Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was a British stateswoman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century and the first woman to hold that office. A Soviet journalist dubbed her "The'Iron Lady'", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style; as Prime Minister, she implemented policies known as Thatcherism. She studied chemistry at Somerville College and worked as a research chemist, before becoming a barrister. Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his Conservative government. In 1975, Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election to become Leader of the Opposition, the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom, she became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election.
Thatcher introduced a series of economic policies intended to reverse high unemployment and Britain's struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an ongoing recession. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, reducing the power and influence of trade unions. Thatcher's popularity in her first years in office waned amid recession and rising unemployment, until victory in the 1982 Falklands War and the recovering economy brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her decisive re-election in 1983, she survived an assassination attempt in the Brighton hotel bombing in 1984. Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987, but her subsequent support for the Community Charge was unpopular, her views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet, she resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership.
After retiring from the Commons in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. In 2013, she died of a stroke in London at the age of 87. Always a controversial figure, she is nonetheless viewed favourably in historical rankings of British prime ministers, her tenure constituted a realignment towards neoliberal policies in the United Kingdom. Margaret Hilda Roberts was born on 13 October 1925, in Lincolnshire, her parents were Alfred Roberts, from Northamptonshire, Beatrice Ethel, from Lincolnshire. She spent her childhood in Grantham. In 1938, prior to the Second World War, the Roberts family gave sanctuary to a teenage Jewish girl who had escaped Nazi Germany. Margaret, with her pen-friending elder sister Muriel, saved pocket money to help pay for the teenager's journey. Alfred Roberts was an alderman and a Methodist local preacher, brought up his daughter as a strict Wesleyan Methodist, attending the Finkin Street Methodist Church.
He stood as an Independent. He served as Mayor of Grantham in 1945–46 and lost his position as alderman in 1952 after the Labour Party won its first majority on Grantham Council in 1950. Margaret Roberts attended Huntingtower Road Primary School and won a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School, a grammar school, her school reports showed continual improvement. She was head girl in 1942–43. In her upper sixth year she applied for a scholarship to study chemistry at the University of Oxford's Somerville College, a women's college at the time, but she was rejected and was offered a place only after another candidate withdrew. Roberts arrived at Oxford in 1943 and graduated in 1947 with Second-Class Honours, in the four-year Chemistry Bachelor of Science degree, specialising in X-ray crystallography under the supervision of Dorothy Hodgkin, her dissertation was on the structure of the antibiotic gramicidin. Thatcher did not devote herself to studying chemistry as she only intended to be a chemist for a short period of time.
While working on the subject, she was thinking towards law and politics. She was prouder of becoming the first Prime Minister with a science degree than becoming the first woman, as Prime Minister attempted to preserve Somerville as a women's college. During her time at Oxford, she was noted for her isolated and serious attitude, her first boyfriend, Tony Bray, recalled that she was "very thoughtful and a good conversationalist. That's what interested me, she was good at general subjects". Her enthusiasm for politics as a girl made him think of her as "unusual". Bray met Roberts' parents and described them as "slightly austere" and "very proper". At the end of the term at Oxford, Bray became more distant and hoped for their relationship to "fizzle out". Bray recalled that he thought Roberts had taken the relationship more than he had done; when asked about Bray in life, Thatcher prevaricated but acknowledged the circumstances between herself and Bray. Roberts became President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1946.
She was influenced at university by political works such as Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, which condemned economic intervention by government as a
Paul Yaw Boateng, Baron Boateng is a British Labour Party politician, the Member of Parliament for Brent South from 1987 to 2005, becoming the UK's first mixed-race Cabinet Minister in May 2002, when he was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Following his departure from the House of Commons, he served as the British High Commissioner to South Africa from March 2005 to May 2009, he was introduced as a member of the House of Lords on 1 July 2010. Boateng was born in London of mixed Ghanaian and Scottish heritage, his father, Kwaku Boateng, was Cabinet Minister during Kwame Nkrumah's regime. There, Boateng attended Accra Academy a high School in Ghana. Boateng's life in Ghana came to an abrupt end after his father went to jail in 1966 following a military coup, which toppled the Ghanaian government at the time, his father was imprisoned without trial for four years. Boateng aged fifteen, his sister, fled to the UK with their mother, they settled in Hemel Hempstead. He read Law at the University of Bristol and began his career in civil rights as a solicitor, though he retrained as a barrister.
He worked on social and community cases, starting under renowned civil rights advocate Benedict Birnberg, involving women's rights and police complaints, including a period from 1977-1981 as the legal advisor for the Scrap Sus Campaign. Boateng was an executive member of the National Council for Civil Liberties, he represented Cherry Groce, a mother of six, shot and paralysed by a police officer during a raid on her home, in search for her son. He became a partner at the firm B M Birnberg & Co, as a barrister, he practised at Eight King's Bench Walk. Boateng was elected to the Greater London Council for Walthamstow in 1981, under the leadership of Ken Livingstone; as chair of the GLC's police committee and vice-chair of its ethnic minorities committee, he advocated greater accountability in the Metropolitan Police and spoke out against racism in relation to their dealings with the black and Asian communities. He unsuccessfully stood as a parliamentary candidate for Hertfordshire West at the 1983 general election.
He was elected at the general election of 1987, when he became the MP for Brent South in succession to Laurence Pavitt, being one of the first three Black British MPs. During his victory speech he said: "We can never be free in Brent until South Africa is free too." He declared, "Today Brent South, tomorrow Soweto!" Like many other members of the left-wing in the 1980s, he became more moderate under the leadership of Neil Kinnock, who made him a junior Treasury spokesman in 1989, making him the first mixed-race person to join the front bench as a party spokesperson. His portfolio included industrial strategies and corporate responsibility. In 1992, he became shadow minister for the Lord Chancellor's Department, a post he held until the 1997 general election, where he was a strong advocate for increasing pro bono legal services among UK law firms. With Labour's landslide victory in 1997, Boateng became the UK's first mixed-race government minister as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health, where he was responsible for social services, mental health and disabled people.
In that position, he published guidelines to end the denial of adoptions purely on the basis of race. In 1998, Boateng became a Minister of State at the Home Office and subsequently became Number 2 Minister there, he was made a Privy Councillor in 1999. He earned a reputation for being tough on crime with regard to aggressive begging on the streets, he worked with Eric Holder United States Deputy Attorney-General, Louis Freeh Director of the FBI, on issues related to international drug trafficking and interdiction. His portfolio was expanded in 2000, he became the first Minister for Young People, where his priority was to listen to and be a voice for Britain's youth, he launched the Youth and Social Change programme the UK's largest research project designed to examine social exclusion and promoting citizenship among young people. He played a leading role in establishing and launching the £450,000,000 Children's Fund designed to tackle child poverty. Boateng's ministerial colleagues encouraged him to stand as the Labour candidate to be the Mayor of London.
Boateng supported the candidacy of Frank Dobson, with whom he had served in the Department of Health. In 2001, he was made Financial Secretary to the Treasury, was promoted to the position of Chief Secretary to the Treasury in May 2002, becoming Britain's first mixed-race cabinet minister, he was quoted as saying "My colour is part of me but I do not choose to be defined by my colour." His appointment was greeted with praise by civil rights activists who said that his appointment gave hope to young black youths, would inspire them to become involved in politics. To commemorate this historic achievement, Parliament commissioned a painting of Boateng by Jonathan Yeo, displayed in the collection of 21st Century Parliamentarians. In his role as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, he was responsible for finalising the Spending Review of 2002 and leading the Spending Review of 2004. Boateng, coordinating with Sir Peter Gershon's report, announced in 2004 the government's efficiency programme to save over £20,000,000,000 in the public sector.
Boateng played a leading role in coordinating the Every Child Matters policy paper, which c
1983 Labour Party (UK) leadership election
The 1983 Labour Party leadership election was an election in the United Kingdom for the leadership of the Labour Party. It occurred when former leader Michael Foot resigned after winning only 209 seats at the 1983 general election, a loss of 60 seats compared to their performance at the previous election four years earlier; this was the worst showing for Labour since 1931. Neil Kinnock was elected Leader with 71% of the Electoral College vote; the election took place at Labour Party conference, with affiliated trade unions holding 40% of the votes, delegates from Constituency Labour Parties holding 30% of the votes, the Parliamentary Labour Party holding the final 30% of the votes. Soon after the 1983 election defeat it became clear that there was pressure on Foot to resign, with David Basnett, chairman of Trade Unions for Labour Victory which funded the campaign, arguing for a quick announcement on the future of the leadership saying "the sooner it is done the better". On 12 June 1983, three days after the general election, Clive Jenkins announced, on behalf of the Association of Scientific and Managerial Staffs, that his union had nominated Foot for re-election.
This allowed Foot to declare his intention to stand down. Early speculation days after the election saw the possible candidates as Denis Healey, Neil Kinnock, Roy Hattersley, Gerald Kaufman and Peter Shore; however immediately after Foot announced his intention to resign, Clive Jenkins announced that his union had switched its nomination to Kinnock, which he accepted. Other union leaders contributed support for Hattersley. Basnett stated on Channel 4 "I will tell you who I think ought to be the leadership team – it ought to be Kinnock and Hattersley" while Gavin Laird, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers, backed Hattersley as leader, Kinnock as his deputy. Roy Hattersley, Shadow Home Secretary, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Sparkbrook Eric Heffer, Shadow Minister for Europe, Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton Neil Kinnock, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Member of Parliament for Islwyn Peter Shore, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Stepney Of the four contenders who stood to replace Foot, Kinnock was favoured to win.
The results of the election, held at Labour Party Conference, were: Neil Kinnock won the election with an outright majority and Roy Hattersley became his deputy, beating Michael Meacher. Kinnock remained leader until 1992. Kinnock fought in both unsuccessfully, he failed to beat Margaret Thatcher in the 1987 general election despite gaining some seats. Kinnock resigned as leader after a fourth successive Labour defeat at the hands of John Major in the 1992 election, he resigned as leader shortly afterwards. Labour Deputy Leadership Election, 1983 Labour Party
Bernard Alexander Montgomery Grant was a British Labour Party politician, the Member of Parliament for Tottenham from 1987 to his death in 2000. Bernie Grant was born in Georgetown, British Guiana, to schoolteacher parents, who in 1963 took up the UK Government's offer at the time to people from the crown colonies to settle in the UK. Grant attended Tottenham Technical College, went on to take a degree course in Mining Engineering at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. In the mid-1960s, he was, for a member of the Socialist Labour League, led by Gerry Healy; this became known as the Workers Revolutionary Party. He became a trade union official, moved into politics, becoming a Labour councillor in the London Borough of Haringey in 1978; when the Conservative government at the time introduced "rate capping", Grant led the fight against it in the borough. This created division in the local Constituency Labour Party, but through this split, Grant became the Borough of Haringey leader in 1985, he took control of the rebuilding project of Alexandra Palace, destroyed in a fire.
The project had £15,000,000 in cash, but the lack of financial control saw this surplus turn into deficit and interest payments took the debt to a total of £80,000,000. As Council leader during the 1985 Broadwater Farm riot, in which a policeman, PC Keith Blakelock, was murdered, Grant was brought to national attention when he was quoted as saying: "What the police got was a bloody good hiding." Grant claimed his words had been taken out of context, but offered an apology to the family of PC Blakelock. A fuller version of the quotation is: "The youths around here believe the police were to blame for what happened on Sunday and what they got was a bloody good hiding." His comments brought swift denunciation from the Labour Party leadership, the Conservative Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, called him "the high priest of conflict". He claimed that he was explaining to a wider audience what the feeling on the estate was like. There is conflicting information over whether Grant condemned the violence of the rioters the following day.
The controversy, did not prevent him from being elected as the MP for Tottenham at the 1987 general election, one of the UK's first Black British MPs, the others being Diane Abbott and Paul Boateng. Grant stood for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party, but was unsuccessful. In 1989, he established and chaired the Parliamentary Black Caucus, modelled after the Congressional Black Caucus of the United States; the organisation was committed to advancing the opportunities of Britain's ethnic minority communities. Grant was associated with the Socialist Campaign Group, spoke out against police racism, he married three times. He died from a heart attack at Middlesex Hospital on 8 April 2000, aged 56, his funeral procession on 18 April passed through Tottenham towards a service at Alexandra Palace, pausing as it passed the Broadwater Farm estate. According to The Guardian′s report, "An estimated 3,000 people... turned out to salute the black radical. There were a Highland piper and African drums.
Present were Home Secretary, Jack Straw, Chris Smith, Culture Secretary, Clare Short, Minister for International Development, Paul Boateng and Keith Vaz, Britain's most senior Black ministers." His widow, Sharon Grant, was on the shortlist to succeed him as the official Labour candidate for Tottenham, but was beaten by the then-27-year-old David Lammy, who won the by-election in June 2000. In September 2007, in Tottenham, Haringey Council opened the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in his name. On Sunday, 28 October 2012, a blue plaque, organised by the Nubian Jak Community Trust, was unveiled at Tottenham Old Town Hall in tribute to Bernie Grant. On 5 December 2017, a portrait of Grant was unveiled in Parliament; the portrait was commissioned by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art. Drawn in 180 hours using pencil and charcoal by hyper-realist artist Kelvin Okafor, the portrait joined the Parliamentary Art Collection. Times Guide to the House of Commons 1997 Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Bernie Grant Mike Phillips, "Bernie Grant -Passionate leftwing MP and tireless anti-racism campaigner", The Guardian, 10 April 2000.
Black Presence – Bernie Grant MP berniegrantarchive.org.uk The Bernie Grant Archives, held at Bishopsgate Institute
Ulster Unionist Party
The Ulster Unionist Party is a unionist political party in Northern Ireland. Having gathered support in Northern Ireland during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the party governed Northern Ireland between 1921 and 1972, it was supported by most unionist voters throughout the conflict known as the Troubles, during which time it was referred to as the Official Unionist Party. Between 1905 and 1972 its MPs took the Conservative whip at Westminster, considered as part of the Conservative Party, it is the fourth-largest party in Northern Ireland, having been overtaken in 2003 by the DUP and Sinn Féin, in 2017 by the SDLP. At the 2015 general election, the party won two seats in the House of Commons and South Tyrone and South Antrim. At the 2017 snap election, the party lost these two seats, made no gains. In 2016, the UUP, the SDLP and the Alliance Party decided not to accept the seats on the Northern Ireland Executive to which they would have been entitled and to form an official opposition to the executive.
This marked the first time since 1921 that a devolved government in Northern Ireland did not include the UUP. The party was led by Mike Nesbitt, but on 3 March 2017 he announced his resignation following the party's poor performance at that year's assembly election; the Ulster Unionist Party traces its formal existence back to the foundation of the Ulster Unionist Council in 1905. Before that, there had been a less formally organised Irish Unionist Alliance since the late 19th century dominated by unionists from Ulster. Modern organised unionism properly emerged after William Ewart Gladstone's introduction in 1886 of the first of three Home Rule Bills in response to demands by the Irish Parliamentary Party; the IUA was an alliance of Irish Conservatives and Liberal Unionists, the latter having split from the Liberal Party over the issue of home rule. It was the merger of these two parties in 1912 that gave rise to the current name of the Conservative and Unionist Party, to which the UUP was formally linked until 1985.
From the beginning, the party had a strong association with the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal organisation. The original composition of the Ulster Unionist Council was 25% Orange delegates, however this was reduced through the years. Although most unionist support was based in the geographic area that became Northern Ireland, there were at one time unionist enclaves throughout southern Ireland. Unionists in County Cork and Dublin were influential; the initial leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party all came from outside what would become Northern Ireland. However, after the Irish Convention failed to reach an understanding on home rule and with the partition of Ireland under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, Irish unionism in effect split. Many southern unionist politicians became reconciled with the new Irish Free State, sitting in its Seanad or joining its political parties; the existence of a separate Ulster Unionist Party became entrenched as the party took control of the new government of Northern Ireland.
The leadership of the UUP was taken by Sir Edward Carson in 1910. Throughout his 11-year leadership he fought a sustained campaign against Irish Home Rule, including being involved in the formation of the Ulster Volunteers in 1912. In the 1918 general election, Carson switched constituencies from his former seat of Dublin University to Belfast Duncairn. Carson opposed the partition of Ireland and the end of unionism as an all-Ireland political force, so he refused the opportunity to be Prime Minister of Northern Ireland or to sit in the Northern Ireland House of Commons, citing a lack of connection with the place; the leadership of the UUP and, Northern Ireland, was taken by Sir James Craig. Until the end of its period of power in Northern Ireland, the UUP was led by a combination of landed gentry and gentrified industrial magnates. Only its last Prime Minister, Brian Faulkner, was from a middle-class background. During this era, all but 11 of the 149 UUP Stormont MPs were members of the Orange Order, as were all Prime Ministers.
James Craig governed Northern Ireland from its inception until his death in 1940 and is buried with his wife by the east wing of Parliament Buildings. His successor, J. M. Andrews, was criticised for appointing octogenarian veterans of Craigavon's administration to his cabinet, his government was believed to be more interested in protecting the statue of Carson at the Stormont Estate than the citizens of Belfast during the Belfast blitz. A backbench revolt in 1943 resulted in his resignation and replacement by Sir Basil Brooke, although he was recognised as leader of the party until 1946. Brookeborough, despite having felt that Craigavon had held on to power for too long, was Prime Minister for one year longer. During this time he was on more than one occasion called to meetings of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland to explain his actions, most notably following the 1947 Education Act which made the government responsible for the payment of National Insurance contributions of teachers in Catholic Church-controlled schools.
Ian Paisley called for Brookeborough's resignation in 1953 when he refused to sack Brian Maginess and Clarence Graham, who had given speeches supporting re-admitting Catholics to the UUP. He retired in 1963 and was repl
Plymouth Devonport (UK Parliament constituency)
Plymouth, Devonport was, from 1832 until 2010, a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It covered part of the city of Plymouth in South West England, including the former borough of Devonport; the constituency was created as Devonport in 1832, elected two members until 1918, when the number was reduced to one. Following the amalgamation of Devonport into Plymouth, the constituency was renamed as Plymouth, Devonport. Devonport has had a number of prominent MPs, including Leslie Hore-Belisha, Michael Foot, the former SDP leader David Owen. One of its longest serving MPs was the Conservative Dame Joan Vickers, who held the seat from 1955 until her defeat at the General Election of February 1974. Following a review of parliamentary representation in Devon by the Boundary Commission for England, constituencies in Plymouth have been reorganised, with both Plymouth Devonport and Plymouth Sutton being replaced by new constituencies of Plymouth Sutton and Devonport and Plymouth Moor View.
1918-1950: The County Borough of Plymouth wards of Ford, Molesworth, Nelson, St Aubyn, St Budeaux. 1950-1955: The County Borough of Plymouth wards of Ford, Molesworth, Mount Edgecumbe, Pennycross, St Aubyn, St Budeaux, St Peter, Stoke. 1955-1974: The County Borough of Plymouth wards of Drake, Ford, Nelson, St Andrew, St Aubyn, St Budeaux, St Peter, Stoke. 1974-1983: The County Borough of Plymouth wards of Ernesettle, Ford, St Andrew, St Aubyn, St Budeaux, St Peter, Stoke. 1983-1997: The City of Plymouth wards of Budshead, Ham, Keyham, St Budeaux, Southway. 1997-2010: The City of Plymouth wards of Budshead, Estover, Honicknowle, Keyham, St Budeaux, Southway. From 1950 to 1983, the constituency included Plymouth city centre. Codrington resigned by accepting the office of Steward of the Manor of East Hendred, causing a by-election. Grey was appointed requiring a by-election. Romilly was appointed Solicitor General for Wales, requiring a by-election. Romilly was appointed Attorney General for Wales, requiring a by-election.
Romilly was appointed Master of the Rolls. Tufnell resigned. Wilson was appointed Vice-President of the Board of Trade. Perry resigned after being appointed a member of the Council of India. Wilson resigned. Seymour resigned. Buller resigned; the election was declared void on petition, on account of bribery and corrupt practices, causing a by-election. General Election 1914/15: Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915; the political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the July 1914, the following candidates had been selected. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1939 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected; this constituency underwent boundary changes between the 1992 and 1997 general elections and thus change in share of vote is based on a notional calculation. List of Parliamentary constituencies in Devon Craig, F. W. S.. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949.
Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X
David Anthony Llewellyn Owen, Baron Owen, is a British politician and physician. Owen served as British Foreign Secretary from 1977 to 1979, at the age of 38 the youngest person in over forty years to hold the post. In 1981, Owen was one of the "Gang of Four" who left the Labour Party to found the Social Democratic Party. Owen led the SDP from 1983 to 1987, the continuing SDP from 1988 to 1990, he sat in the House of Lords as a crossbencher until March 2014, now sits as an "independent social democrat". In the course of his career, Owen has held, resigned from, a number of senior posts, he first quit as Labour's spokesman on defence in 1972 in protest at the Labour leader Harold Wilson's attitude to the EEC. He resigned from the Labour Party when it rejected one member, one vote in February 1981 and as Leader of the Social Democratic Party, which he had helped to found, after the party's rank-and-file membership voted to merge with the Liberal Party. Owen was born in 1938 in Devon, England, he has Swiss and Irish ancestry.
After schooling at Mount House School and Bradfield College, Berkshire, he was admitted to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, in 1956 to study Medicine, obtained a 2:2. He began clinical training at St Thomas's Hospital in October 1959. Owen was affected by the Suez crisis of 1956, when Anthony Eden's Conservative government launched a military operation to retrieve the Suez Canal after Nasser's decision to nationalise it. At the time, aged 18, he was working on a labouring job before going to Cambridge. In 1960, Owen joined the Vauxhall branch of the Fabian Society, he began work at St Thomas's Hospital. In 1964, he contested the Torrington seat as the Labour candidate against the Conservative Party incumbent, losing in what was a traditional Conservative-Liberal marginal, he was neurology and psychiatric registrar at St Thomas's Hospital for two years, as assistant to Dr. William Sargant Research Fellow on the Medical Unit doing research into Parkinsonian trauma and neuropharmacology. At the next general election, in 1966, Owen returned to his home town and was elected Labour Member of Parliament for the Plymouth Sutton constituency.
In the February 1974 general election Owen became Labour MP for the adjacent Plymouth Devonport constituency, winning it from the Conservative incumbent Dame Joan Vickers by a slim margin. He managed to hold on to it in the 1979 general election, again by a narrow margin. From 1981, his involvement with the SDP meant he developed a large personal following in the constituency and thereafter he was re-elected as an SDP candidate with safe margins, he remained as MP for Plymouth Devonport until his elevation to a peerage in 1992. From 1968 to 1970, Owen served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Navy in Harold Wilson's first government. After Labour's defeat in the 1970 General Election, he became the party's Junior Defence Spokesman until 1972 when he resigned with Roy Jenkins over Labour's opposition to the European Community. On Labour's return to government in March 1974, he became Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health before being promoted to Minister of State for Health in July 1974.
As Minister of State for Health he encouraged Britain to become "self-sufficient" in blood products such as Factor VIII, a recommendation promoted by the World Health Organisation. This was principally due to the risk of Hepatitis infection from high-risk blood donors overseas who were paid and from "skid-row" locations. David Owen has been outspoken that his policy of "Self-Sufficiency" was not put into place and gave rise to the Tainted Blood Scandal which saw 5,000 British Haemophiliacs infected with Hepatitis C, 1,200 of those were infected with HIV, it was described in the House of Lords as "the worst treatment disaster in the history of the National Health Service". In September 1976, Owen was appointed by the new Prime Minister of five months, James Callaghan, as a Minister of State at the Foreign Office, was admitted to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. Five months however, the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Crosland and Owen was appointed his successor. Aged 38, he became the youngest Foreign Secretary since Anthony Eden in 1935.
As Foreign Secretary, Owen was identified with the Anglo-American plan for Rhodesia, which formed the basis for the Lancaster House Agreement, negotiated by his Tory successor, Lord Carrington, in December 1979. The Contact Group sponsored UN Resolution 435 in 1978 on which Namibia moved to independence twelve years later, he championed that cause in Africa and in the Soviet Union. He has admitted to at one stage contemplating the assassination of Idi Amin while Foreign Secretary but settled instead to backing with money for arms purchases to President Nyerere of Tanzania in his armed attack on Uganda which led to the exile of Amin to Saudi Arabia. Shortly after Labour's defeat in the 1979 General Election and following the election of a new Shadow Cabinet Callaghan moved Owen from the position of Shadow Foreign Secretary to Shadow Energy Secretary, a move, reported as being a demotion.18 months after Labour lost power, the staunchly left-wing politician Michael Foot was elected party leader, despite vocal opposition from Labour Party moderates, sparking a crisis over the party's future.
Michael Foot's election as Labour party leader indicate