Early life and careerEdit
Harmar Nicholls was born in Walsall, the son of Charles Edward Craddock Nicholls and Sarah Ann (née Wesley). He qualified as a barrister, called to the bar by Middle Temple. During World War II, he served in the Royal Engineers in India and Burma and fighting his first election as candidate for Nelson and Colne in 1945 before demobilisation, also contesting Preston in a 1946 by-election. He served as a councillor and chairman of Darlaston Urban District Council. He worked as a surveyor and as chairman of a paint company, serving as President of the Wallpaper and Paint Retailers' Association. He was a Lloyd's of London underwriter, a company director and chairman of Radio Luxembourg Ltd.
Nicholls was Member of Parliament for Peterborough from 1950 to 1974, when he lost in the October election of that year to Labour's Michael Ward, having held on by just 22 votes in the election eight months earlier. This was the second close call during his time as MP for Peterborough – in 1966, he held his seat by just three votes. Nicholls was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 1955 to 1958, and to the Ministry of Works from 1958 to 1961. He was created a Baronet, of Darlaston in the County of Stafford, in 1960, and in 1975, after he lost his seat in the House of Commons, he was given a life peerage as Baron Harmar-Nicholls, of Peterborough in the County of Cambridgeshire, changing his surname by deed poll to allow his forename to be incorporated into his title. From 1979 to 1984, he served as Member of the European Parliament for Greater Manchester South.
- Times Guide to the House of Commons, 1950, 1966 and October 1974
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs