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Michael Foot

British Labour leader

Died when: 96 years 223 days (1159 months)
Star Sign: Leo

 

Michael Foot

Michael Mackintosh Foot (23 July 1913 – 3 March 2010) was a British Labour Party politician who served as Labour Leader from 1980 to 1983.Foot began his career as a journalist on Tribune and the Evening Standard.

He co-wrote the 1940 polemic against appeasement of Adolf Hitler, Guilty Men, under a pseudonym.Foot served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1945 to 1955 and again from 1960 until he retired in 1992.

A passionate orator, and associated with the left wing of the Labour Party for most of his career, Foot was an ardent supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and of British withdrawal from the European Economic Community (EEC).

He was appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Employment under Harold Wilson in 1974, and he later served as Leader of the House of Commons (1976–1979) under James Callaghan.

He was also Deputy Leader of the Labour Party under Callaghan from 1976 to 1980.Elected as a compromise candidate, Foot served as the Leader of the Labour Party, and Leader of the Opposition from 1980 to 1983.

His strongly left-wing political positions and criticisms of his vacillating leadership made him an unpopular leader.Not particularly telegenic, he was nicknamed "Worzel Gummidge" for his rumpled appearance.

A right-wing faction of the party broke away in 1981 to form the SDP.Foot led Labour into the 1983 general election, when the party obtained its lowest share of the vote since the 1918 general election and the fewest parliamentary seats it had had at any time since before 1945, which remained the case until Labour's defeat at the 2019 election.

He resigned the party leadership following the election, and was succeeded as leader by Neil Kinnock.Books authored by Michael Foot include Guilty Men (1940);

The Pen and the Sword (1957), a biography of Jonathan Swift; and a biography of Aneurin Bevan.


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