James Callaghan

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The Lord Callaghan of Cardiff

James Callaghan (1974).jpg
James Callaghan (1974)
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
5 April 1976 – 4 May 1979
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byHarold Wilson
Succeeded byMargaret Thatcher
Personal details
Born
Leonard James Callaghan

(1912-03-27)27 March 1912
Portsmouth, England
Died26 March 2005(2005-03-26) (aged 92)
East Sussex, England
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)
Audrey Moulton [en]
(m. 1938; died 2005)
Children3

Leonard James "Jim" Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC (/ˈkæləˌhæn/; 27 March 1912 – 26 March 2005) was a British Labour politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) from 1976 to 1979.[1]

Born in the 1910s, Callaghan was an old-style socialist, lacking any higher education,[1] and served as Member of Parliament (MP) for a Cardiff constituency.[1] He is the only person to have held all three leading UK Cabinet positions (Chancellor, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary),[2] prior to their premiership. He was never expected to reach the premiership, having taken a back seat to the younger and more charismatic Harold Wilson for many years. However, when Wilson unexpectedly announced his retirement in 1976, Callaghan was the most experienced candidate to replace him. His time as prime minister was one of more open government,[3] but the electorate was dissatisfied with his relaxed response to high inflation and more industrial unrest, and replaced Labour with a Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher.

Callaghan resigned as Leader of the Labour Party shortly afterwards, but remained an MP for some years before being sent to the House of Lords as Baron Callaghan of Cardiff.[1]

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