Eric Varley

Knowledge Identifier: +Eric_Varley


Eric Varley

English politician and former Cabinet Minister on the right wing of the Labour Party add

Category: Politics

Born in 1932.

Countries: United Kingdom (92%), Europe (8%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Tony Benn, Alex Eadie, Denis Healey

Linked to: Labour Party, Ruskin College, European integration




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Eric Varley was born in 1932 add something


He was active in the National Union of Mineworkers, and became a branch secretary of the union in 1955, joining the Labour Party the same year add something


He was narrowly selected in June 1963 and duly held the Chesterfield seat in the 1964 election add something


Despite rebelling against the government's application to join the Common Market in 1967, Varley became an Assistant Whip later that year, and Parliamentary Private Secretary to Prime Minister Harold Wilson in November 1968 add something


He served briefly as a junior minister under Tony Benn at the Ministry of Technology from 1969 add something


During the Labour Party's period of opposition in the early 1970s Varley was Chairman of the Trade Union Group of MPs, and became spokesman on fuel and power add something


Alex Eadie - Wilson appointed Eadie opposition spokesman on energy in 1973, and served as junior minister for Energy during the Labour government of 1974 to 1979, serving under ministers Eric Varley and Tony Benn


Varley was appointed Secretary of State for Energy in March 1974 when Labour returned to power add something


When Labour went into opposition in 1979 Varley was elected to the Shadow Cabinet in fifth place add something


He led Denis Healey's campaign for the party leadership in 1980 and defeated the left-winger Norman Atkinson for the post of party Treasurer in 1981 add something


He served as opposition spokesman on employment, and resisted an attempt by Michael Foot to replace him with Neil Kinnock in 1982 add something


After Kinnock's election as party leader in 1983 Varley announced that he would retire from Parliament at the next general election add something


However, he was appointed as Chairman of Coalite PLC, a private company manufacturing coal-based products including a coke-like smokeless fuel of the same name, and resigned his seat in January 1984 add something


He was given a life peerage as "'Baron Varley"', of Chesterfield in the County of Derbyshire on a Labour Party nomination in 1990 add something


Eric Varley died in 2008 of cancer at his home add something

Eric Varley died in 2008 add something