First Blair ministry

The first Blair ministry lasted from May 1997 to June 2001. After eighteen years in opposition, Labour ousted the Conservatives at the May 1997 election with a 179-seat majority. The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who turned 44 years old days after leading Labour to victory, was the youngest Prime Minister of the twentieth century.

First Blair ministry
1997–2001
Tony Blair in 2002.jpg
Blair in 2002
Date formed2 May 1997 (1997-05-02)
Date dissolved8 June 2001 (2001-06-08)
People and organisations
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Prime Minister's history1997–2007
Deputy Prime MinisterJohn Prescott
Member party
  •   Labour Party
Status in legislatureMajority
418 / 659 (63%)
Opposition cabinet
Opposition party
Opposition leader
History
Election(s)1997 general election
Outgoing election2001 general election
Legislature term(s)52nd UK Parliament
Budget(s)
PredecessorSecond Major ministry
SuccessorSecond Blair ministry

Blair quickly wiped away memories of the troubled Labour governments led by Harold Wilson and James Callaghan in the 1960s and 1970's as the economic recovery continued and unemployment continued to fall. While other developed countries, notably Japan, were hit by a financial crisis during Blair's first term in office, the British economy remained strong.[citation needed]

In September 2000, however, protests against fuel prices intensified across the country and the Leader of the Conservative Party William Hague exploited the situation by pointing out to voters just how much fuel prices had risen under Labour. This sparked a brief Conservative lead in the opinion polls – the first time in eight years – but once the fuel shortages and consequent protests ended, Labour led the opinion polls once more. Blair was so confident of re-election that he called a general election for 3 May, but this was postponed until 7 June due to the foot and mouth crisis. This led to a brief crisis in the agricultural and tourism industries, but did little to shake a still-strong economy and the electorate responded by re-electing Blair with an only slightly-reduced majority.[citation needed]

CabinetEdit

Portfolio Minister Term
Cabinet ministers
Prime Minister
First Lord of the Treasury
Minister for the Civil Service
Tony Blair MP 1997–2007
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott MP 1997–2007
Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions 1997–2001
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Second Lord of the Treasury
Gordon Brown MP 1997–2007
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain The Lord Irvine of Lairg PC QC 1997–2003
Leader of the House of Commons
Lord President of the Council
Ann Taylor MP 1997–1998
Margaret Beckett MP 1998–2001
Leader of the House of Lords
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
The Lord Richard PC QC 1997–1998
The Baroness Jay of Paddington PC 1998–2001
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Alistair Darling MP 1997–1998
Stephen Byers MP 1998
Alan Milburn MP 1998–1999
Andrew Smith MP 1999–2002
Minister for the Cabinet Office
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
David Clark MP 1997–1998
Jack Cunningham MP DL 1998–1999
Mo Mowlam MP 1999–2001
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook MP 1997–2001
Secretary of State for the Home Department Jack Straw MP 1997–2001
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Jack Cunningham MP DL 1997–1998
Nick Brown MP 1998–2001
Secretary of State for Health Frank Dobson MP 1997–1999
Alan Milburn MP 1999–2003
Secretary of State for Defence George Robertson MP 1997–1999
Geoff Hoon MP 1999–2005
Secretary of State for Social Security Harriet Harman MP 1997–1998
Alistair Darling MP 1998–2001
Secretary of State for Education and Employment David Blunkett MP 1997–2001
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
President of the Board of Trade
Margaret Beckett MP 1997–1998
Peter Mandelson MP 1998
Stephen Byers MP 1998–2001
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Chris Smith MP 1997–2001
Secretary of State for International Development Clare Short MP 1997–2003
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam MP 1997–1999
Peter Mandelson MP 1999–2001
John Reid MP 2001–2002
Secretary of State for Scotland Donald Dewar MP 1997–1999
John Reid MP 1999–2001
Helen Liddell MP 2001–2003
Secretary of State for Wales Ron Davies 1997–1998
Alun Michael MP JP 1998–1999
Paul Murphy MP 1999–2002
Minister of State for Transport Gavin Strang MP 1997–1998
Minister Without Portfolio Peter Mandelson MP 1997–1998
Also attending cabinet meetings
Chief Whip Nick Brown MP 1997–1998
Ann Taylor MP 1998–2001
Attorney General for England and Wales John Morris QC MP 1997–1999
The Lord Williams of Mostyn PC QC 1999–2001

ChangesEdit

List of ministersEdit

Members of the Cabinet are in bold face.

Prime Minister, the Cabinet Office and non-departmental ministersEdit

Cabinet Office
Tony Blair May 1997 – June 2001
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott May 1997 – June 2001
David Clark May 1997 – July 1998
Jack Cunningham July 1998 – October 1999
Mo Mowlam October 1999 – June 2001
  • Minister of State for the Cabinet Office
  • Minister of State at the Office of Public Service
Derek Foster May 1997
Peter Kilfoyle May 1997 – July 1999
Ian McCartney July 1999 – June 2001
Lord Falconer of Thoroton July 1998 - June 2001
Parliamentary Under Secretary of state Graham Stringer November 1999 - June 2001
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain The Lord Irvine of Lairg May 1997 – June 2001
Minister Without Portfolio Peter Mandelson May 1997 – July 1998
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister Ann Coffey May 1997 – July 1998
Bruce Grocott May 1997 – June 2001

Departments of stateEdit

Treasury
Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown May 1997 – June 2001
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Alistair Darling May 1997 – July 1998
Stephen Byers July 1998 – December 1998
Alan Milburn December 1998 – October 1999
Andrew Smith October 1999 – June 2001
Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson May 1997 – December 1998
Dawn Primarolo January 1999 – June 2001
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Dawn Primarolo May 1997 – January 1999
Barbara Roche January 1999 – July 1999
Stephen Timms July 1999 – June 2001
Economic Secretary to the Treasury Helen Liddell May 1997 – July 1998
Patricia Hewitt July 1998 – May 1999
Melanie Johnson May 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State for Trade & Competitiveness in Europe, (jointly with Trade & Industry) Lord Simon of Highbury May 1997 - July 1999
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook May 1997 – June 2001
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Tony Lloyd May 1997 – July 1999
John Battle July 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State for Europe Doug Henderson May 1997 – July 1998
Joyce Quin July 1998 – July 1999
Geoff Hoon July 1999 – October 1999
Keith Vaz October 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State for Africa Derek Fatchett May 1997 – May 1999
Geoff Hoon May 1999 – July 1999
Peter Hain July 1999 – January 2001
Brian Wilson January 2001 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs The Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean May 1997 – June 1999
The Baroness Scotland of Asthal June 1999 – June 2001
Home Office
Home Secretary Jack Straw May 1997 – June 2001
Minister of State for Home Affairs Alun Michael May 1997 – October 1998
Paul Boateng October 1998 – June 2001
Minister of State for Prisons Joyce Quin May 1997 – July 1998
The Lord Williams of Mostyn July 1998 – July 1999
Charles Clarke July 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State for Asylum and Immigration Barbara Roche July 1999 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs The Lord Williams of Mostyn May 1997 – July 1998
Kate Hoey July 1998 – July 1999
The Lord Bassam of Brighton July 1999 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Immigration Mike O'Brien May 1997 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prisons, Drugs & Elections George Howarth May 1997 - July 1999
Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions
Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions John Prescott May 1997 – June 2001
Minister of State for the Environment Michael Meacher May 1997 – June 2001
Minister of State for Transport Gavin Strang May 1997 – June 1998
John Reid June 1998 – May 1999
Helen Liddell May 1999 – July 1999
The Lord Macdonald of Tradeston July 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State for Housing and Planning Hilary Armstrong May 1997 – July 1999
Nick Raynsford July 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State for the Regions Richard Caborn May 1997 – July 1999
Nick Raynsford July 1999 – June 2001
Minister for London Nick Raynsford May 1997 – July 1999
Keith Hill July 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State for Local Government, Regions Hilary Armstrong May 1997 - June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport Glenda Jackson May 1997 – July 1999
Keith Hill July 1999 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Roads The Baroness Hayman May 1997 – July 1998
The Lord Whitty July 1998 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Construction Nick Raynsford May 1997 – July 1999
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy, Environment & the Regions Angela Eagle May 1997 - July 1998
Alan Meale July 1998 - July 1999
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Chris Mullin July 1999 - January 2001
Bob Ainsworth January - June 2001
Beverley Hughes July 1999 - June 2001
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Jack Cunningham May 1997 – July 1998
Nick Brown July 1998 – June 2001
Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Jeff Rooker May 1997 – July 1999
Joyce Quin July 1999 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Fisheries and the Countryside Elliot Morley May 1997 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming & the Food Industry Lord Donoughue May 1997 - July 1999
Baroness Hayman July 1999 - June 2001
Defence
Secretary of State for Defence George Robertson May 1997 – October 1999
Geoff Hoon October 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State for the Armed Forces John Reid May 1997 – July 1998
Doug Henderson July 1998 – July 1999
John Spellar July 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State for Defence Procurement The Lord Gilbert May 1997 – July 1999
The Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean July 1999 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence John Spellar May 1997 – July 1999
Peter Kilfoyle July 1999 – January 2000
Lewis Moonie January 2000 – June 2001
Department for Education and Employment
Secretary of State for Education and Employment David Blunkett May 1997 – June 2001
Minister of State for School Standards Stephen Byers May 1997 – July 1998
Estelle Morris July 1998 – June 2001
Minister of State for Employment and Disability Rights Andrew Smith May 1997 – October 1999
Tessa Jowell (Deputy Minister for Women) October 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State Baroness Blackstone May 1997 - June 2001
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment & Equal Opportunities Alan Howarth, Baron Howarth of Newport May 1997 - July 1998
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Employment Estelle Morris May 1997 – July 1998
George Mudie July 1998 – July 1999
Jacqui Smith July 1999 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Lifelong Learning Kim Howells May 1997 - July 1998
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Margaret Hodge July 1998 - June 2001
Charles Clarke July 1998 - July 1999
Malcolm Wicks July 1999 - June 2001
Michael Wills July 1999 - June 2001
Health
Secretary of State for Health Frank Dobson May 1997 – October 1999
Alan Milburn October 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State for Health Services Alan Milburn May 1997 – December 1998
John Denham December 1998 – June 2001
Minister of State for Public Health Tessa Jowell (Deputy Minister for Women July 1998 - October 1999) May 1997 – October 1999
John Hutton October 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State Baroness Jay of Paddington May 1997 - July 1998
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health The Baroness Hayman July 1998 – July 1999
Gisela Stuart July 1999 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Social Care & Mental Health Paul Boateng May 1997 - October 1998
John Hutton October 1998 - October 1999
Yvette Cooper October 1999 - June 2001
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Lord Hunt of Kings Heath January 1998 - June 2001
Department of Social Security
Secretary of State for Social Security Harriet Harman, (Minister for Women) May 1997 – July 1998
Alistair Darling July 1998 – June 2001
Minister for Welfare Reform Frank Field May 1997 – July 1998
Minister of State for Pensions John Denham June 1998 – December 1998
Stephen Timms January 1999 – July 1999
Jeff Rooker July 1999 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Security Joan Ruddock (Deputy Minister for Women) May 1997 – July 1998
Hugh Bayley January 1999 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Pensions John Denham May 1997 - June 1998
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Income-related Benefits Keith Bradley, Baron Bradley May 1997 - July 1998
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Child Benefit, Child Support & War Pensions Baroness Hollis of Heigham May 1997 - June 2001
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions Stephen Timms July 1998 -December 1998
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Angela Eagle July 1998 -June 2001
Department of Culture, Media and Sport
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Chris Smith May 1997 – June 2001
Minister for Film, Tourism and Broadcasting Tom Clarke May 1997 – July 1998
Janet Anderson July 1998 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Arts Mark Fisher May 1997 – June 1998
Alan Howarth June 1998 – June 2001
Minister for Sport Tony Banks, Baron Stratford May 1997 - July 1999
Kate Hoey July 1999 - June 2001
Trade and Industry
Margaret Beckett May 1997 – July 1998
Peter Mandelson July 1998 – December 1998
Stephen Byers December 1998 – June 2001
Minister of State for Trade and Industry John Battle May 1997 – July 1999
Minister of State for Trade The Lord Clinton-Davis May 1997 – July 1998
Brian Wilson July 1998 – July 1999
Richard Caborn July 1999 – June 2001
Minister of State for Competitiveness Ian McCartney May 1997 – July 1999
Minister of State for Small Business & E-Commerce Patricia Hewitt July 1999 - June 2001
Minister of State for Energy and Competitiveness in Europe (jointly with Treasury to July 1999) The Lord Simon of Highbury May 1997 – July 1999
Helen Liddell July 1999 – January 2001
Peter Hain January 2001 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Nigel Griffiths May 1997 – July 1998
Kim Howells July 1998 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Small Firms, Trade & Industry Barbara Roche May 1997 - January 1999
Michael Wills January 1999 - July 1999
Alan Johnson July 1999 - June 2001
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Sciences Lord Sainsbury of Turville July 1998 - June 2001
Department of International Development
Secretary of State for International Development Clare Short May 1997 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development George Foulkes May 1997 – January 2001
Chris Mullin January 2001 – June 2001
Lord Chancellors Department
Lord Chancellor Lord Irvine of Lairg May 1997 - June 2001
Minister of State Geoff Hoon July 1998 - May 1999
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Geoff Hoon May 1997 - July 1998
Keith Vaz May - July 1999
David Lock July 1999 - June 2001
Jane Kennedy October 1999 - June 2001
Lord Bach November 2000 - June 2001
Scottish Office
Secretary of State for Scotland Donald Dewar May 1997 – May 1999
John Reid May 1999 – January 2001
Helen Liddell January - June 2001
Minister of State for Scotland Henry McLeish May 1997 – June 1999
Brian Wilson May 1997 – July 1998
Helen Liddell July 1998 – May 1999
Brian Wilson July 1999 – January 2001
George Foulkes January - June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland Malcolm Chisholm May 1997 – December 1997
Sam Galbraith May 1997 – May 1999
The Lord Sewel May 1997 – July 1999
Calum MacDonald December 1997 – July 1999
The Lord MacDonald of Tradeston August 1998 – July 1999
Wales Office
Secretary of State for Wales Ron Davies May 1997 – October 1998
Alun Michael October 1998 – July 1999
Paul Murphy July 1999 – June 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales Peter Hain May 1997 – July 1999
Win Griffiths May 1997 – July 1998
Jon Owen Jones July 1998 – July 1999
David Hanson July 1999 – June 2001
Northern Ireland Office
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam May 1997 – October 1999
Peter Mandelson October 1999 – January 2001
John Reid January 2001 – June 2001
Minister of State for Northern Ireland Adam Ingram May 1997 – June 2001
Paul Murphy, Baron Murphy of Torfaen May 1997 - July 1999
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland The Lord Dubs May 1997 – December 1999
Tony Worthington May 1997 – July 1998
John McFall July 1998 – December 1999
George Howarth July 1999 – June 2001

Law officersEdit

Law Officers
Attorney General for England and Wales John Morris May 1997 – July 1999
The Lord Williams of Mostyn July 1999 – June 2001
Solicitor General for England and Wales The Lord Falconer of Thoroton May 1997 – July 1998
Ross Cranston July 1998 – June 2001
Advocate General for Scotland Lynda Clark May 1999 – June 2001
Solicitor General for Scotland Baron Boyd of Duncansby May 1997 - February 2000
Baron Davidson of Glen Cova February 2000 - June 2001
Lord Advocate Lord Hardie May 1997 - February 2000
Baron Boyd of Duncansby February 2000 - June 2001

ParliamentEdit

Parliament
Ann Taylor May 1997 – July 1998
Margaret Beckett July 1998 – June 2001
Deputy Leader of the House of Commons Paddy Tipping December 1998 – June 2001
The Lord Richard May 1997 – July 1998
The Baroness Jay of Paddington, (Minister for Women) July 1998 – June 2001
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords The Baroness Jay of Paddington May 1997 – July 1998
The Lord Williams of Mostyn October 1998 – June 2001

WhipsEdit

Whips
Nick Brown May 1997 – July 1998
Ann Taylor July 1998 – June 2001
George Mudie May 1997 – July 1998
Keith Bradley July 1998 – June 2001
Comptroller of the Household Tommy McAvoy May 1997 – June 2001
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Janet Anderson May 1997 – July 1998
Graham Allen July 1998 – June 2001
Junior Lords of the Treasury
Whips
Bob Ainsworth May 1997 - January 2001
Graham Allen May 1997 - July 1998
Jim Dowd May 1997 - June 2001
Baron McFall May 1997 - July 1998
Jon Owen Jones May 1997 - July 1998
Clive Betts July 1998 - June 2001
David Jamieson July 1998 - June 2001
Jane Kennedy July 1998 - October 1999
Greg Pope November 1999 - June 2001
David Clelland February - June 2001
Assistant Whips Clive Betts May 1997 -July 1998
David Clelland May 1997 - February 2001
Kevin Hughes May 1997 - June 2001
David Jamieson May 1997 - July 1998
Jane Kennedy May 1997 - July 1998
Greg Pope May 1997 - November 1999
Bridget Prentice May 1997 - July 1998
Anne McGuire July 1998 - May 2001
David Hanson July 1998 - July 1999
Mike Hall July 1998 - June 2001
Keith Hill July 1998 - July 1999
Gerry Sutcliffe July 1999 - June 2001
Tony McNulty October 1999 - May 2001
Don Touhig November 1999 - June 2001
Ian Pearson February - June 2001
The Lord Carter May 1997 – June 2001
The Lord McIntosh of Haringey May 1997 – June 2001
Lord Haskel May 1997 - July 1998
Lord Whitty May 1997 - July 1998
Lord Hoyle May 1997 - April 1999
Baroness Gould of Potternewton May 1997 - July 1998
Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton May 1997 - June 2001
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath July 1998 - July 1999
Baroness Amos July 1998 - June 2001
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale July 1998 - June 2001
Lord Burlison January 1999 - June 2000
Lord Bach July 1999 - November 2000
Lord Davies of Oldham July 2000 - June 2001

ReferencesEdit

  • Ministers in the Labour Governments: 1997–2010 – Parliamentary Information List, House of Commons Library, 3 July 2012
  • D. Butler and G. Butler (ed.), Twentieth Century British Political Facts 1900–2000[publisher missing][ISBN missing]

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Government of the United Kingdom
1997–2001
Succeeded by