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Roy Jenkins the minister: Labour hero or liberal?
Over a political career spanning the postwar era from Attlee to Blair, Roy Jenkins’ ministerial service, particularly as Home Secretary in 1965-67, is widely recognised by both supporters and opponents alike as having left a significant legacy. Before leaving the Commons after nearly 30 years as an MP to become President of the European Commission in 1977, Jenkins had been: Minister of Aviation (1964-65), Home Secretary (1965-67), Chancellor of the Exchequer (1967-70), Shadow Chancellor and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (1970-72), Shadow Home Secretary (1973-74) and Home Secretary (1974-76).
To mark the publication of the acclaimed authorised biography Roy Jenkins: A Well-Rounded Life, by John Campbell we are delighted to be joined by the biographer himself (who has also written highly praised books on Margaret Thatcher, Edward Heath, Lloyd George, FE Smith and Aneurin Bevan) and leading Labour figures from the period of Jenkins’ ministerial career:
- Dick Taverne, Lord Taverne QC was Labour MP for Lincoln 1962-72 and Democratic Labour MP for the seat 1973-74. Treasurer of the Gaitskellite Campaign for Democratic Socialism, and briefly Denis Healey’s PPS, he served as one of Roy Jenkins’ ministers both at the Home Office and at the Treasury 1966-1970 before serving as Shadow Chief Secretary of Treasury during Jenkins’ period as Shadow Chancellor 1970-72. He was later the first Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and is now a Liberal Democrat peer. He has recently published a memoir Against the Tide: Politics and Beyond.
- Ivor Richard, Rt Hon Lord Richard QC was Labour MP for Barons Court 1964-74, Denis Healey’s PPS 1966-67, Under-Secretary of State for the Army 1969-70, Shadow Broadcasting, Posts and Telecommunications Minister 1970-71 and Shadow Deputy Foreign Secretary 1971-74. He was UK Permanent Representative at the United Nations 1974-79 and succeeded Jenkins as one of the UK’s European Commissioners in 1980. He was later Leader of the Labour Peers 1992-98 and Leader of the House of Lords 1997-98 whilst Jenkins was Leader of the Liberal Democrat Peers.
- Bernard Donoughue, Lord Donoughue was Head of the Downing Street Policy Unit for both Labour Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and James Callaghan 1974-79. A former Secretary of the Gaitskellite Campaign for Democratic Socialism, he was arguably the leading ‘Jenkinsite’ amongst Harold Wilson’s famous ‘kitchen cabinet’. He was later a Labour frontbencher 1991-99. His memoirs and Downing Street diaries are required reading for an understanding of the era.
Date: 6.45pm, Wednesday 16th July 2014 (please allow at least 15 minutes to get through security)
Venue: Committee Room 4, House of Lords
When & Where
Labour History Group
Founded in 2002 as a forum for the discussion and debate of issues and personalities in Labour history, the Labour History Group organises regular events.