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Denis Healey (Election '78)

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Denis Healey
Denis Healey
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office:

November 10, 1981 - November 30, 1989

Preceded by: James Callaghan
Succeded by: John Smith
Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office:

March 5, 1974 - November 10, 1981

Preceded by: Anthony Barber
Succeded by: Eric Varley
Secretary of State for Defence
In office:

October 16, 1964 - June 19, 1970

Preceded by: Peter Thorneycroft
Succeded by: Lord Carrington
Biography
Born:

August 30 1917, Mottingham, London

Died -
Nationality: British
Political party: Labour
Spouse:

Edna Edmunds

Children: 3
Alma mater:

Balliol College, Oxford

Occupation: Politician
Religion: None

Denis Healey (born August 30, 1917) is a British Labour party politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1981 - 1989), he previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1974 - 1981) and Defence Secretary (1964 - 1970).

Healey's tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer was the longest continuous tenure since Nicholas Vansittart nearly two centuries before, during one of the most turbulent periods in British political and economic history. In 1981 Callaghan retired from the premiership and Healey won the leadership contest to be his successor.

Healey's premiership coincided with the commencement of the revenue windfall from North Sea Oil, allowing Labour to spend unprecedented amounts on the Welfare State, and assuring low unemployment rates through the mid 1980's. He led Labour to a landslide election victory in 1983.

In Foreign affairs he was a staunch supporter of the NATO alliance, despite a famously icey personal relationship with US President Ronald Reagan. His government brought about the beginnings of the Northern Ireland peace process as well as the end of Apartheid in South Africa in 1989.

Labour was reelected in 1987, but with a reduced majority. During Healey's final term in office divisions emerged within the Labour Party between the right led by David Owen, and the left led by Neil Kinnock.

He resigned in 1989, stressing the need for new leadership. He remains the longest serving Labour Prime Minister, and behind Herbert Asquith and Winston Churchill, the third longest serving Prime Minister of the 20th century.


Early Life

Early Political Career

Chancellor of the Exchequer

Prime Minister

First Term 1981 - 1982

Falklands War

1982 general election

With a growing economy, a popular new leader, and a victory in the Falklands Labour was far ahead in the polls in the autumn of 1982. Healey decided to go to the country, holding the poll on October 14th. The campaign was relatively short, and labour was confident of being returned, but the scale of of Labour's election victory had not been predicted by many.

Second Term 1982 - 1987

Healey's second term in office was characterised as an era of high investment in public services and economic prosperity.

Northern Ireland

He signed the Anglo-Irish agreement with the Irish Taioseach Garret Fitzgerald in November 1984.


South Africa

At the October 1985 Commonwealth summit in Nassau Healey agreed to calls for a total Trade Embargo against South Africa, and working with the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was successful in rallying the international community in favour of a complete embargo. This led to the release of Anti-Apartheid activist Nelson Mandela the following year, and his election as South Africa's first black President in 1989.

1987 general election

Labour had been consistently ahead of the conservatives in the opinion polls through 1985 and 1986, although only by a narrow margin.


Healey was returned to office, but with a reduced majority.

Third Term 1987 - 1989

Economy

The market crash of October 1987 had a significant effect on the UK economy.

The decision to privatise British Airways in 1989 proved very controversial within the Labour Party, with the final privatisation bill only passing the commons due to the votes of conservative rebels.

Later Life

Healey stepped down from the house of commons at the 1991 election, and shortly afterwards was introduced to the House of Lords as Baron Healey or Riddlesden.

Cabinets

November 1981 - November 1982

Prime Minister - Denis Healey

Deputy Prime Minister - Michael Foot

Chancellor of the Exchequer - Eric Varley

Foreign Secretary - David Owen

Home Secretary - Roy Hattersley

Secretary of State for Defence - Bill Rodgers

Secretary of State for Education and Science - Neil Kinnock

Secretary of State for Employment -

Secretary of State for Energy -

Secretary of State for the Environment -

Secretary of State for Industry - Shirley Williams



November 1982 - October 1983

Prime Minister - Denis Healey

Chancellor of the Exchequer - Eric Varley

Foreign Secretary - David Owen

Home Secretary - Roy Hattersley

Secretary of State for Education -

Secretary of State for Defence -

Secretary of State for Industry -


October 1983 - October 1987

Secretary of State for Scotland - Donald Dewar

October 1987 - March 1989

Prime Minister - Denis Healey

Deputy Prime Minister - Roy Hattersley

Chancellor of the Exchequer - John Smith

Foreign Secretary - David Owen

Home Secretary - Shirley Williams

Secretary of State for Defence -

Secretary of State for Scotland - Donald Dewar

Chief Secretary to the Treasury - Gordon Brown

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