The Rt Hon Lord Baker of Dorking, president of the Old Pauline Club for the next two years, was born in 1934 and educated at Hampton Grammar School and St Paul's (1948-53). After reading history at Magdalen College, Oxford he worked for Royal Dutch Shell before being elected as MP for Acton at a by-election in March 1968 - he later represented St Marylebone and Mole Valley.
As minister for industry and information technology in Margaret Thatcher's first Conservative government, Kenneth Baker oversaw the privatisation of British Telecom and the introduction of computers into schools. In 1985 he became Secretary of State for the Environment before serving as Secretary of State for Education in 1986, instituting the National Curriculum in 1988. He also created city technology colleges and introduced in-service training days for teachers - popularly known as 'Baker days'.
Chairman of the Conservative Party when Margaret Thatcher resigned, he became Home Secretary in John Major's government, dealing with prison riots and introducing the Dangerous Dogs Act. In 1997 he was made a life peer as Baron Baker of Dorking.
Lord Baker is an active and independent-minded member of the House of Lords. Last year he announced that he was introducing a bill to prevent MPs not representing English constituencies from voting on matters that had been devolved to assemblies in Wales and Scotland, thus solving the West Lothian question. Made a Privy Councillor in 1984, he was awarded the Companion of Honour in 1992 and is a member of the House of Lords House Committee.
Chairman of Graphite Resources and of Search Logic, Kenneth is also a non-executive director of Stanley Leisure, chairman of Lehman Brothers European Merchant Banking Advisory Council and a consultant to Landsbanki Securities. In addition, he is president of The Royal London Society for the Blind, vice-chairman of the Cartoon Museum and a trustee of the Booker Prize Foundation.
He has published and edited several anthologies of poetry including The Faber Book of War Poetry and The Faber Book of English History in Verse. Other works include I Have No Gun But I Can Spit, books on caricatures and political cartoons including The King and Queens: An Irreverent Cartoon History of the Monarchy, The Prime Ministers: An Irreverent Political History in Cartoons and George IV: A Life in Caricature. His latest publication, George III: A Life in Caricature came out in September.
He is married to Mary Gray-Muir and they have a son and two daughters.