Denis Healey

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Healey
CH MBE PC FRSL
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
In office
4 November 1980 – 2 October 1983
Leader Michael Foot
Preceded by Michael Foot
Succeeded by Roy Hattersley
Shadow Foreign Secretary
In office
8 December 1980 – 13 July 1987
Leader Michael Foot
Neil Kinnock
Preceded by Peter Shore
Succeeded by Gerald Kaufman
In office
20 June 1970 – 19 April 1972
Leader Harold Wilson
Preceded by Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Succeeded by James Callaghan
In office
11 October 1959 – 2 November 1961
Leader Hugh Gaitskell
Preceded by Aneurin Bevan
Succeeded by Harold Wilson
Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
5 March 1974 – 4 May 1979
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
James Callaghan
Preceded by Anthony Barber
Succeeded by Sir Geoffrey Howe
Secretary of State for Defence
In office
16 October 1964 – 19 June 1970
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by Peter Thorneycroft
Succeeded by The Lord Carrington
Member of Parliament
for Leeds East
In office
26 May 1955 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by Constituency Created
Succeeded by George Mudie
Member of Parliament
for Leeds South East
In office
14 February 1952 – 26 May 1955
Preceded by James Milner
Succeeded by Alice Bacon
Personal details
Born 30 August 1917 (1917-08-30) (age 96)
Mottingham, London, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Edna Edmunds
(m. 1945–2010; her death)
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Military service
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Royal Engineers
Years of service 1940–1945
Rank Major
Battles/wars World War II
North African Campaign
Italian Campaign
Battle of Anzio

Denis Winston Healey, Baron Healey CH, MBE, PC (born 30 August 1917) is a British Labour politician. He was Secretary of State for Defence from 1964 to 1970 and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1974 to 1979.

Healey was born in Mottingham, Kent, and moved with his family to Keighley in the West Riding of Yorkshire when he was five years old.[1] He was given the middle name "Winston" after Winston Churchill, who was an important politician at the time Denis was born.[2] Healey was one of three children. Their father was an engineer who had worked his way up by taking extra lessons at night school.

Healey went to Bradford Grammar School, and in 1936 he won a typo of scholarship known as an "exhibition", which gave him enough money to take a degree at Balliol College, Oxford. At Oxford University he got involved in politics, and he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1937. In 1939, not liking the party's policies, he changed his mind. From that time on, he supported the Labour Party, even though one of his best friends at university, Edward Heath, supported the Conservative Party.

World War II and afterwards[change | change source]

After getting his degree, Healey joined the Royal Engineers, and served in the British forces in several countries during World War II. He took an important part in the Battle of Anzio, towards the end of the war. After the war, he joined the Labour Party, and made an important speech to the Labour Party conference in 1945, shortly before the United Kingdom general election, 1945.

In February 1952, Healey became the Member of Parliament for Leeds South East. He supported Hugh Gaitskell, the leader of the Labour Party. When Gaitskell died in 1963, Healey became a supporter of Harold Wilson. When Labour won the 1964 election Healey was given the job of Secretary of State for Defence. Labour lost power in 1970, but Healey was given the job of Shadow Chancellor in April 1972.

When Labour won a general election in March 1974 and came back into power, Healey became Chancellor of the Exchequer in March 1974. When Harold Wilson resigned as Prime Minister in 1976, Healey was one of those who hoped to take over, but he was not chosen. He continued in the job of Chancellor of the Exchequer when James Callaghan took over as Prime Minister.

References[change | change source]