The First Woman Paymaster General and Beyond, 1968–1991
Judith Hart was promoted to the Cabinet as Paymaster General, a post which she held for just over a year. For the first time in history, there were two women in Cabinet. However, Hart’s main contribution was as Minister for Overseas Development, a non-Cabinet post which she held three times. During her period as Minister, she cancelled the loans of the poorest countries, convinced the government to commit to a target of giving 0.7% GDP to aid, signed the Lomé agreement and focussed on agricultural development. When Labour lost the 1979 election, Judith Hart became embroiled in the struggle against Militant, a Trotskyist group. The chapter concludes with an assessment of her political life.