Tom King, Baron King

Tom King, Baron King of Bridgwater

Thomas Jeremy King, Baron King of Bridgwater, CH, PC (born 13 June 1933), is a British Conservative politician who was Member of Parliament for Bridgwater in Somerset, from 1970 until 2001.


Early life

Educated at Sheriff House, Rugby School; King was elected to Parliament at a by-election in 1970, following the death of sitting MP Sir Gerald Wells.

In government

He held the posts of Employment Secretary and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland at a time when these were high-profile roles with the potential for controversy, but was not very well-known.

King also served as Defence Secretary under Prime Minister John Major during the Gulf War in 1991. After retirement to the back benches, he became chairman of the Intelligence and Security Select Committee, during which time KGB agent Vasili Mitrokhin defected to reveal 87-year-old Melita Norwood as a Soviet spy.

He is now a life peer as Baron King of Bridgwater, and sits in the House of Lords.

Personal life

He is married to Jane Tilney, now Lady King; and has one son Rupert (married to media and entertainment solicitor Alice Rayman), and one daughter Elisa.

In popular culture

King was portrayed by Peter Blythe in the 2004 BBC production of The Alan Clark Diaries.

King was the subject of a song in the satirical ITV programme Spitting Image where he was dipicted as the Invisible Man during his term as Secretary of State for Employment.


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