyle
Personal details
David Charles Waddington

(1929-08-02)2 August 1929
Burnley, Lancashire, England
Died23 February 2017(2017-02-23) (aged 87)
South Cheriton, Somerset, England
Political partyConservative
Gillian Green
(m. 1958)
Alma mater

David Charles Waddington, Baron Waddington, GCVO, PC, QC, DL (2 August 1929 – 23 February 2017) was a British politician and barrister.

A member of the Conservative Party, he served as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons from 1968 to 1974 and 1979 to 1990, and was then made a life peer in the House of Lords. During his parliamentary career, Waddington worked in government as Chief Whip, then as Home Secretary and finally as Leader of the House of Lords. He then served as the Governor of Bermuda between 1992 and 1997.

Early life

Waddington was born in Burnley, Lancashire, the youngest of five. His father and grandfather were both solicitors in Burnley. He was educated at Cressbrook School and Sedbergh School, both independent schools.[1]

He then attended Hertford College, Oxford, where he became President of the Oxford University Conservative Association. He was called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1951.[2]

Waddington failed to adequately defend Stefan Kiszko, a civil servant accused of the murder of Lesley Molseed, at Leeds Crown Court in July 1976 in what would become one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice in British legal history. Waddington did not review or question any of the 6000+ statements that the prosecution presented at the last minute. He also failed to ask about semen evidence that could have proved Kiszko's innocence since the sample Kiszko provided did not match semen retained from Molseed's body. Kiszko served 16 years in prison, receiving frequent violent attacks for being a "child killer", after wrongly being found guilty. He died of a massive heart attack 20 months after he was fully released. The real murderer was eventually convicted in 2007. Waddington was a strong supporter of Capital Punishment.

Political career

Waddington stood for election several times before being successful. He was the Conservative candidate at Farnworth in the 1955 general election, at Nelson and Colne in 1964, and at Heywood and Royton in 1966.[3]

He was first elected to Parliament at the 1968 Nelson and Colne by-election, caused by the death of Labour MP Sydney Silverman. He was re-elected there in 1970 and in February 1974, but lost his seat at the October 1974 general election by a margin of 669 votes to Labour's Doug Hoyle.[2]

Waddington was returned to Parliament for Clitheroe at a by-election in March 1979, and was subsequently elected for the broadly similar Ribble Valley constituency in 1983.[1]

In government

A junior minister under Margaret Thatcher, Waddington was a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury and Government Whip (1979–81), Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department of Employment (1981–83), Minister of State at the Home Office (1983–87), and Chief Whip from 1987 until his elevation to Cabinet level in 1989, when he became Home Secretary.[3] On Monday 5 November 1990, he was the guest-of-honour at the annual dinner of the Conservative Monday Club[4]

Life peer

On 4 December 1990, he was created a life peer as Baron Waddington, of Read in the County of Lancashire.[5] He served as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords until 1992. He then served as Governor of Bermuda from 1992 until 1997.[6][7]

Lord Waddington was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in 1994.[8] In 2008, his amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, known as the Waddington Amendment, inserted a freedom of speech clause into new anti-homophobic hate crime legislation.[9]

In November 2009, the Government failed to repeal the Waddington Amendment in the Coroners and Justice Bill.[10][11] On 26 March 2015, Lord Waddington retired from the House of Lords pursuant to Section 1 of the House of Lords Reform Act 2014.[12]

Personal life

Waddington married Gillian Rosemary Green (born 1939), the daughter of Alan Green, on 20 December 1958. The couple had three sons and two daughters.[13]

Lord Waddington died of pneumonia on 23 February 2017, at his home in South Cheriton, Somerset, aged 87.[2][13]


Coat of arms of David Waddington
A Coronet of a Baron
An Arm embowed vested Azure, issuing from the Sleeve of a Silk Gown Sable, the Hand proper, holding a Wreath of four Roses Gules, barbed and seeded proper, enfiled by a Sword point upwards Argent, Hilt Pommel and Quillons Or.
Ermine, on a Cross Azure, between four Roses Gules, barbed and seeded proper, a Lion's Head guardant Or, langued Gules.
Dexter: A Lion in trian aspect; Sinister: a Griffin, both Or, armed and langued Gules, gorged with a Bar dancetty Ermine, edged Azure, each statant erect amid Reeds growing from a Grassy Mount proper.
Deus Noster Refugium Et Virtus (God is our refuge and courage)


  1. ^ a b Kavanagh, Dennis (25 February 2017). "Lord Waddington obituary: Chief Whip and former Home Secretary was loyal supporter of Margaret Thatcher". The Independent.
  2. ^ a b c Bates, Stephen (24 February 2017). "Lord Waddington obituary". The Guardian.
  3. ^ a b "Lord Waddington profile". UK Parliament. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  4. ^ Monday News Jan 1991.
  5. ^ "No. 52357". The London Gazette. 7 December 1990. p. 18904.
  6. ^ Staff (7 May 1997). "From Bermuda to the treacle mines for Lord David". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. Archived from the original on 24 May 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2009. After almost five years as Governor of Bermuda, Lord Waddington has come home to the Ribble Valley.
  7. ^ "FROM BERMUDA TO THE TREACLE MINES FOR LORD DAVID". Archived from the original on 24 May 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  8. ^ "No. 53640". The London Gazette. 12 April 1994. p. 5476.
  9. ^ "Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008". Archived from the original on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Coroners and Justice Bill". Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  11. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 12 November 2009 (pt 0008)". Retrieved 29 May 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ "Lords Hansard text for 26 March 2015 (pt 0001)". Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  13. ^ a b Heffer, Simon (14 January 2021). "Waddington, David Charles, Baron Waddington (1929–2017), politician". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/odnb/9780198614128.013.90000380379. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded bySydney Silverman Member of Parliament for Nelson and Colne 19681974 Succeeded byDoug Hoyle Preceded byDavid Walder Member of Parliament for Clitheroe 19791983 Constituency abolished New constituency Member of Parliament for Ribble Valley 19831990 Succeeded byMichael Carr Political offices Preceded byJohn Wakeham Chief Whip of the Conservative Party 1987–1989 Succeeded byTim Renton Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury 1987–1989 Preceded byDouglas Hurd Home Secretary 1989–1990 Succeeded byKenneth Baker Preceded byThe Lord Belstead Leader of the House of Lords 1990–1992 Succeeded byThe Lord Wakeham Lord Privy Seal 1990–1992 Party political offices Preceded byThe Lord Belstead Leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords 1990–1992 Succeeded byThe Lord Wakeham Government offices Preceded byDesmond Langley Governor of Bermuda 1992–1997 Succeeded byThorold Masefield