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Obituary: Lord Barnett

Politician and Birkbeck Fellow

Lord Joel Barnett died on 1 November 2014, aged 91.

Lord Barnett was educated in Manchester and began his working life as an accountant. Elected as the Member of Parliament for Heywood and Royton in 1964, he served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 1974 to 1979 and worked closely with Dennis Healey in the Callaghan government. During this time he devised the system for allocating public spending to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which became known as the Barnett formula - something he always considered a 'temporary fix'.

He was made a life peer in 1983 as Baron Barnett, of Heywood and Royton in Greater Manchester, and his public responsibilities included becoming a Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Vice-Chairman of the BBC. He was made a Fellow of Birkbeck in 1992 and a year later he became Chairman of the Birkbeck Appeal, running the College's successful fundraising campaign from 1993 to 1996.