Roy Jenkins

Knowledge Identifier: +Roy_Jenkins


Roy Jenkins

British politician and writer add

Category: Politics

Born in 1920.

Countries: United Kingdom (83%), United States (4%), Europe (4%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Social Democratic Party (UK), Home Secretary, David Owen

Linked to: Social Democratic Party, Labour Party, Balliol College, Oxford, Cardiff University




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Roy Jenkins was born in 1920 add something


His father was imprisoned during the 1926 General Strike for his involvement in a riot and later became Member of Parliament for Pontypool, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Clement Attlee, and briefly a minister in the 1945 Labour government add something


Edward Heath - In his final year Heath was President of Balliol College Junior Common Room, an office held in subsequent years by his near-contemporaries Denis Healey and Roy Jenkins, and as such was invited to support the Master of Balliol Alexander Lindsay, who stood as an anti-appeasement 'Independent Progressive' candidate against the official Conservative candidate, Quintin Hogg, in the Oxford by-election, 1938


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 add something


On 20 January 1945, in the final year of the War, he married Jennifer Morris add something


His constituency was abolished in boundary changes for the 1950 general election, when he stood instead in the new Birmingham Stechford constituency add something


Social Democratic Party (UK) - The origin of the party can be traced back to the ideological divisions in the Labour Party in the 1950s , but publicly lies in the 1979 Dimbleby Lecture given by Roy Jenkins as he neared the end of his presidency of the European Commission


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 add something


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 add something


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 add something


Roy 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 add something


After the 1964 general election Jenkins was appointed Minister of Aviation add something


In the summer of 1965 Jenkins eagerly accepted an offer to replace Frank Soskice as Home Secretary add something


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 add something


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 add something


Leo Abse - Although with the Labour landslide of 1966 there was a majority for the Bill, it was still vulnerable but Abse persuaded Roy Jenkins to give the measure government time, which eventually saw the Bill through onto the statute book


David Marquand - He was the MP for Ashfield from 1966 to 1977, when he resigned his seat to work as Chief Advisor to his mentor Roy Jenkins who had been appointed President of the European Commission


From 1967 to 1970 Jenkins served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, replacing James Callaghan following the devaluation crisis of November 1967 add something


Roy Hattersley - Despite the support of Roy Jenkins and Tony Crosland he did not gain a ministerial position until 1967, joining Ray Gunter at the Ministry of Labour


Robert Mark - Here he attracted the attention of Chancellor of the Exchequer Roy Jenkins, and in February 1967 was appointed Assistant Commissioner "D" of the Metropolitan Police, where his welcome was less than ecstatic from a force that did not like outsiders; at the end of his first week, he was encouraged by Commissioner Sir Joseph Simpson to apply for the post of Chief Constable of Lancashire


Stephen Abrams - After the committee's published report received national press coverage, on 7 April 1967 home secretary Roy Jenkins appointed a "sub-committee on hallucinogens" to be chaired by Baroness Wootton to report to the Advisory Council on Drug Dependence, itself appointed four months earlier in December 1966


James Callaghan - Wilson moved Roy Jenkins, the Home Secretary, to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Callaghan became the new Home Secretary on 30 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 add something


However, following a further sterling crisis in November 1968 Jenkins was forced to raise taxes by a further £250 million add something


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 add something


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 add something


After Labour unexpectedly lost power in 1970 Jenkins was appointed Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer by Harold Wilson add something


It is often argued that this, combined with a series of bad trade figures, contributed to the Conservative victory at the 1970 general election add something


Thanks in part to these successes there was a high expectation that the 1970 budget would be a more generous one add something


Jenkins was 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 add something


On 8 July 1970, he was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, but resigned in 1972 because he supported entry to the Common Market, while the party opposed it add something


David Owen - 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


Anthony Lester, Baron Lester of Herne Hill - He was a special advisor to Roy Jenkins at the Home Office in the 1970s, and moved with Jenkins from the Labour Party to found the SDP in 1981


David Edgar (playwright) - The ugly sisters, Harold Wilson and Roy Jenkins, won't let "Tedderella" go to the Common Market Ball when the 1970 general election intervenes


John Smith (Labour Party leader) - Smith defied the Labour whips in 1971, joining the Labour MPs who, led by Roy Jenkins, voted in favour of entry to the European Economic Community


He resigned both the deputy leadership and his shadow cabinet position in April 1972 however, over the party's policy on favouring a referendum on British membership of the European Economic Community add something


Tony Benn - The Shadow Cabinet voted to support a referendum on 29 March 1972, and as a result Roy Jenkins resigned as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party


Denis Healey - Healey was appointed Shadow Chancellor in April 1972 after Roy Jenkins resigned in a row over the European Economic Community


Jenkins returned to the shadow cabinet in November 1973 as Shadow Home Secretary add something


When Labour returned to power in early 1974, Jenkins was appointed Home Secretary for the second time add something


When Wilson re-entered government in 1974 Jenkins returned to the Home Office, but increasingly disenchanted by the leftward swing of the Labour Party, he chose to leave British politics in 1976 and was appointed President of the European Commission in 1977, serving until 1981: he was the first and to date only British holder of this office add something


Doug Hoyle, Baron Hoyle - First elected in 1974 for Nelson and Colne, Hoyle narrowly lost his seat at the 1979 General Election, but returned to Parliament in 1981 when he saw off a strong challenge from Roy Jenkins in a traditional safe Labour seat, in a notable by-election in Warrington when enthusiasm for the newly-created Social Democratic Party was at its peak


Ian Wrigglesworth - From 1974 to 1979 he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Roy Jenkins, and when Labour returned to Opposition in 1979 he was appointed Shadow Minister for the Civil Service by the Rt Hon James Callaghan


Jenkins was a candidate for the leadership of the Labour Party in March 1976, but came third out of the six candidates, behind Callaghan and Michael Foot add something


Woodrow Wyatt - After ceasing to be an active politician, he was appointed by Roy Jenkins as Chairman of the Horserace Totalisator Board from 1976–1997


He won the seat and represented the constituency until 1977 add something


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 add something


European Commission - The external representation of the Community took a step forward when President Roy Jenkins, recruited to the presidency in January 1977 from his role as Home Secretary of the United Kingdom's Labour government, became the first President to attend a G8 summit on behalf of the Community


He received an Honorary Degree from the University of Bath in 1978 add something


Gerry Malone - He made other unsuccessful attempts to be elected to parliament at Glasgow Pollok in 1979, and in the Glasgow Hillhead by-election in 1982 where he lost the traditionally Conservative seat to Roy Jenkins of the SDP


European Economic Community - During the tenure of President Jenkins, in June 1979, the elections were held in all the then-members


He attempted to re-enter Parliament at the Warrington by-election in 1981 but Labour retained the seat with a small majority add something


Jenkins remained in Brussels until 1981, contemplating the political changes in the UK from there add something


David Owen - Early in 1981, Owen and three other senior moderate Labour politicians – Roy Jenkins, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams – announced their intention to break away from the Labour Party to form a "Council for Social Democracy"


Liberal Party (UK) - In 1981, defectors from the moderate wing of the Labour Party, led by former Cabinet ministers Roy Jenkins, David_Owen and Shirley Williams, founded the Social Democratic Party


Social Democratic Party (UK) - The SDP formed the SDP-Liberal Alliance with the Liberal Party late in 1981, under the joint leadership of Roy Jenkins and Liberal leader David Steel


He was more successful in 1982, being elected in the Glasgow Hillhead by-election as the MP for a previously Conservative-held seat add something


In 1982 he won a famous by-election in a Conservative seat and returned to parliament; but after disappointment with the performance of the SDP in the 1983 election he resigned as SDP leader add something


He led the new party from March 1982 until after the 1983 general election, when Owen succeeded him unopposed add something


Peregrine Worsthorne - Despite his own experience at his public school, Worsthorne long criticised homosexual activity, castigating Roy Jenkins in particular in an 1982 editorial, for his tolerance of "queers"


Social Democratic Party (UK, 1979) - The party's final candidacy came at the Glasgow Hillhead by-election, 1982, where Roy Jenkins, a leading figure in the newer SDP, was a candidate


Social Democratic Party (UK) - In the Glasgow Hillhead by-election in March 1982, another candidate named Roy Jenkins was nominated by Labour Party activists to contest the seat in order to confuse voters and split his potential vote


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 add something


Neil Carmichael, Baron Carmichael of Kelvingrove - For the 1983 general election his constituency was abolished and merged with Glasgow Hillhead which had been won in a by-election by Roy Jenkins for the SDP


John Desmond Cronin - Cronin became a member of Brooks's, a political club in St James's Street, in 1984 having been proposed as a member by Roy Jenkins


Also in 1987, Jenkins was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford add something


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 add something


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 add something


In 1987, Jenkins was elected to succeed Harold Macmillan as Chancellor of the University of Oxford following the latter's death; he held this position until his death add something


Edward Heath - In 1987 he was nominated in the election for the Chancellorship of the University of Oxford but lost to Roy Jenkins as a result of splitting the Conservative vote with Lord Blake


David Owen - In 1987 immediately after the election, the Liberal leader David Steel proposed a full merger of the Liberal and SDP parties and was supported for the SDP by Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams and Bill Rodgers


George Galloway - In the 1987 election, Galloway won Glasgow Hillhead constituency for the Labour Party from Roy Jenkins of the Social Democratic Party with a majority of 3,251


In 1988 he fought and won an amendment to the Education Reform Act of that year, guaranteeing academic freedom of speech in further and higher education establishments add something


In the late 1990s, he was an adviser to Tony Blair and chaired the Jenkins Commission on electoral reform add something


In 1993, he was appointed to the Order of Merit add something


Jenkins wrote 19 books, including a biography of Gladstone , which won the 1995 Whitbread Award for Biography, and a much-acclaimed biography of Winston Churchill add something


He was leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords until 1997 add something


Jenkins is seen by many as a key influence on "New Labour", as the Labour Party marketed itself after the election of Tony Blair in 1994, when the party abandoned many of its long-established policies including nationalisation, nuclear disarmament and unconditional support for the trade unions add something


Elections in the United Kingdom - The Independent Commission on the Voting System, headed by Lord Jenkins of Hillhead and known as the Jenkins Commission, was established in December 1997


Jenkins underwent heart surgery in November 2000, and postponed his 80th birthday celebrations, by having a celebratory party on 7 March 2001 add something

Roy Jenkins died in 2003 add something


He died on 5 January 2003, aged 82, after suffering a heart attack at his home at East Hendred, in Oxfordshire add something


Dame Jennifer Jenkins died on 2 February 2017 add something


Steve Richards - In 2018, he presented another series of unscripted episodes for BBC Parliament, entitled "Reflections: The Prime Ministers We Never Had", which profiled Rab Butler, Denis Healey, Tony Benn, Roy Jenkins, Neil_Kinnock, Michael Heseltine, Kenneth Clarke, Michael Portillo, and David Miliband and Ed Miliband