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. He was given the middle name "Winston" after Winston Churchill, who was an important politician at the time Denis was born. 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 | edit 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 | edit source]
- Mark Hookham (03-12-2008). "Denis Healey: 'The best Prime Minister we never had'". Yorkshire Evening Post. http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/features/Denis-Healey-The-best-Prime.4755451.jp. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- Kaufman, Gerald (13 March 2000). "Debates for 13 Mar 2000 (pt 20)". Hansard (London: House of Commons). http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmhansrd/vo000313/debtext/00313-20.htm. Retrieved 31 January 2009.