Harold Wilson, later Lord Wilson of Rievaulx
Labour Leader and Prime Minister of Britain, 1964-70, 1974-76

Wilson was born near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire in 1916 to a chemist and a teacher. He was educated at Wirral Grammar School and then went on to study Economics at Jesus College, Oxford. During WWII he was a civil servant, but left the service in 1945 to pursue a career in politics, becoming president of the Board of Trade in 1947.

He resigned from the post after four years, in protest against cuts in social service, thus becoming spokesperson for the party's left. This was reinforced when he later opposed party leader Hugh Gaitskell's stand against unilateral nuclear disarmament.

He became Labour party leader and opposition leader in 1963 and then prime minister in 1964 with a four-seat majority, which was increased dramatically in the 1966 election. During his time in office, he negotiated British membership of the EC, tried (and failed) to reach a settlement with Ian Smith's apartheid-esque regime in Rhodesia, and enacted economic reforms to address the growing crises in the British economy. These reforms seemed to be having an effect, and Wilson called a June 1970 general election on the back of them. However, he was unexpectedly defeated by Edward Heath's Tories. Then he won in 1974 and was again prime minister. His ministry proceeded to be hindered by economic problems and saddled with the issue of Britain's admission to the European Community. However, in 1975 Wilson achieved one of his major successes by silencing his left-wing critics and confirming Britain's membership in the EEC via a referendum. However, Britain's economic problems continued, causing Wilson to resign in 1976, succeeded by James Callaghan, who was in turn crushed underneath Thatcher's jackboot. He became peer in the House of Lords in 1983.

Harold Wilson died in 1995, following a long period of cancer.

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