Roy Jenkins

Roy Harris Jenkins, Baron Jenkins of Hillhead, OM, PC (11 November 1920 – 5 January 2003), was a British Labour Party, SDP and Liberal Democrat politician, and biographer of British political leaders.

The son of a Welsh coal-miner and trade unionist (later a Labour MP and government minister), Roy Jenkins was educated at the University of Oxford and served as an intelligence officer in the Second World War. Elected to Parliament as a Labour MP in 1948, he went on to serve in two major posts in Harold Wilson's first government. As Home Secretary from 1965 to 1967, he sought to build what he described as "a civilised society", with measures such as the effective abolition in Britain of both capital punishment and theatre censorship, the decriminalisation of homosexuality, relaxing of divorce law, suspension of birching and the liberalisation of abortion law. As Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1967 and 1970, he pursued a tight fiscal policy. He was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party on 8 July 1970,[1] but resigned in 1972 because he supported entry to the European Communities, while the party opposed it.

When Wilson re-entered government in 1974, Jenkins returned to the Home Office. However, increasingly disenchanted by the leftward swing of the Labour Party, he chose to leave British politics in 1976; the following year he was appointed President of the European Commission, serving until 1981. He was the first British holder of this office, and is likely to be the only such (considering the United Kingdom's decision in June 2016 to leave the European Union). He returned to British politics in 1981; still dismayed with the Labour Party's leftward swing under Michael Foot, he was one of the "Gang of Four"—centrist Labour MPs who formed the Social Democratic Party (SDP).[2] In 1982, Jenkins won a famous by-election in a Conservative seat and returned to parliament; he was "Prime Minister Designate" of the SDP-Liberal Alliance in the 1983 general election. However, after disappointment with the performance of the SDP, he resigned as its leader.

Roy Jenkins, Chancellor of Oxford
Roy Jenkins robed as Chancellor of Oxford University

In 1987, he was elected to succeed Harold Macmillan as Chancellor of the University of Oxford following the latter's death; he held this position until his own death sixteen years later. A few months after becoming Chancellor, he was defeated in his Hillhead constituency by the Labour candidate, George Galloway. Jenkins accepted a life peerage and sat as a Liberal Democrat. In the late 1990s, he was an adviser to Tony Blair and chaired the Jenkins Commission on electoral reform. Jenkins died in 2003, aged 82.

In addition to his political career, he was also a noted historian, biographer and writer. His A Life at the Centre (1991) is regarded as one of the best autobiographies of the later 20th century, which "will be read with pleasure long after most examples of the genre have been forgotten".[3]

The Lord Jenkins of Hillhead

Roy Jenkins 1977b
President of the European Commission
In office
6 January 1977 – 19 January 1981
Vice PresidentWilhelm Haferkamp
Preceded byFrançois-Xavier Ortoli
Succeeded byGaston Thorn
Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords
In office
16 July 1988 – 19 December 1997
LeaderPaddy Ashdown
Preceded byThe Baroness Seear (Liberal)
Succeeded byThe Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank
Chancellor of the University of Oxford
In office
14 March 1987 – 5 January 2003
Vice-ChancellorThe Lord Neill
Sir Richard Southwood
Sir Peter North
Sir Colin Lucas
Preceded byThe Earl of Stockton
Succeeded byThe Lord Patten of Barnes
Leader of the Social Democratic Party
In office
7 July 1982 – 13 June 1983
DeputyDavid Owen
PresidentShirley Williams
Preceded byThe Gang of Four
Succeeded byDavid Owen
Home Secretary
In office
5 March 1974 – 10 September 1976
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
James Callaghan
Preceded byRobert Carr
Succeeded byMerlyn Rees
In office
23 December 1965 – 30 November 1967
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
Preceded byFrank Soskice
Succeeded byJames Callaghan
Shadow Home Secretary
In office
25 November 1973 – 5 March 1974
LeaderHarold Wilson
ShadowingRobert Carr
Preceded byShirley Williams
Succeeded byJim Prior
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
In office
8 July 1970 – 10 April 1972
LeaderHarold Wilson
Preceded byGeorge Brown
Succeeded byEdward Short
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
19 June 1970 – 10 April 1972
LeaderHarold Wilson
ShadowingIain Macleod
Anthony Barber
Preceded byIain Macleod
Succeeded byDenis Healey
Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
30 November 1967 – 19 June 1970
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
Chief SecretaryJack Diamond
Preceded byJames Callaghan
Succeeded byIain Macleod
Minister of Aviation
In office
18 October 1964 – 23 December 1965
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
Preceded byJulian Amery
Succeeded byFred Mulley
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
1 December 1987 – 5 January 2003
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Glasgow Hillhead
In office
25 March 1982 – 11 June 1987
Preceded byTam Galbraith
Succeeded byGeorge Galloway
Member of Parliament
for Birmingham Stechford
In office
23 February 1950 – 31 March 1977
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byAndrew MacKay
Member of Parliament
for Southwark Central
In office
29 April 1948 – 23 February 1950
Preceded byJohn Martin
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Roy Harris Jenkins

11 November 1920
Abersychan, Monmouthshire, Wales
Died5 January 2003 (aged 82)
East Hendred, Oxfordshire, England
Political partyLabour (Before 1981)
Social Democrats (1981–1988)
Liberal Democrats (1988–2003)
Alma materCardiff University
Balliol College, Oxford
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/serviceFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
UnitRoyal Artillery
Battles/warsSecond World War

Early life

Born in Abersychan, Monmouthshire, in south-eastern Wales, as an only child, Roy Jenkins was the son of a National Union of Mineworkers official, Arthur Jenkins. His father was imprisoned during the 1926 General Strike for his alleged involvement in disturbances. Arthur Jenkins later became President of the South Wales Miners' Federation and Member of Parliament for Pontypool, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Clement Attlee, and briefly a minister in the 1945 Labour government. Roy Jenkins' mother, Hattie Harris, was the daughter of a steelworks manager.

Jenkins was educated at Pentwyn Primary School, Abersychan County Grammar School, University College, Cardiff, and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was twice defeated for the Presidency of the Oxford Union but took First-Class Honours in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE). His university colleagues included Tony Crosland, Denis Healey and Edward Heath, and he became friends with all three, although he was never particularly close to Healey. In John Campbell's book A Well-Rounded Life a romantic relationship between Jenkins and Crosland was detailed.[4]

During the Second World War, Jenkins served with the Royal Artillery and then as a Bletchley Park codebreaker,[5] reaching the rank of captain.

Member of Parliament (1948–1977)

Having failed to win Solihull in 1945, he was elected to the House of Commons in a 1948 by-election as the Member of Parliament for Southwark Central, becoming the "Baby of the House". His constituency was abolished in boundary changes for the 1950 general election, when he stood instead in the new Birmingham Stechford constituency. He won the seat, and represented the constituency until 1977.

Jenkins was principal sponsor, in 1959, of the bill which became the liberalising Obscene Publications Act, responsible for establishing the "liable to deprave and corrupt" criterion as a basis for a prosecution of suspect material and for specifying literary merit as a possible defence. Like Healey and Crosland, he had been a close friend of Hugh Gaitskell and for them Gaitskell's death and the elevation of Harold Wilson as Labour Party leader was a setback.

After the 1964 general election Jenkins was appointed Minister of Aviation and was sworn of the Privy Council. While at Aviation he oversaw the high-profile cancellations of the BAC TSR-2 and Concorde projects (although the latter was later reversed after strong opposition from the French Government). In January 1965 Patrick Gordon Walker resigned as Foreign Secretary and in the ensuing reshuffle Wilson offered Jenkins the Department for Education and Science; however. he declined it, preferring to stay at Aviation.[6]

Cabinet (1965–1970)

In the summer of 1965 Jenkins eagerly accepted an offer to replace Frank Soskice as Home Secretary. However Wilson, dismayed by a sudden bout of press speculation about the potential move, delayed Jenkins' appointment until December. Once Jenkins took office – the youngest Home Secretary since Churchill – he immediately set about reforming the operation and organisation of the Home Office. The Principal Private Secretary, Head of the Press and Publicity Department and Permanent Under-Secretary were all replaced. He also redesigned his office, famously replacing the board on which condemned prisoners were listed with a fridge.[7] After the 1966 general election, in which Labour won a comfortable majority, Jenkins pushed through a series of police reforms which reduced the number of separate forces from 117 to 49.[6]

Immigration was a divisive and provocative issue during the late 1960s and on 23 May 1966 Jenkins delivered a speech on race relations, which is widely considered to be one of his best.[8] Addressing a London meeting of the National Committee for Commonwealth Immigrants he notably defined Integration:

... not as a flattening process of assimilation but as equal opportunity, accompanied by cultural diversity, in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance.

Before going on to ask:

Where in the world is there a university which could preserve its fame, or a cultural centre which could keep its eminence, or a metropolis which could hold its drawing power, if it were to turn inwards and serve only its own hinterland and its own racial group?

And concluding that:

To live apart, for a person, a city, a country, is to lead a life of declining intellectual stimulation.[8]

Jenkins is often seen as responsible for the most wide-ranging social reforms of the late 1960s, with popular historian Andrew Marr claiming 'the greatest changes of the Labour years' were thanks to Jenkins.[9] He refused to authorise the birching of prisoners and was responsible for the relaxation of the laws relating to divorce and the abolition of theatre censorship and gave government support to David Steel's Private Member's Bill for the legalisation of abortion and Leo Abse's bill for the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Wilson, with his puritan background, was not especially sympathetic to these developments, however. Jenkins replied to public criticism by asserting that the so-called permissive society was in reality the civilised society. For some conservatives, such as Peter Hitchens, Jenkins' reforms remain objectionable. In his book The Abolition of Britain, Hitchens accuses him of being a "cultural revolutionary" who takes a large part of the responsibility for the decline of "traditional values" in Britain.

From 1967 to 1970 Jenkins served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, replacing James Callaghan following the devaluation crisis of November 1967. He quickly gained a reputation as a particularly tough Chancellor with his 1968 budget increasing taxes by £923 million, more than twice the increase of any previous budget to date. Despite Edward Heath claiming it was a 'hard, cold budget, without any glimmer of warmth' Jenkins' first budget broadly received a warm reception, with Harold Wilson remarking that 'it was widely acclaimed as a speech of surpassing quality and elegance' and Barbara Castle that it 'took everyone's breath away'.[6] However, following a further sterling crisis in November 1968 Jenkins was forced to raise taxes by a further £250 million. After this the currency markets slowly began to settle and his 1969 budget represented more of the same with a £340 million increase in taxation to further limit consumption.

By May 1969 Britain's current account position was in surplus, thanks to a growth in exports, a drop in overall consumption and, in part, the Inland Revenue correcting a previous underestimation in export figures. In July Jenkins was also able to announce that the size of Britain's foreign currency reserves had been increased by almost $1 billion since the beginning of the year. It was at this time that he presided over Britain's only excess of government revenue over expenditure in the period 1936-7 to 1987–8.[6] Thanks in part to these successes there was a high expectation that the 1970 budget would be a more generous one. Jenkins, however, was cautious about the stability of Britain's recovery and decided to present a more muted and fiscally neutral budget. It is often argued that this, combined with a series of bad trade figures, contributed to the Conservative victory at the 1970 general election. Historians and economists have often praised Jenkins for presiding over the transformation in Britain's fiscal and current account positions towards the end of the 1960s. Andrew Marr, for example, described him as one of the 20th century's 'most successful chancellors'.[9]

Shadow Cabinet (1970–1974)

After Labour unexpectedly lost power in 1970 Jenkins was appointed Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer by Harold Wilson. Jenkins was also subsequently elected to the deputy leadership of the Labour Party in July 1970, defeating future Labour Leader Michael Foot and former Leader of the Commons Fred Peart at the first ballot. At this time he appeared the natural successor to Harold Wilson, and it appeared to many only a matter of time before he inherited the leadership of the party, and the opportunity to become Prime Minister.[3]

This changed completely, however, as Jenkins refused to accept the tide of anti-European feeling that became prevalent in the Labour Party in the early 1970s. In 1972, he led 69 Labour MPs through the division lobby in support of the Heath government's motion to take Britain into the EEC. In so-doing they were defying a three-line whip and a five-to-one vote at the Labour Party annual conference.[3] Jenkins' action gave the European cause a legitimacy that would have otherwise been absent had the issue been considered solely as a party political matter. At this stage, however, Jenkins would not fully abandon his position as a political insider, and chose to stand again for deputy leader, an act his colleague David Marquand claimed he later came to regret.[3] Jenkins narrowly defeated Michael Foot on a second ballot.

Six months later, however, he resigned both the deputy leadership and his shadow cabinet position in April 1972, over the party's policy on favouring a referendum on British membership of the European Economic Community (EEC). This led to some former admirers, including Roy Hattersley, choosing to distance themselves from Jenkins. His lavish lifestyle — Wilson once described him as "more a socialite than a socialist" — had already alienated much of the Labour Party from him. Wilson accused him of having an affair with socialite Ann Fleming - and it was true.[10] Jenkins returned to the shadow cabinet in November 1973 as Shadow Home Secretary.

Return to Government (1974–1977)

When Labour returned to power in early 1974, Jenkins was appointed Home Secretary for the second time. Earlier, he had been promised the treasury; however, Wilson later decided to appoint Denis Healey as Chancellor instead. Upon hearing from Bernard Donoughue that Wilson had reneged on his promise, Jenkins reacted angrily. Despite being on a public staircase, he is reported to have shouted 'You tell Harold Wilson he must bloody well come to see me ... and if he doesn't watch out, I won't join his bloody government ... This is typical of the bloody awful way Harold Wilson does things!'[11]

Jenkins served from 1974 to 1976. In this period he undermined his previous liberal credentials to some extent by pushing through the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act, which, among other things, extended the length of time suspects could be held in custody and instituted exclusion orders. Although becoming increasingly disillusioned during this time by what he considered the party's drift to the left, he was the leading Labour figure in the referendum in September 1975 which saw the 'yes' campaign win a two-to-one victory in the referendum on continued membership of the European Community.

President of the European Commission (1977–1981)

When Harold Wilson suddenly resigned as Prime Minister, Jenkins was one of six candidates for the leadership of the Labour Party in March 1976, but came third out of the six candidates in the first ballot, behind Callaghan and Michael Foot. Realising that his vote was lower than expected, and sensing that the parliamentary party was in no mood to overlook his actions five years before, he immediately withdrew from the contest.[3] Jenkins had wanted to become Foreign Secretary,[12] but accepted an appointment as President of the European Commission (succeeding François-Xavier Ortoli) after Callaghan appointed Anthony Crosland to the Foreign Office.

The main development overseen by the Jenkins Commission was the development of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union from 1977, which began in 1979 as the European Monetary System, a forerunner of the Single Currency or Euro.[13] President Jenkins was the first President to attend a G8 summit on behalf of the Community.[14] Jenkins remained in Brussels until 1981, contemplating the political changes in the UK from there.

He received an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws) from the University of Bath in 1978.[15]

Return to Parliament (1982–1987)

Leadership of the Social Democratic Party

As one of the so-called "Gang of Four", Roy Jenkins was a founder of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in January 1981 with David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams.

He attempted to re-enter Parliament at the Warrington by-election in 1981 but Labour retained the seat with a small majority. He was more successful in 1982, being elected in the Glasgow Hillhead by-election as the Member of Parliament for a previously Conservative-held seat.

During the 1983 election campaign his position as the prime minister-designate for the SDP-Liberal Alliance was questioned by his close colleagues, as his campaign style was now regarded as ineffective; the Liberal leader David Steel was considered to have a greater rapport with the electorate.

He led the new party from March 1982 until after the 1983 general election, when Owen succeeded him unopposed. Jenkins was disappointed with Owen's move to the right, and his acceptance and backing of some of Thatcher's policies. At heart, Jenkins remained a Keynesian.

He continued to serve as SDP Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead until his defeat at the 1987 general election by the Labour candidate George Galloway, after boundary changes in 1983 had changed the character of the constituency.

Peerage, achievements, books and death

From 1987, Jenkins remained in politics as a member of the House of Lords as a life peer with the title Baron Jenkins of Hillhead, of Pontypool in the County of Gwent.[16] Also in 1987, Jenkins was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

In 1988 he fought and won an amendment to the Education Reform Act 1988, guaranteeing academic freedom of speech in further and higher education establishments. This affords and protects the right of students and academics to "question and test received wisdom" and has been incorporated into the statutes or articles and instruments of governance of all universities and colleges in Britain.[17]

In 1993, he was appointed to the Order of Merit.[18] He was leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords until 1997.

Roy Jenkins Grave
Jenkins' grave

In December 1997, he was appointed chair of a Government-appointed Independent Commission on the Voting System, which became known as the "Jenkins Commission", to consider alternative voting systems for the UK. The Jenkins Commission reported in favour of a new uniquely British mixed-member proportional system called "Alternative vote top-up" or "limited AMS" in October 1998, although no action was taken on this recommendation.

Jenkins wrote 19 books, including a biography of Gladstone (1995), which won the 1995 Whitbread Award for Biography, and a much-acclaimed biography of Winston Churchill (2001). His then-designated official biographer, Andrew Adonis, Baron Adonis, was to have finished the Churchill biography had Jenkins not survived the heart surgery he underwent towards the end of its writing. The popular historian Paul Johnson called it the best one-volume biography on its subject.[19]

Jenkins underwent heart surgery in November 2000, and postponed his 80th birthday celebrations, by having a celebratory party on 7 March 2001. He died on 5 January 2003, aged 82, after suffering a heart attack at his home at East Hendred, in Oxfordshire.[20] His last words, to his wife, were, "Two eggs, please, lightly poached".[21] At the time of his death Jenkins was apparently starting work on a biography of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Jenkins was a key influence on "New Labour", as the Labour Party marketed itself after the election of Tony Blair (who served as prime minister from winning the first of three successive general elections in 1997) in 1994, when the party abandoned many of its long-established policies including nationalisation, nuclear disarmament and unconditional support for the trade unions. He was well regarded by other Labour statesmen including Tony Benn, but was strongly criticised by others including Denis Healey, who condemned the SDP split as a "disaster" for the Labour Party which prolonged their time in opposition and allowed the Tories to have an unbroken run of 18 years in government.[22]

His alma mater, Cardiff University honoured the memory of Roy Jenkins by naming one of its halls of residence Roy Jenkins Hall.

Marriage and personal life

On 20 January 1945, Jenkins married Mary Jennifer (Jennifer) Morris (18 January 1921 – 2 February 2017)[23] They were married for almost 58 years until his death, although he had "several affairs",[24] including one with Jackie Kennedy's sister Lee Radziwill.[25]

She was made a DBE for services to ancient and historical buildings. They had two sons, Charles and Edward, and a daughter, Cynthia.

Early in his life Jenkins had a relationship with Anthony Crosland.[26][27][28]

Styles of address

  • 1920–1948: Mr Roy H. Jenkins
  • 1948–1964: Mr Roy H. Jenkins MP
  • 1964–1977: The Right Honourable Roy H. Jenkins MP
  • 1977–1982: The Right Honourable Roy H. Jenkins
  • 1982–1987: The Right Honourable Roy H. Jenkins MP
  • 1987: The Right Honourable Roy H. Jenkins
  • 1987–1993: The Right Honourable The Lord Jenkins of Hillhead PC
  • 1993–2003: The Right Honourable The Lord Jenkins of Hillhead OM PC


  • Roosevelt. Pan Macmillan. 2005. ISBN 0-330-43206-0.
  • Churchill. Macmillan. 2001. ISBN 0-333-78290-9.
  • The Chancellors. Macmillan. 1998. ISBN 0-333-73057-7.
  • Gladstone. Macmillan. 1995. ISBN 0-8129-6641-4.
  • Portraits and Miniatures. Bloomsbury. 1993. ISBN 978-1-4482-0321-5.
  • A Life at the Centre. Macmillan. 1991. ISBN 0-333-55164-8.
  • European Diary 1977-81. Collins. 1989.
  • Gallery of 20th century Portraits and Oxford Papers. David and Charles. 1989. ISBN 0-7153-9299-9.
  • Truman. HarperCollins. 1986. ISBN 0-06-015580-9.
  • Baldwin. Collins. 1984. ISBN 0-00-217586-X.
  • Nine Men of Power. Hamish Hamilton. 1974. ISBN 978-0241891384.
  • Asquith. Collins. 1964. ISBN 0-00-211021-0., revised edition 1978
  • Essays and Speeches. Collins. 1967.
  • Sir Charles Dilke: A Victorian Tragedy. Collins. 1958. ISBN 0-333-62020-8., revised edition 1965
  • Mr. Balfour's poodle; peers v. people. Collins. 1954. OCLC 436484.


  1. ^ "Jenkins Labour deputy leader". The Glasgow Herald. 9 July 1970. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  2. ^ Cawood, Ian J. (21 August 2013). Britain in the Twentieth Century. Routledge. p. 437. ISBN 978-1-136-40681-2.
  3. ^ a b c d e Marquand, David (8 January 2003). "Lord Jenkins of Hillhead". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  4. ^ Perry, Keith (10 March 2014). "Roy Jenkins' male lover Tony Crosland tried to halt his marriage". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  5. ^ PBS Nova, "Decoding Nazi Secrets", 27 November 2015 (interview of Jenkins); BBC Obituary: Roy Jenkins, Sunday, 5 January 2003
  6. ^ a b c d Jenkins, Roy. A Life at the Centre. Politico's. ISBN 978-1-84275-177-0.
  7. ^ John Campbell, Roy Jenkins: A Well-Rounded Life (London: Jonathan Cape, 2014), p. 261.
  8. ^ a b MacArthur, Brian (ed.). The Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century Speeches. ISBN 978-0-14-028500-0.
  9. ^ a b Marr, Andrew. A History of Modern Britain. ISBN 978-1-4050-0538-8.
  10. ^ Andrew Marr (3 July 2009). A History of Modern Britain. Pan Macmillan. pp. 272–. ISBN 978-0-330-51329-6.
  11. ^ Sandbrook, Dominic. State of Emergency – The Way We Were: Britain 1970–1974. Allen Lane. ISBN 978-1-84614-031-0.
  12. ^ Leonard, Dick (2001). Rosen, Greg (ed.). Roy Jenkins (Lord Jenkins of Hillhead). Dictionary of Labour Biography. London: Politicos. pp. 314–8, 318.
  13. ^ "A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union -J". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  14. ^ "EU and the G8". European Commission. Archived from the original on 26 February 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  15. ^ "Honorary Graduates 1989 to present". University of Bath. Archived from the original on 17 July 2010.
  16. ^ "No. 51132". The London Gazette. 25 November 1987. p. 14513.
  17. ^ Hayes, Dennis. "Tongues truly tied". Times Higher Education. The Times. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  18. ^ "No. 53510". The London Gazette. 10 December 1993. p. 19644.
  19. ^ Johnson, Paul (2003). Churchill, Simon & Schuster, p. 167.
  20. ^ "Roy Jenkins dies". BBC News Online. BBC. 5 January 2003. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  21. ^ Campbell, John (2014). Roy Jenkins: A Well-Rounded Life.
  22. ^ White, Michael (6 January 2003). "Roy Jenkins: Gang leader who paved way for Blair". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 23 April 2010.
  23. ^ Dame Jennifer Jenkins obituary
  24. ^ Cockerell, Michael (1996). Cahn, Alison; Tyerman, Anne (eds.). A Very Social Democrat: A Portrait of Roy Jenkins. BBC Two (Documentary). United Kingdom.
  25. ^ "BBC NEWS UK Politics Obituary: Roy Jenkins".
  26. ^ Perry, Keith (10 March 2014). "Roy Jenkins' male lover Tony Crosland tried to halt his marriage". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  27. ^ "Double lives – a history of sex and secrecy at Westminster". The Guardian.
  28. ^ James McCarthy (6 April 2014). "A string of affairs and a 'gay relationship': the secret life of Roy Jenkins, the best PM Britain never had". walesonline.

Further reading

  • Adonis, Andrew; Thomas, Keith, eds. (2004). Roy Jenkins: A Retrospective. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-927487-8.
  • Radice, Giles (2002). Friends and Rivals: Crosland, Jenkins and Healey. Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-85547-2.
  • Campbell, John (1983). Roy Jenkins, a biography. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-78271-1.
  • Campbell, John (2014). Roy Jenkins, a Well-Rounded Life. Jonathan Cape. ISBN 978-0-224-08750-6.
  • Dell, Edmund (1997). The Chancellors: A History of the Chancellors of the Exchequer, 1945–90. HarperCollins. pp. 347–72. covers his term as Chancellor.
  • Lipsey, David; Jenkins, Roy (2002). Jefferys, Kevin (ed.). Labour Forces: From Ernie Bevin to Gordon Brown. pp. 103–18.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
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Baby of the House
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Member of Parliament
for Southwark Central

Constituency abolished
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1948 Southwark Central by-election

A by-election for the constituency of Southwark Central in the United Kingdom House of Commons was held on 29 April 1948, caused by the resignation of the incumbent Labour MP John Hanbury Martin. The result was a hold for the Labour Party, with their candidate Roy Jenkins, who was to become a prominent figure in British politics throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

1970 Labour Party deputy leadership election

The 1970 Labour Party deputy leadership election took place on 8 July 1970, after sitting deputy leader George Brown lost his seat at the 1970 general election.

1971 Labour Party deputy leadership election

The 1971 Labour Party deputy leadership election took place in November 1971 after left-wingers Michael Foot and Tony Benn challenged sitting deputy leader Roy Jenkins.

1972 Labour Party deputy leadership election

The 1972 Labour Party deputy leadership election took place in April 1972 after Roy Jenkins resigned as deputy leader over the decision to hold a referendum on Britain's entry into the Common Market.Edward Short, formerly Education Secretary in the government of Harold Wilson, was regarded as a "unity" candidate, and won the election over his main rival, the left-winger Michael Foot, who had unsuccessfully stood for the deputy leadership in 1970 and 1971.

1976 Labour Party leadership election (UK)

The 1976 Labour Party leadership election occurred when Harold Wilson resigned as Leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister. It is the only occasion the Labour Party has had a leadership election with more than one candidate whilst in government.

1977 Birmingham Stechford by-election

The Birmingham Stechford by-election, in Birmingham, on 31 March 1977 was held after Labour Member of Parliament (MP) Roy Jenkins resigned his seat following his appointment as President of the European Commission. A seat that had been solidly Labour since its formation in 1950, it was won by Andrew MacKay of the Conservative Party, before being regained by Labour in 1979. The by-election was noted for the strong performance of the National Front candidate and the presence of two far left candidates.

1982 Strathclyde Regional Council election

The second election to Strathclyde Regional Council was held on 6 May 1982 and yielded a significant Labour majority. The election saw the Labour majority increase its majority from 45 to 55.

The leader of the Conservative group, Leonard Turpie, lost his seat to the SDP-Liberal Alliance. The Conservatives also lost the adjoining seat to Labour. Both seats were contained within the Glasgow Hillhead constituency won in March by SDP figure Roy Jenkins.The election saw the Conservatives reduced to their lowest ever result of 15 seats, whilst Labour emerged with 79 members, the SDP-Liberal Alliance with 4, SNP with 3, and 2 Independents.Following the election there was an attempt to unseat the incumbent Leader of Strathclyde Regional Council Dick Stewart, who had held the position since the councils creation. He was challenged for the leadership by his longtime friend and colleague Charles Gray at the first meeting of the Labour group, on 6 May, following the election. The attempt however failed, with Stewart retaining the leadership with 40 votes to Gray's 38.

1987 United Kingdom general election

The 1987 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 11 June 1987, to elect 650 members to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The election was the third consecutive general election victory for the Conservative Party, and second landslide under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, who became the first Prime Minister since the Earl of Liverpool in 1820 to lead a party into three successive electoral victories.

The Conservatives ran a campaign focusing on lower taxes, a strong economy and strong defence. They also emphasised that unemployment had fallen below the 3 million mark for the first time since 1981, and inflation was standing at 4%, its lowest level for some twenty years. The tabloid media also had strong support for the Conservative Party, particularly The Sun, which ran anti-Labour articles with headlines such as "Why I'm backing Kinnock, by Stalin".

The Labour Party, led by Neil Kinnock, was slowly moving towards a more centrist policy platform. The main aim of the Labour Party was simply to re-establish itself as the main progressive centre-left alternative to the Conservatives, after the rise of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) forced Labour onto the defensive. Indeed, the Labour Party succeeded in doing so at this general election. The Alliance between the SDP and the Liberal Party was renewed but co-leaders David Owen and David Steel could not agree whether to support either major party in the event of a hung parliament.

The Conservatives were returned to government, having suffered a net loss of only 21 seats, leaving them with 376 MPs and a second landslide majority of 102. Labour succeeded in resisting the challenge by the SDP–Liberal Alliance to become the main opposition. Moreover, Labour managed to increase its vote share in Scotland, Wales and the North of England. Yet Labour still returned only 229 MPs to Westminster, and in certain London constituencies which Labour had held before the election, the Conservatives actually made gains.

The election was a disappointment for the Alliance, who saw its vote share fall and suffered a net loss of one seat as well as former SDP leader Roy Jenkins losing his seat. This led to the two parties eventually merging completely to become the Liberal Democrats. In Northern Ireland, the main unionist parties maintained their alliance in opposition to the Anglo-Irish Agreement, however the Ulster Unionists lost two seats to the Social Democratic and Labour Party.

The 1987 election is the last to date in which the Conservatives won the popular vote in a general election by more than 10 points and the last time they held more than 336 seats in the House of Commons, and the 49th Parliament is the last time a Conservative government has lasted a full term with an overall majority of seats in Parliament.

The election night was covered live on the BBC and presented by David Dimbleby, Peter Snow and Sir Robin Day. It was also broadcast on ITV and presented by Sir Alastair Burnet, Peter Sissons and Alastair Stewart.

The 1987 general election saw the election of the first Afro-Caribbean members of Parliament: Diane Abbott, Paul Boateng and Bernie Grant. MPs leaving Parliament as a result of this election included former Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan, Keith Joseph, James Prior, Ian Mikardo, Roy Jenkins, former Health Minister Enoch Powell and Clement Freud.

Anthony Crosland

Charles Anthony Raven Crosland (29 August 1918 – 19 February 1977), also known as Tony Crosland or C. A. R. Crosland, was a British Labour Party politician and author.

Crosland served as Member of Parliament for South Gloucestershire (1950–55). He was a prominent socialist intellectual, on the social democratic wing on the right of the party. His influential book The Future of Socialism (1956) argued against many Marxist notions and the traditional Labour Party doctrine that expanding public ownership was essential to make socialism work, arguing instead for prioritising the end of poverty and improving public services. He offered positive alternatives to both the right and left-wing of the Labour Party of his day.

Crosland returned to Parliament for Great Grimsby (1959–77). During Harold Wilson's governments of 1964-1970 he served as Economic Secretary to the Treasury (1964), then Minister of State for Economic Affairs (1964–65). Entering the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Education and Science (1965–67), he led the Labour campaign to replace grammar schools with comprehensive schools that did not use the Eleven-plus for the selection of pupils. He later served as President of the Board of Trade (1967–69), then Secretary of State for Local Government and Regional Planning (1969–70).

When Labour returned to power he served as Secretary of State for the Environment (1974–76) and briefly as Foreign Secretary (1976–77). In that role he promoted détente with the Soviet Union. He died suddenly in February 1977 of a cerebral haemorrhage, aged 58.

Birmingham Stechford (UK Parliament constituency)

Birmingham Stechford was a parliamentary constituency centred on the Stechford district of the city of Birmingham. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first-past-the-post voting system.

The constituency was created for the 1950 general election, and abolished for the 1983 general election. Stechford itself is now part of the Birmingham Yardley seat.

History of the European Communities (1973–1993)

Between 1973 and 1993 the European Communities saw the first enlargement of the Communities and increasing integration under the Delors Commission leading to the creation of the European Union in 1993.

On 1 January 1973, Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom became the first countries to join the Communities. The newly enlarged Ortoli Commission took office under François-Xavier Ortoli on 5 January. The first Commission to be led by a member from the new states was the Jenkins Commission, of the UK's Roy Jenkins who held office between 1977 and 1981. Following on was the Thorn Commission, which oversaw the completion of the customs union and then 1985 saw the first Delors Commission.

Jenkins Commission (EU)

The Jenkins Commission was the European Commission that held office from 6 January 1977 to 6 January 1981. Its President was Roy Jenkins.

John Campbell (biographer)

John Campbell (born 1947) is a British political writer and biographer. He was educated at Charterhouse and the University of Edinburgh from where he gained a Ph.D. in politics in 1975His works include biographies of Lloyd George, F. E. Smith, Aneurin Bevan, Roy Jenkins, Edward Heath, and Margaret Thatcher, the last consisting of two volumes, The Grocer's Daughter (2000) and The Iron Lady (2003). A one-volume abridgment prepared by David Freeman (a historian of Britain teaching at California State University, Fullerton, titled The Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher, From Grocer's Daughter to Prime Minister, was published in 2009 and reissued in paperback in 2011. He was awarded the NCR Book Award for his biography of Heath in 1994.

He has also written, If Love Were All ... the story of Frances Stevenson & David Lloyd George (2006) and Pistols At Dawn: Two Hundred Years of Political Rivalry from Pitt & Fox to Blair & Brown (2009).

His most recent book is the official biography, Roy Jenkins: A Well Rounded Life (Jonathan Cape, March 2014), which was short-listed for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize and the 2014 Costa Biography Award, and won the Biography category in the 2014 Political Book Awards.He is married, has two children and six grandchildren and lives in Kent

Campbell was consultant to the 2009 production of Margaret, a fictionalisation of Margaret Thatcher's fall from power, and the 2012 film The Iron Lady.

Mango (Saturday Night Live)

Mango was a character performed by Chris Kattan on the American sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. The character was co-created and developed by Kattan and SNL writer Scott Wainio along with initial creative contributions by Roy Jenkins. Mango is a male exotic dancer who performed in a strip club. He would always wear tight lamé shorts and often a spangled beret. Mango spoke with a Hispanic accent, and though his nationality was never identified, he was said to be born on "Mango Island". He appeared on 16 SNL episodes between 1997 and 2002.

Second Shadow Cabinet of Harold Wilson

Harold Wilson of the Labour Party would form his Second Shadow Cabinet, as Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition, after losing the 1970 general election to Conservative Edward Heath. He would retain leadership of the Opposition for the length of the Heath Ministry, from 1970 − 1974. In February 1974, his party would narrowly win an election. Wilson was then forced to form a minority government, which would only last until another election in October of that year. After that election, Wilson would form a majority government, known as the Second Wilson Ministry.

Social Democratic Party (UK)

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) was a centrist political party in the United Kingdom. The party supported a mixed economy (favouring a system inspired by the German social market economy), electoral reform, European integration and a decentralized state while rejecting the possibility of trade unions being overly influential within the industrial sphere.The SDP was founded on 26 March 1981 by four senior Labour Party moderates, dubbed the 'Gang of Four': Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams, who issued the Limehouse Declaration. Owen and Rodgers were sitting Labour Members of Parliament (MPs); Jenkins had left Parliament in 1977 to serve as President of the European Commission, while Williams had lost her seat in the 1979 general election. The four left the Labour Party as a result of the January 1981 Wembley conference which committed the party to unilateral nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from the European Economic Community. They also believed that Labour had become too left-wing, and had been infiltrated at constituency party level by Militant tendency whose views and behaviour they considered to be at odds with the Parliamentary Labour Party and Labour voters.

For the 1983 and 1987 General Elections, the SDP formed a political and electoral alliance with the Liberal Party, the SDP–Liberal Alliance. The party merged with the Liberal Party in 1988 to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now the Liberal Democrats, although a minority left to form a continuing SDP led by David Owen.

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