26 Facts About Michael Foot

1. Michael Foot died at his Hampstead, north London home in the morning of 3 March 2010 at the age of 96.

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2. Michael Foot used a walking stick for the rest of his life.

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3. Michael Foot suffered from asthma until 1963 and eczema until middle age.

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4. On 23 July 2006, his 93rd birthday, Michael Foot became the longest-lived leader of a major British political party, passing Lord Callaghan's record of 92 years, 364 days.

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5. In February 2007, it was revealed that Michael Foot had an extramarital affair with a woman around 35 years his junior in the early-1970s.

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6. Michael Foot is remembered with affection in Westminster as a great parliamentarian.

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7. Michael Foot became a supporter of pro-Europeanism in the 1990s.

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8. Michael Foot remained a high-profile member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

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9. Michael Foot took a back seat in Labour politics after 1983 and retired from the House of Commons at the 1992 general election, when Labour lost to the Tories for the fourth election in succession, but remained politically active.

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10. Michael Foot struggled to make an impact, and was widely criticised for his ineffectiveness, though his performances in the Commons—most notably on the Falklands War of 1982—won him widespread respect from other parliamentarians.

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11. When he became leader, Michael Foot was already 67 years old; and frail.

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12. Michael Foot presented himself as a compromise candidate, capable—unlike Healey—of uniting the party, which at the time was riven by the grassroots left-wing insurgency centred around Tony Benn.

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13. Michael Foot was elected Labour leader on 10 November 1980, beating Denis Healey in the second round of the leadership election.

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14. Michael Foot was one of the mainstays of the "no" campaign in the 1975 referendum on British membership of the European Communities.

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15. Michael Foot served in the Second Shadow Cabinet of Harold Wilson in various roles between 1970 and 1974.

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16. Michael Foot challenged James Callaghan for the post of Treasurer of the Labour Party in 1967, but failed.

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17. Michael Foot returned to parliament at a by-election in Ebbw Vale, Monmouthshire in 1960, the seat having been left vacant by Bevan's death.

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18. Michael Foot fought the Plymouth Devonport constituency in the 1945 general election.

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19. Michael Foot left the Standard in 1945 to join the Daily Herald as a columnist.

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20. Michael Foot was speaking in defence of the Daily Mirror, which had criticised the conduct of the war by the Churchill government.

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21. On the recommendation of Aneurin Bevan, Michael Foot was hired by Lord Beaverbrook to work as a writer on his Evening Standard.

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22. Michael Foot resigned in 1938 after the paper's first editor, William Mellor, was sacked for refusing to adopt a new CP policy of backing a Popular Front, including non-socialist parties, against fascism and appeasement.

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23. Michael Foot became a journalist, working briefly on the New Statesman, before joining the left-wing weekly Tribune when it was set up in early 1937 to support the Unity Campaign, an attempt to secure an anti-fascist United Front between Labour and other left-wing parties.

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24. Michael Foot was profoundly influenced by the poverty and unemployment that he witnessed in Liverpool, which was on a different scale from anything he had seen in Plymouth.

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25. Michael Foot served as a Member of Parliament from 1945 to 1955 and again from 1960 until he retired in 1992.

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26. Michael Foot began his career as a journalist, on Tribune and the Evening Standard.

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