37 Facts About Edward Heath

1. Edward Heath took us in to the European Economic Community in 1973.

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2. Edward Heath was awarded many honorary degrees for his Service to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

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3. Edward Heath wrote several books in the second half of the 1970s: Sailing, Music, and Travels.

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4. Edward Heath was a supporter of the Lancashire football club Burnley, and just after the end of his term as prime minister in 1974 he opened the £450,000 Bob Lord Stand at the club's Turf Moor stadium.

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5. Edward Heath conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, notably at a gala concert at the Royal Festival Hall in November 1971, at which he conducted Sir Edward Elgar's overture Cockaigne.

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6. In the 1960s, Edward Heath had lived in the Albany, off Piccadilly; at the unexpected end of his premiership, the French couple living there refused his demand that they move out so that he could have his flat back.

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7. Edward Heath died from pneumonia on the evening of 17 July 2005, at the age of 89.

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8. In his final public statement Edward Heath paid tribute to James Callaghan, who died on 26 March 2005, saying "James Callaghan was a major fixture in the political life of this country during his long and varied career.

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9. In August 2003, at the age of 87, Edward Heath suffered a pulmonary embolism while on holiday in Salzburg, Austria.

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10. Edward Heath maintained business links with a number of companies including a Saudi think tank, two investment funds and a Chinese freight operator, mainly as an adviser on China or a member of the governing board.

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11. Edward Heath was created a Knight of the Garter on 23 April 1992.

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12. Edward Heath continued to serve as a backbencher MP for the London constituency of Old Bexley and Sidcup and was, from 1992, the longest-serving MP and the oldest British MP.

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13. Edward Heath claimed that he had simply declined her request for advice about how to handle the press, whilst Thatcher claimed that she offered him any Shadow Cabinet position he wanted and asked him to lead the Conservative campaign in the imminent EEC referendum, only to be rudely rebuffed.

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14. Edward Heath came to be seen as a liability by many Conservative MPs, party activists and newspaper editors.

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15. Edward Heath began negotiations with Jeremy Thorpe, leader of the Liberal Party but, when these failed, he resigned as Prime Minister on 4 March 1974, and was replaced by Wilson's minority Labour government, eventually confirmed, though with a tiny majority, in a second election in October.

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16. Edward Heath tried to bolster his government by calling a general election for 28 February 1974, using the election slogan "Who governs Britain?".

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17. In January 2003, Edward Heath gave evidence to the Saville Inquiry and stated that he had never sanctioned unlawful lethal force in Northern Ireland.

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18. Edward Heath had been conducting a Christmas carol concert at Broadstairs and arrived home 10 minutes after the bomb exploded.

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19. Edward Heath was targeted by the IRA for introducing internment in Northern Ireland.

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20. In early 1971 Edward Heath sent in a Secret Intelligence Service officer, Frank Steele, to talk to the IRA and find out what common ground there was for negotiations.

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21. Edward Heath realized that to become closer to Europe he needed to be further from the United States, so he downplayed the Special Relationship that had long knitted the two nations together.

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22. Edward Heath refused to allow US intelligence gathering from British bases in Cyprus, resulting in a temporary halt in the US signals intelligence tap.

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23. Edward Heath stated that the Selsdon weekend only reaffirmed policies that had actually been evolving since he became leader of the Conservative Party.

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24. Edward Heath became the Conservatives' youngest leader and retained office after the party's defeat in the general election of 1966.

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25. On the announcement of Eden's resignation, Edward Heath submitted a report on the opinions of the Conservative MPs regarding Eden's possible successors.

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26. Edward Heath made his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 26 June 1950, in which he appealed to the Labour Government to participate in the Schuman Plan.

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27. Edward Heath joined a team under Alison Munro tasked with drawing up a scheme for British airports using some of the many World War II RAF bases, and was specifically charged with planning the home counties.

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28. Edward Heath joined the Honourable Artillery Company as a Lieutenant-Colonel on 1 September 1951, in which he remained active throughout the 1950s, rising to Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion; a portrait of him in full dress uniform still hangs in the HAC's Long Room.

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29. Edward Heath participated as an Adjutant in the Normandy landings, where he met Maurice Schumann, French Foreign Minister under Pompidou.

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30. Edward Heath spent late 1939 and early 1940 on a debating tour of the United States before being called up.

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31. In his final year Edward 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 1938 Oxford by-election.

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32. Edward Heath was educated at Chatham House Grammar School in Ramsgate, and in 1935 with the aid of a county scholarship he went up to study at Balliol College, Oxford.

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33. Edward Heath resigned as Prime Minister after trying in vain to form a coalition with the Liberal Party.

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34. Edward Heath eventually called an election for February 1974 to obtain a mandate to face down the miners' wage demands, but this instead resulted in a hung parliament in which the Labour Party, despite gaining fewer votes, had four more seats than the Conservatives.

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35. Edward Heath tried to curb the trade unions with the Industrial Relations Act 1971, and hoped to deregulate the economy and make a transfer from direct to indirect taxation.

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36. Edward Heath became Prime Minister after winning the 1970 general election.

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37. Edward Heath was elected leader of the Conservative Party in 1965; he retained that position despite losing the 1966 general election.

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