Leeds MPs

HEALEY, Denis, Winston (1917–2015) Labour.

As a student at Oxford he joined the Communist Party but left in 1940. During World War II, he served in the Royal Engineers, in North Africa and Sicily. On 22 January 1944 he was beach master, the Military Landing Officer, at the Anzio landings in Italy. He joined the Labour Party and in 1945 was defeated by the Conservative in a three way fight for Pudsey & Otley. When James Milner was ennobled in December 1951, he was invited to stand for Leeds South East and was successful in the by-election of 1952. He then stood for the newly created Leeds East constituency in 1955 and held the seat until his retirement in 1992. He served as Secretary of State for Defence from 1964–1970 and supervised the Government’s policy of withdrawing its ‘East of Suez’ commitments. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer in both the Wilson and Callaghan administrations from 1974–1979 and had to deal with some of the most serious economic situations the country has ever faced. He became Baron Healey of Riddlesden in 1992. Many Labour supporters argue he was ‘the best Prime Minister we never had’. For further reading see D. Healey, The Times of My Life (1989); The Guardian, 3 October 2015.