Three passports of former UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson
He enacted social reforms in education, health, housing, gender equality, price controls, pensions, provisions for disabled people and child poverty. Harold Wilson, the son of a chemist and teacher, was born in Yorkshire during the First World War. In 1924, aged 8, he visited 10 Downing Street, which would eventually become his home.
He studied Modern History for a year before transferring to Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford University, graduating with a first class BA. The Labour politician entered Parliament in 1945 as MP for Ormskirk and later becoming MP for Huyton. In 1947, then Prime Minister Clement Attlee made Wilson President of the Board of Trade. Aged 31, he had become the youngest member of the Cabinet in the 20th century. Three passports of former UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Under Hugh Gaitskell’s leadership of the Labour party, Wilson served as Shadow Chancellor from 1955 to 1961, then as Shadow Foreign Secretary from 1961 to 1963. After Gaitskell passed away suddenly, Wilson fought and won a leadership contest against George Brown and James Callaghan. As Labour leader, he won 4 of the 5 General Elections he contested, although this includes a minority government.
His first election victory on 15 October 1964 saw him win with a small majority of 4, which increased significantly to 98 after a second General Election on 31 March 1966. As Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970, his main plan was to modernize. He believed that he would be aided by the “white heat of the technological revolution”. His government supported backbench MPs in liberalizing laws on censorship, divorce, abortion, and homosexuality, and he abolished capital punishment. Crucial steps were taken towards stopping discrimination against women and ethnic minorities, and Wilson’s government also created the Open University. Three passports of former UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson
In comparison, his outlook on foreign affairs was less modernizing. He wanted to maintain Britain’s world role by keeping the Commonwealth united and nurturing the Anglo-American alliance. For example, his approach to the Vietnam War saw him skilfully balance modernist ambitions with Anglo-American interests when, despite repeated American requests, he kept British troops out while still maintaining good relations. Wilson biographer Philip Ziegler characterizes his role as “honest broker”. Read more at gov.uk