Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ROBERTS, MICHAEL HILARY ADAIR (1927-1983), Conservative politician.

He was born at Aberystwyth in May 1927, the son of the Revd T. A. Roberts, an Anglican priest who later became the Rector of Neath. He was educated at Neath Grammar School and the University College of Wales, Cardiff. He earned his living as an education officer for the RAF and later a schoolmaster. He was the first headmaster of the Bishop of Llandaff secondary school, Cardiff, 1963-70. He was also a coach to the Welsh Rugby Union, a member of the Bow Group and president of the Cardiff branch of the NUT. He was a consultant to the NUT, 1970-79, and earlier in his career he had served on the National Youth Advisory Committee.

Roberts stood as the Conservative candidate in the Aberdare by-election in 1954 against Arthur Probert, and in the Cardiff South East constituency in the general elections of 1955 and 1959 against James Callaghan . He was the Conservative MP for Cardiff North, 1970-February 1974, and, following major parliamentary boundary changes, for Cardiff North West from February 1974 until his death. He was appointed joint vice-chairman of the Conservative MPs education committee in 1974 and chosen opposition whip in the same year. In 1979 he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for Wales, the minister responsible for education in the Principality. He was president of the Conservative Trades Unionists, 1977-79, and he was elected president of the Association of Conservative Clubs in 1980. In 1974 Roberts became an associate director of John Addey Associates, a public relations company, and in 1975 he was appointed an industrial consultant to Minton, Treharne and Davies, the Cardiff analysts and chemical consultants.

He married Mrs Eileen Jean Evans, the daughter of C. H. Billing. They had two sons and a daughter; the daughter predeceased her father. They lived at Ashgrove Farm, Whitchurch in Cardiff. Roberts died on 10 February 1983 after having collapsed suddenly at the dispatch box of the House of Commons while replying during a debate on Welsh affairs. He had suffered from ill-health for two years previously. He was found to be dead on arrival at Westminster hospital. He was buried at Pantmawr cemetery.


  • Who was who? ;
  • Etholiadau'r Ganrif / Welsh Elections 1885-1997 (Talybont, 1999);
  • Welsh Hustings - 1885-2004 (Ammanford, 2005);
  • Dod's Parliamentary Companion ,
  • The Times , 12 Feb. 1983;
  • Western Mail , 11 Feb. 1983.


Dr John Graham Jones, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2008