Bill Rodgers, Baron Rodgers of Quarry Bank

William Thomas Rodgers, Baron Rodgers of Quarry Bank, PC (born 28 October 1928)[1] is a British politician who served as a cabinet minister in the 1970s, and was one of the 'Gang of Four' of senior British Labour Party politicians who defected to form the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He subsequently helped to lead the SDP into the merger that formed the Liberal Democrats in 1988, and later served as that party's leader in the House of Lords between 1997 and 2001.


The Lord Rodgers
of Quarry Bank

Lord Rodgers in 2019
Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords
In office
19 December 1997  7 June 2001
LeaderPaddy Ashdown
Charles Kennedy
Preceded byThe Lord Jenkins of Hillhead
Succeeded byThe Baroness Williams of Crosby
Secretary of State for Transport
In office
10 September 1976  4 May 1979
Prime MinisterJames Callaghan
Preceded byJohn Gilbert (Minister)
Succeeded byNorman Fowler (Minister)
Junior ministerial offices
Minister of State for Defence
In office
4 March 1974  10 September 1976
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
James Callaghan
Sec. of StateRoy Mason
Fred Mulley
Preceded byGeorge Younger
Succeeded byJohn Gilbert
Minister of State for the Treasury
In office
13 October 1969  19 June 1970
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
ChancellorRoy Jenkins
Preceded byDick Taverne
Succeeded byTerence Higgins
Minister of State for the Board of Trade
In office
1 July 1968  13 October 1969
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
PresidentAnthony Crosland
Roy Mason
Preceded byEdmund Dell
Succeeded byGoronwy Roberts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
7 January 1967  3 July 1968
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
Sec. of StateGeorge Brown
Michael Stewart
Preceded byThe Lord Walston
Succeeded byMaurice Foley (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs
In office
21 October 1964  7 January 1967
Serving with Maurice Foley (1964-1966)
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
Sec. of StateGeorge Brown
Michael Stewart
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byHarold Lever · Peter Shore
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
In office
14 June 1979  8 December 1980
LeaderJames Callaghan
Michael Foot
ShadowingFrancis Pym
Preceded byFred Mulley
Succeeded byBrynmor John
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
In office
4 May 1979  14 June 1979
LeaderJames Callaghan
ShadowingNorman Fowler (Minister)
Preceded byNorman Fowler
Succeeded byAlbert Booth
Parliamentary offices
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
12 February 1992
Life peerage
Member of Parliament
for Stockton-on-Tees
In office
6 April 1962  13 May 1983
Preceded byGeorge Chetwynd
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1928-10-28) 28 October 1928 (age 92)
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Political partyLabour (Before 1981)
Social Democrats (1981–1988)
Liberal Democrats (1988–present)
Alma materMagdalen College, Oxford