Remembering Frank Judd (1935–2021)

19 April, 2021

Humanists UK is saddened to hear of the death of former Labour Party peer, Frank Judd.

Lord Judd represented Portsmouth as an MP between 1966 and 1979, and served as a minister in the Wilson and Callaghan governments.

He held a variety of posts in government, serving as minister for the Royal Navy and overseas development, and later had a stint in the Foreign Office.

He was a director of Oxfam before being appointed a life peer in 1991.

Frank was an active member of the Lords until the very end of his life, and regularly spoke on a wide range of issues relating to human rights and social justice.

He was a self-described ‘humanist Anglican’ who spoke up on behalf of the non-religious on a regular basis in Parliament as a committed  member of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG). During a debate on the makeup of the House of Lords in 2017, Lord Judd stated that the issue of the privileges afforded to the Church of England in the chamber could not be dodged and undermined the House’s credibility.

In 2019, he signed a letter organised by Humanists UK urging the Government to ban new state schools which can select 100% of pupils based on their religious beliefs. In January 2021, he signed a joint letter from the APPHG to the Prime Minister, raising concern about the appointment of Fiona Bruce MP as the Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief, due to her views on a number of human rights related issues

Lord Judd was also a supporter of humanist marriage and of Humanist UK’s call for an inquiry into assisted dying, signing a joint letter signed by 56 MPs and peers and organised by Humanists UK in April 2021.

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented:

‘We are deeply saddened by this news. Frank was good friend of ⁦Humanists UK⁩ and did so much to support all our issues and campaigns. He did a lot of good in a life well-lived, dedicated to peace and justice.’


Read his obituary in The Telegraph.

Read his obituary in the Evening Standard.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 85,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

The All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group is a cross-party group of Members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords of all the main parties, including members from the Crossbenches in the Lords. The Group has grown rapidly, from its first beginnings in the 1960s and now has over 110. The Group is not part of Humanists UK, but Humanists UK provides the secretariat for the Group.