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Merlyn Rees

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Merlyn Rees

The Right Honourable
The Lord Merlyn-Rees
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy
In office
4 November 1980 – 24 November 1982
Leader Michael Foot
Preceded by David Owen
Succeeded by John Smith
Shadow Home Secretary
In office
4 May 1979 – 4 November 1980
Leader James Callaghan
Preceded by William Whitelaw
Succeeded by Roy Hattersley
Home Secretary
In office
10 September 1976 – 4 May 1979
Prime Minister James Callaghan
Preceded by Roy Jenkins
Succeeded by William Whitelaw
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
5 March 1974 – 10 September 1976
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
James Callaghan
Preceded by Francis Pym
Succeeded by Roy Mason
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
24 March 1972 – 4 March 1974
Leader Harold Wilson
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Francis Pym
Member of Parliament
for Morley and Leeds South
In office
9 June 1983 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by Constituency Created
Succeeded by John Gunnell
Member of Parliament
for Leeds South
In office
20 June 1963 – 9 June 1983
Preceded by Hugh Gaitskell
Succeeded by Constituency Abolished
Personal details
Born (1920-12-18)18 December 1920
Pontypridd, United Kingdom
Died 5 January 2006(2006-01-05) (aged 85)
London, United Kingdom
Political party Labour
Alma mater Goldsmiths, University of London
University of Nottingham
London School of Economics

Merlyn Rees, later Merlyn Merlyn-Rees, Baron Merlyn-Rees, PC (18 December 1920 – 5 January 2006) was a Welsh-born Labour party Member of Parliament from 1963 until 1992, who served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1974–1976) and Home Secretary (1976–1979).

Early life

Born in Cilfynydd, near Harrow Weald Grammar School, Harrow, England and Goldsmiths College, London where he was president of the students' union from 1939 to 1941. He served in the RAF the University of Nottingham Air Squadron during World War II, becoming a squadron leader at 25. He attended the London School of Economics where he received BSc(Econ) and MSc(Econ). He was appointed schoolmaster at his old school in Harrow in 1949, teaching economics and history. He taught for eleven years, during which time he was three times an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate for Harrow East. He was a member of the Institute of Education at the University of London from 1959 to 1962.

Member of Parliament

At Dublin and Monaghan bombings on 17 May 1973 and the group was once more banned by the British Government on 3 October 1975.


Merlyn Rees Avenue, street sign in Morley, West Yorkshire

When he retired from the [3] and entered the House of Lords, having changed his name, on 23 June 1992, by deed poll to Merlyn Merlyn-Rees[4] to allow his title to be Merlyn-Rees rather than Rees.[5]

He was president of the University of Glamorgan, a position he held from 1994 to 2002.


He suffered injuries in a number of falls, and failing to recover from these, fell into a coma, dying at the age of 85. He was survived by his wife Colleen and three sons.


  1. ^ Methuen, London, 1985 ISBN 0-413-52590-2
  2. ^ Taylor, Peter (1999). Loyalists. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. p.124
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 52982. p. 11339. 6 July 1992.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 52985. p. 11569. 8 July 1992.
  5. ^
  • BBC News (5 January 2006). “Peer's roots in 'gifted' street”. Retrieved 15 January 2006.
  • "Belfast years remembered for vacillation in face of loyalist strike." (5 January 2006). The Irish Times p14.
  •”Your Online Guide to Yorkshire People”. Retrieved 15 January 2006


  • Merlyn Rees, "Northern Ireland: a personal perspective", Methuen, London, 1985.

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Merlyn Rees
  • Merlyn Rees (The Second World War Experience Centre)
  • Catalogue of the Merlyn-Rees papers at the Archives Division of the London School of Economics.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hugh Gaitskell
Member of Parliament for Leeds South
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Morley and Leeds South
Succeeded by
John Gunnell
Political offices
Preceded by
Francis Pym
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Succeeded by
Roy Mason
Preceded by
Roy Jenkins
Home Secretary
Succeeded by
William Whitelaw
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Lord Morris of Aberavon
Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan
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