James Callaghan

former prime minister of the United Kingdom

Leonard James "Jim" Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC (/ˈkæləˌhæn/; 27 March 1912 – 26 March 2005) was a British Labour politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) from 1976 to 1979.[1]


The Lord Callaghan of Cardiff

James Callaghan (1974).jpg
Callaghan in 1974
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
5 April 1976 – 4 May 1979
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byHarold Wilson
Succeeded byMargaret Thatcher
Leader of the Opposition
In office
4 May 1979 – 10 November 1980
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byMargaret Thatcher
Succeeded byMichael Foot
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
5 April 1976 – 10 November 1980
DeputyMichael Foot
Preceded byHarold Wilson
Succeeded byMichael Foot
Father of the House of Commons
In office
9 June 1983 – 18 May 1987
Preceded byJohn Parker
Succeeded byBernard Braine
Ministerial offices
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
5 March 1974 – 5 April 1976
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
Preceded bySir Alec Douglas-Home
Succeeded byAnthony Crosland
Home Secretary
In office
30 November 1967 – 19 June 1970
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
Preceded byRoy Jenkins
Succeeded byReginald Maudling
Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
16 October 1964 – 30 November 1967
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
Preceded byReginald Maudling
Succeeded byRoy Jenkins
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty
In office
2 March 1950 – 25 October 1951
Prime MinisterClement Attlee
Preceded byJohn Dugdale
Succeeded bySir Allan Noble
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport
In office
7 October 1947 – 2 March 1950
Prime MinisterClement Attlee
Preceded byGeorge Strauss
Succeeded byThe Lord Lucas of Chilworth
Shadow Foreign Secretary
In office
19 April 1972 – 28 February 1974
LeaderHarold Wilson
Preceded byDenis Healey
Succeeded byGeoffrey Rippon
Shadow Secretary of State for Employment
In office
19 October 1971 – 19 April 1972
LeaderHarold Wilson
Preceded byBarbara Castle
Succeeded byDenis Healey
Shadow Home Secretary
In office
19 June 1970 – 19 October 1971
LeaderHarold Wilson
Preceded byQuintin Hogg
Succeeded byShirley Williams
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
2 November 1961 – 16 October 1964
Leader
Preceded byHarold Wilson
Succeeded byReginald Maudling
Member of the House of Lords
Life peerage
5 November 1987 – 26 March 2005
Member of Parliament
for Cardiff South and Penarth
(Cardiff South, 1945–1950;
Cardiff South East, 1950–1983)
In office
26 July 1945 – 18 May 1987
Preceded byArthur Evans
Succeeded byAlun Michael
Personal details
Born
Leonard James Callaghan

(1912-03-27)27 March 1912
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Died26 March 2005(2005-03-26) (aged 92)
Ringmer, East Sussex, England
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)
Audrey Moulton
(m. 1938; died 2005)
Children3, including Margaret
Military service
Branch/service Royal Navy
RankLieutenant
Battles/warsSecond World War

Born in the 1910s, Callaghan was an old-style socialist, lacking any higher education,[1] and served as Member of Parliament (MP) for a Cardiff constituency.[1] He is the only person to have held all three leading UK Cabinet positions (Chancellor, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary),[2] prior to their premiership. He was never expected to reach the premiership, having taken a back seat to the younger and more charismatic Harold Wilson for many years. However, when Wilson unexpectedly announced his retirement in 1976, Callaghan was the most experienced candidate to replace him. His time as prime minister was one of more open government,[3] but the electorate was dissatisfied with his relaxed response to high inflation and more industrial unrest, and replaced Labour with a Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher.

Callaghan resigned as Leader of the Labour Party shortly afterwards, but remained an MP for some years before being sent to the House of Lords as Baron Callaghan of Cardiff.[1]

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