FORMER Labour leader Michael Foot died last Wednesday morning at his home aged 96, after a long illness.
The left-social democratic Labour leader was well known for his active campaigning against nuclear weapons and the Common Market.
Michael Foot took over the leadership of the Labour Party in 1980, after the resignation of Jim Callaghan following the Tory victory in 1979.
Foot was derided by the right-wing press for his left-wing views and his casual, practical dress sense. He was also the target of black propaganda and false press rumours that he was a Moscow agent. As the political scene in Britain moved rightward, he was replaced in 1983 by Neil Kinnock.
He was born in Plymouth in 1913 in a very political Liberal family and early in his career he was active in fighting Oswald Moseley’s fascist BUF.
Chronic asthma kept him out of the forces during the war, which he spent as a journalist.
Foot was first elected to Parliament in 1945 and remained an MP for 47 years. He was a prolific writer and an opponent of the “New Labour” take over of the party in the 1990s.