Edward Heath
Overview
Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG
Order of the Garter
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

, MBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

, PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

 (9 July 1916 – 17 July 2005) was a British Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 (1970–74) and as Leader of the Conservative Party
Leaders of the Conservative Party
The Leader of the Conservative Party is the most senior politician within the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. The post is currently held by David Cameron, who s eeded Michael Howard in 2005, and who since 2010 is also the serving Prime Minister....

 (1965–75).

Born in Broadstairs
Broadstairs
Broadstairs is a coastal town on the Isle of Thanet in the Thanet district of east Kent, England, about south-east of London. It is part of the civil parish of Broadstairs and St Peter's, which includes St. Peter's and had a population in 2001 of about 24,000. Situated between Margate and...

, Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, Heath studied at Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 and served in the Second World War. He was first elected in the 1950 general election, for Bexley
Bexley (UK Parliament constituency)
Bexley was a parliamentary constituency centred on the Bexley district of south-east London. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.-History:...

 and was government Chief Whip during the 1950s. Entering the Cabinet as Minister of Labour in 1959, he was then Lord Privy Seal
Lord Privy Seal
The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state...

 responsible for Macmillan's unsuccessful EEC entry negotiations, then President of the Board of Trade.
Quotations

Action, not words.

Title of 1966 Conservative election manifesto (publication GE 1).

Robin Day: How low does your personal popularity have to go before you consider yourself a liability to the party you lead?Edward Heath: Popularity isn't everything.

Interview in "Britain Today", BBC 1, 24 June 1969.

I have always had a hidden wish, a frustrated desire, to run a hotel.

Speech at the Hotel Exhibition, Olympia, 1969.

This would, at a stroke, reduce the rise in prices, increase production and reduce unemployment.

Part of the prepared text of a speech on proposals to reduce taxation, 1970. In fact the sentence was never delivered in the speech but was distributed to journalists and highlighted in press reports.

It was wildly exciting. It certainly wasn't the highest feeling I've ever had, but it was one of them. In those days, security was not as good as today. Just afterwards, some chap was able to get at me and stab the back of my neck with a cigarette. It wasn't very pleasant.

Describing the scene at Conservative central office after winning the 1970 general election.

We may be a small island, but we are not a small people.

Speech, June 1970.

We will have to embark on a change so radical, a revolution so quiet and yet so total, that it will go far beyond the programme for a parliament.

October 1970 speech to the Conservative Party conference.

It is the unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism, but one should not suggest that the whole of British industry consists of practices of this kind.

House of Commons statement, May 1973, on the Lonrho affair.

Encyclopedia
Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG
Order of the Garter
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

, MBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

, PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

 (9 July 1916 – 17 July 2005) was a British Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 (1970–74) and as Leader of the Conservative Party
Leaders of the Conservative Party
The Leader of the Conservative Party is the most senior politician within the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. The post is currently held by David Cameron, who s eeded Michael Howard in 2005, and who since 2010 is also the serving Prime Minister....

 (1965–75).

Born in Broadstairs
Broadstairs
Broadstairs is a coastal town on the Isle of Thanet in the Thanet district of east Kent, England, about south-east of London. It is part of the civil parish of Broadstairs and St Peter's, which includes St. Peter's and had a population in 2001 of about 24,000. Situated between Margate and...

, Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, Heath studied at Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 and served in the Second World War. He was first elected in the 1950 general election, for Bexley
Bexley (UK Parliament constituency)
Bexley was a parliamentary constituency centred on the Bexley district of south-east London. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.-History:...

 and was government Chief Whip during the 1950s. Entering the Cabinet as Minister of Labour in 1959, he was then Lord Privy Seal
Lord Privy Seal
The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state...

 responsible for Macmillan's unsuccessful EEC entry negotiations, then President of the Board of Trade. In 1965 Heath won the leadership
Conservative Party (UK) leadership election, 1965
The Conservative Party leadership election of July 1965 was held to find a successor to Sir Alec Douglas-Home.It was the first time that a formal election by the parliamentary party had taken place, previous leaders having emerged through a consultation process...

 of the Conservative Party against Reginald Maudling
Reginald Maudling
Reginald Maudling was a British politician who held several Cabinet posts, including Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had been spoken of as a prospective Conservative leader since 1955, and was twice seriously considered for the post; he was Edward Heath's chief rival in 1965...

 and Enoch Powell
Enoch Powell
John Enoch Powell, MBE was a British politician, classical scholar, poet, writer, and soldier. He served as a Conservative Party MP and Minister of Health . He attained most prominence in 1968, when he made the controversial Rivers of Blood speech in opposition to mass immigration from...

. The general election of 1966
United Kingdom general election, 1966
The 1966 United Kingdom general election on 31 March 1966 was called by sitting Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Wilson's decision to call an election turned on the fact that his government, elected a mere 17 months previously in 1964 had an unworkably small majority of only 4 MPs...

 saw the Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 government of Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

 achieve a large increase in seats, however Heath remained Conservative leader.

Heath became Prime Minister after winning the 1970 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1970
The United Kingdom general election of 1970 was held on 18 June 1970, and resulted in a surprise victory for the Conservative Party under leader Edward Heath, who defeated the Labour Party under Harold Wilson. The election also saw the Liberal Party and its new leader Jeremy Thorpe lose half their...

. In 1971, Heath oversaw the decimalisation of British coinage and in 1972, he implemented major reform to the UK's system of local government
Local government in the United Kingdom
The pattern of local government in England is complex, with the distribution of functions varying according to the local arrangements. Legislation concerning local government in England is decided by the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom, because England does not have a devolved...

. In foreign policy, Heath took the UK into the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 (EEC) in 1973. Heath's premiership oversaw the height of The Troubles
The Troubles
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...

 in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, with the suspension of the Stormont parliament and the imposition of direct British rule. Unofficial talks with IRA
Irish Republican Army
The Irish Republican Army was an Irish republican revolutionary military organisation. It was descended from the Irish Volunteers, an organisation established on 25 November 1913 that staged the Easter Rising in April 1916...

 delegates were unsuccessful, as was the Sunningdale Agreement
Sunningdale Agreement
The Sunningdale Agreement was an attempt to establish a power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive and a cross-border Council of Ireland. The Agreement was signed at the Civil Service College in Sunningdale Park located in Sunningdale, Berkshire, on 9 December 1973.Unionist opposition, violence and...

 of 1973, which caused Ulster Unionists
Ulster Unionist Party
The Ulster Unionist Party – sometimes referred to as the Official Unionist Party or, in a historic sense, simply the Unionist Party – is the more moderate of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland...

 to withdraw from the Conservative whip.

Heath also attempted to curb union power with the Industrial Relations Act 1971
Industrial Relations Act 1971
The Industrial Relations Act 1971 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, since repealed. It was largely based on proposals outlined in the governing Conservative Party's manifesto for the 1970 general election...

, and had hoped to deregulate the economy and make a transfer from direct to indirect taxation. However rising unemployment in 1972 caused Heath to reflate the economy at the cost of high inflation, which he attempted to control by prices and incomes policy. Two miner's strikes in 1972 and 1974 proved damaging to the government, with the latter causing the implementation of the Three-Day Week
Three-Day Week
The Three-Day Week was one of several measures introduced in the United Kingdom by the Conservative Government 1970–1974 to conserve electricity, the production of which was severely limited due to industrial action by coal miners...

 to conserve energy. The general election in February 1974
United Kingdom general election, February 1974
The United Kingdom's general election of February 1974 was held on the 28th of that month. It was the first of two United Kingdom general elections held that year, and the first election since the Second World War not to produce an overall majority in the House of Commons for the winning party,...

, an attempt to win a public mandate to face down the miners' wage demands, resulted in a hung parliament
Hung parliament
In a two-party parliamentary system of government, a hung parliament occurs when neither major political party has an absolute majority of seats in the parliament . It is also less commonly known as a balanced parliament or a legislature under no overall control...

. Following a failed attempt to establish a coalition with the Liberals
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

, Heath conceded power to a minority Labour government under Harold Wilson, which won a small majority in a second election in October that year
United Kingdom general election, October 1974
The United Kingdom general election of October 1974 took place on 10 October 1974 to elect 635 members to the British House of Commons. It was the second general election of that year and resulted in the Labour Party led by Harold Wilson, winning by a tiny majority of 3 seats.The election of...

.

Despite losing two general elections in one year, Heath aimed to continue as Conservative leader. In 1975 however, his former Education and Science Secretary Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 defeated
Conservative Party (UK) leadership election, 1975
Edward Heath, leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom had called and unexpectedly lost the February 1974 general election...

 Heath for leadership of the party. Returning to the backbenches, Heath became an active critic of Thatcher's policies as Prime Minister. He retired as an MP in 2001 and died in 2005.

Heath was a world-class yachtsman and a musician of near-professional standard. He was also one of only four British Prime Ministers never to have married.

Early life

Edward Heath (known as "Teddy" as a young man) was born the son of a carpenter
Carpenter
A carpenter is a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects. The work, known as carpentry, may involve manual labor and work outdoors....

 and a maid from Broadstairs, Kent. His father was later a successful small businessman. He was educated at Chatham House Grammar School
Chatham House Grammar School
Chatham House Grammar School, often abbreviated to "Chatham House" is a grammar school in Ramsgate, Kent, England, founded in 1797 as a private boy's boarding school by William Humble, under the name Humbles Boys' School...

 in Ramsgate
Ramsgate
Ramsgate is a seaside town in the district of Thanet in east Kent, England. It was one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th century and is a member of the ancient confederation of Cinque Ports. It has a population of around 40,000. Ramsgate's main attraction is its coastline and its main...

 and in 1935 with the aid of a county scholarship he went up to study at Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

. A talented musician, he won the college's organ scholar
Organ scholar
An organ scholar is a young musician employed as a part-time assistant organist at an institution where regular choral services are held. The idea of an organ scholarship is to provide the holder with playing, directing and administrative experience....

ship in his first term (he had previously tried for the organ scholarships at St Catharine's College, Cambridge
St Catharine's College, Cambridge
St. Catharine’s College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Founded in 1473, the college is often referred to informally by the nickname "Catz".-History:...

 and Keble College, Oxford
Keble College, Oxford
Keble College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its main buildings are on Parks Road, opposite the University Museum and the University Parks. The college is bordered to the north by Keble Road, to the south by Museum Road, and to the west by Blackhall...

) which enabled him to stay at the university for a fourth year; he eventually graduated with a Second Class Honours
British undergraduate degree classification
The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading scheme for undergraduate degrees in the United Kingdom...

 BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1939. In later life, Heath's peculiar accent – with its "strangulated" vowel sounds, combined with his non-Standard pronunciation of "l" as "w" and "out" as "eout" – was satirised by the Monty Python's Flying Circus
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a BBC TV sketch comedy series. The shows were composed of surreality, risqué or innuendo-laden humour, sight gags and observational sketches without punchlines...

 in the audio sketch "Teach Yourself Heath" (originally recorded for their 1972 LP Monty Python's Previous Record
Monty Python's Previous Record
Monty Python's Previous Record was the third album by Monty Python, released in 1972. When packaged in 1994's The Instant Monty Python CD Collection the order of some of the sketches was changed...

but not released at the time). Heath's biographer John Campbell
John Campbell
- British political figures :* John Campbell, 1st Earl of Loudoun , Lord Chancellor of Scotland, President of the Privy Council* John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll , Scottish soldier, Lord Steward, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey...

 speculates that his speech, unlike that of his father and younger brother, who both spoke with Kent accents, must have undergone "drastic alteration on encountering Oxford", although retaining elements of Kent speech.

While at university Heath became active in Conservative politics. On the key political issue of the day, foreign policy, he opposed the Conservative-dominated government of the day ever more openly. His first Paper Speech (i.e. a major speech listed on the order paper
Order Paper
The Order Paper is a daily publication in the Westminster system of government which lists the business of parliament for that day's sitting. A separate paper is issued daily for each house of the legislature....

 along with the visiting guest speakers) at the Oxford Union, in Michaelmas
Michaelmas
Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September...

 1936, was in opposition to the appeasement
Appeasement
The term appeasement is commonly understood to refer to a diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to another power. Historian Paul Kennedy defines it as "the policy of settling international quarrels by admitting and satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and...

 of Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 by returning her colonies, confiscated after the First World War. In June 1937 he was elected President of the Oxford University Conservative Association
Oxford University Conservative Association
The Oxford University Conservative Association, or OUCA is a student political organisation founded in 1924 whose members are drawn from the University of Oxford...

 as a pro-Spanish-Republican
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

 candidate, in opposition to the pro-Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

 John Stokes
John Heydon Stokes
Sir John Heydon Romaine Stokes, KBE , was a British politician and a Conservative Party Member of Parliament.-Education and Early Career:...

 (later a Conservative MP). In 1937-38 he was also chairman of the national Federation of University Conservative Associations, and in the same year (his third at university) he was Secretary then Librarian of the Oxford Union. At the end of the year he was defeated for the Presidency of the Oxford Union by another Balliol candidate, Alan Wood, on the issue of whether the Chamberlain government should give way to a left-wing Popular Front. On this occasion Heath supported the government.

In his final year Heath was President of Balliol College Junior Common Room, an office held in subsequent years by his near-contemporaries Denis Healey
Denis Healey
Denis Winston Healey, Baron Healey CH, MBE, PC is a British Labour politician, who served as Secretary of State for Defence from 1964 to 1970 and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1974 to 1979.-Early life:...

 and Roy Jenkins
Roy Jenkins
Roy Harris Jenkins, Baron Jenkins of Hillhead OM, PC was a British politician.The son of a Welsh coal miner who later became a union official and Labour MP, Roy Jenkins served with distinction in World War II. Elected to Parliament as a Labour member in 1948, he served in several major posts in...

, 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
Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
For the businessman and philanthropist, see Quintin Hogg Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC, FRS , formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham , was a British politician who was known for the longevity of his career, the vigour with which he campaigned for the Conservative...

, in the Oxford by-election, 1938
Oxford by-election, 1938
The Oxford by-election, 1938 was a parliamentary by-election for the British House of Commons constituency of Oxford, held on October 27, 1938. The by-election was triggered when Robert Croft Bourne, the sitting Conservative Member of Parliament died on August 7, 1938...

. Heath, who had himself applied to be the Conservative candidate for the by-election, accused the government in an October Union Debate of "turning all four cheeks" to Hitler, and was elected as President of the Oxford Union in November 1938, sponsored by Balliol, after winning the Presidential Debate that "This House has No Confidence in the National Government as presently constituted". He was thus President in Hilary Term 1939; the visiting Leo Amery described him in his diaries as "a pleasant youth".

As an undergraduate, Heath travelled widely in Europe. His opposition to appeasement was nourished by his witnessing first-hand a Nuremberg Rally
Nuremberg Rally
The Nuremberg Rally was the annual rally of the NSDAP in Germany, held from 1923 to 1938. Especially after Hitler's rise to power in 1933, they were large Nazi propaganda events...

 in 1937, where he met top Nazis Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as "The Blue Max"...

, Joseph Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels
Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. As one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealous oratory and anti-Semitism...

 and Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

 at an SS cocktail party. He later described Himmler as "the most evil man I have ever met". In 1938 he visited Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, then under attack from Spanish Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

. In the summer of 1939 he again travelled across Germany, returning to England just before the declaration of war.

World War II

Heath spent the winter of 1939–40 on a debating tour of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 before being called up, and early in 1941 was commissioned
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

 in the Royal Artillery. During the war he initially served with heavy anti-aircraft guns
Anti-aircraft warfare
NATO defines air defence as "all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action." They include ground and air based weapon systems, associated sensor systems, command and control arrangements and passive measures. It may be to protect naval, ground and air forces...

 around Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 (which suffered heavy German bombing
Liverpool Blitz
The Liverpool Blitz was the heavy and sustained bombing of the British city of Liverpool and its surrounding area, at the time mostly within the counties of Lancashire and Cheshire but commonly known as Merseyside, during the Second World War by the German Luftwaffe.Liverpool, Bootle, and the...

 in May 1941) and by early 1942 was regimental adjutant, with the rank of Captain. Later, by then a Major commanding a battery of his own, he provided artillery support in the North-West Europe Campaign of 1944-45
North-West Europe Campaign of 1944-1945
North-West Europe Campaign of 1944–1945 is a battle honour given to several regiments in the British Army.It refers to the land campaign starting with the landings in Normandy and ended with Field Marshal Montgomery taking the German military surrender of all German forces in Holland, Northwest...

.

He later remarked that, although he did not personally kill anybody, as the British forces advanced he saw the devastation caused by his unit's artillery bombardments. In September 1945 he commanded a firing squad that executed a Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 soldier convicted of rape and murder. After demobilisation as a Lieutenant-colonel in August 1946 Heath joined the Honourable Artillery Company
Honourable Artillery Company
The Honourable Artillery Company was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1537 by King Henry VIII. Today it is a Registered Charity whose purpose is to attend to the “better defence of the realm"...

, 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. In April 1971, as Prime Minister, he wore his lieutenant-colonel's insignia to inspect troops.

Post war

Before the war Heath had won a scholarship to Gray's Inn
Gray's Inn
The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns...

 and had begun making preparations for a career at the Bar, but after the war he instead passed top into the Civil Service
Civil service
The term civil service has two distinct meanings:* A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations....

. He then became a civil servant in the Ministry of Civil Aviation (he was disappointed not to be posted to the Treasury, but declined an offer to join the Foreign Office, fearing that foreign postings might prevent him from entering politics). He resigned in November 1947 after his adoption as the prospective parliamentary candidate for Bexley
Bexley
Bexley is an South East London]] in the London Borough of Bexley, London, England. It is located on the banks of the River Cray south of the Roman Road, Watling Street...

.

After working as Editor of the Church Times
Church Times
The Church Times is an independent Anglican weekly newspaper. It is published in the United Kingdom on Fridays.The Church Times was founded in 1863 to campaign for Anglo-Catholic principles and has always been independent of the Church of England hierarchy. It was a family concern The Church Times...

from 1948 to 1949, Heath worked as a management trainee at the merchant bankers Brown, Shipley & Co.
Brown, Shipley & Co.
Brown, Shipley & Co. is a long-established British private bank, based in London.It provides investment management, pensions and associated advisory services for private, institutional and corporate clients.-History:...

 until his election as Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP) for Bexley
Bexley (UK Parliament constituency)
Bexley was a parliamentary constituency centred on the Bexley district of south-east London. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.-History:...

 in the February 1950 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1950
The 1950 United Kingdom general election was the first general election ever after a full term of a Labour government. Despite polling over one and a half million votes more than the Conservatives, the election, held on 23 February 1950 resulted in Labour receiving a slim majority of just five...

. In the election he defeated an old contemporary from the Oxford Union, Ashley Bramall
Ashley Bramall
Sir Ashley Bramall was a British Labour Party politician, Member of Parliament for Bexley from 1946 to 1950 and Leader of the Inner London Education Authority for 11 years.-Family and early career:...

, with a majority of 133 votes.

Member of Parliament

Heath made his maiden speech
Maiden speech
A maiden speech is the first speech given by a newly elected or appointed member of a legislature or parliament.Traditions surrounding maiden speeches vary from country to country...

 in the House of Commons on 26 June 1950, in which he appealed to the Labour Government to participate in the Schuman Plan. As MP for Bexley, he gave enthusiastic speeches in support of the young, unknown candidate for neighbouring Dartford
Dartford (UK Parliament constituency)
-Elections in the 2000s:-Elections in the 1990s:-Notes and references:...

, Margaret Roberts, soon to become Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

.

In February 1951, Heath was appointed as an Opposition Whip
Whip (politics)
A whip is an official in a political party whose primary purpose is to ensure party discipline in a legislature. Whips are a party's "enforcers", who typically offer inducements and threaten punishments for party members to ensure that they vote according to the official party policy...

 by Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

. He remained in the Whip's Office after the Conservatives won the 1951 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1951
The 1951 United Kingdom general election was held eighteen months after the 1950 general election, which the Labour Party had won with a slim majority of just five seats...

, rising rapidly to Joint Deputy Chief Whip, Deputy Chief Whip and, in December 1955, Government Chief Whip under Anthony Eden
Anthony Eden
Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC was a British Conservative politician, who was Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957...

. Because of the convention that Whips do not speak in Parliament, Heath managed to keep out of the controversy over the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

. On the announcement of Eden's resignation, Heath submitted a report on the opinions of the Conservative MPs regarding Eden's possible successors. This report favoured Harold Macmillan
Harold Macmillan
Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC was Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 18 October 1963....

 and was instrumental in eventually securing Macmillan the premiership in January 1957. Macmillan later appointed Heath Minister of Labour, a Cabinet Minister - as Chief Whip Heath had attended Cabinet but had not been formally a member - after winning the October 1959 election.

In 1960 Macmillan appointed Heath Lord Privy Seal
Lord Privy Seal
The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state...

 with responsibility for the negotiations to secure the UK's first attempt to join the Common Market
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 (as the European Community was then called). After extensive negotiations, involving detailed agreements about the UK's agricultural trade with Commonwealth countries such as New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, British entry was vetoed by the French President, Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

, at a press conference in January 1963 - much to the disappointment of Heath, who was a firm supporter of European common market membership for the United Kingdom. However, he would oversee a successful application when serving in a higher position a decade later.

After this setback, a major humiliation for Macmillan's foreign policy, Heath was not a contender for the party leadership on Macmillan's retirement in October 1963. Under Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Alec Douglas-Home
Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC , known as The Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963 and as Sir Alec Douglas-Home from 1963 to 1974, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964.He is the last...

 he was President of the Board of Trade and Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development, and oversaw the abolition of retail price controls
Price controls
Price controls are governmental impositions on the prices charged for goods and services in a market, usually intended to maintain the affordability of staple foods and goods, and to prevent price gouging during shortages, or, alternatively, to insure an income for providers of certain goods...

.

Leadership bid

After the Conservative Party lost the general election of 1964
United Kingdom general election, 1964
The United Kingdom general election of 1964 was held on 15 October 1964, more than five years after the preceding election, and thirteen years after the Conservative Party had retaken power...

, the defeated Home changed the party leadership rules to allow for an MP ballot vote, and then resigned. The following year, Heath – who was Shadow Chancellor at the time, and had recently won favourable publicity for leading the fight against Labour's Finance Bill – unexpectedly won the party's leadership contest, gaining 150 votes to Reginald Maudling
Reginald Maudling
Reginald Maudling was a British politician who held several Cabinet posts, including Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had been spoken of as a prospective Conservative leader since 1955, and was twice seriously considered for the post; he was Edward Heath's chief rival in 1965...

's 133 and Enoch Powell's 15. Heath became the Tories' youngest leader and retained office after the party's defeat in the general election of 1966
United Kingdom general election, 1966
The 1966 United Kingdom general election on 31 March 1966 was called by sitting Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Wilson's decision to call an election turned on the fact that his government, elected a mere 17 months previously in 1964 had an unworkably small majority of only 4 MPs...

.

Leader of the Opposition

Heath sacked Enoch Powell
Enoch Powell
John Enoch Powell, MBE was a British politician, classical scholar, poet, writer, and soldier. He served as a Conservative Party MP and Minister of Health . He attained most prominence in 1968, when he made the controversial Rivers of Blood speech in opposition to mass immigration from...

 from the Shadow Cabinet
Shadow Cabinet
The Shadow Cabinet is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition form an alternative cabinet to the government's, whose members shadow or mark each individual member of the government...

 in April 1968, shortly after Powell made his inflammatory "Rivers of Blood" speech which criticised Commonwealth
Commonwealth
Commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically, it has sometimes been synonymous with "republic."More recently it has been used for fraternal associations of some sovereign nations...

 immigration to the United Kingdom.

Heath never spoke to Powell again. Powell had not notified Conservative Central Office
Conservative Campaign Headquarters
Conservative Campaign Headquarters , formerly known as Conservative Central Office is the headquarters of the British Conservative Party, housing its central staff and committee members....

 of his intention to deliver the speech, and this was put forward as one reason for his dismissal.

Prime Minister

With another general election approaching in 1970 a Conservative policy document emerged from the Selsdon Park Hotel
Selsdon Park Hotel
Selsdon Park Hotel, a luxury hotel located in Selsdon, London, England. It is housed in a country house which was for much of the 19th century the seat of the Bishops of Rochester, although the building has since that time been greatly expanded.-History:...

 that, according to some historians, offered monetarist and free-market oriented policies as solutions to the country's unemployment and inflation problems. Heath stated that the Selsdon weekend only reaffirmed policies that had actually been evolving since he became leader of the Conservative Party. The prime minister, Harold Wilson, thought the document a vote-loser and dubbed it the product of Selsdon Man - after the supposedly prehistoric Piltdown Man
Piltdown Man
The Piltdown Man was a hoax in which bone fragments were presented as the fossilised remains of a previously unknown early human. These fragments consisted of parts of a skull and jawbone, said to have been collected in 1912 from a gravel pit at Piltdown, East Sussex, England...

- in order to portray it as reactionary. But Heath's Conservative Party won the general election of 1970
United Kingdom general election, 1970
The United Kingdom general election of 1970 was held on 18 June 1970, and resulted in a surprise victory for the Conservative Party under leader Edward Heath, who defeated the Labour Party under Harold Wilson. The election also saw the Liberal Party and its new leader Jeremy Thorpe lose half their...

 - 330 seats to Labour's 288. It was the only occasion since 1945 in which one party with a working majority had been replaced in a single election by another party with a working majority.

The new cabinet included Margaret Thatcher (Education and Science), William Whitelaw
William Whitelaw, 1st Viscount Whitelaw
William Stephen Ian Whitelaw, 1st Viscount Whitelaw, KT, CH, MC, PC, DL , often known as Willie Whitelaw, was a British Conservative Party politician who served in a wide number of Cabinet positions, most notably as Home Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister.-Early life:Whitelaw was born in Nairn, in...

 (Leader of the House of Commons) and the former prime minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs).

Heath's time in office was as difficult as that of all British prime ministers in the 1970s. The government suffered an early blow with the death of Chancellor of the Exchequer Iain Macleod
Iain Macleod
Iain Norman Macleod was a British Conservative Party politician and government minister.-Early life:...

 on 20 July 1970; his replacement was Anthony Barber. Heath's planned economic policy changes (including a significant shift from direct to indirect taxation) remained largely unimplemented: the Selsdon policy document was more or less abandoned as unemployment increased considerably by 1972 (the so-called "U-Turn"). From this point the economy was inflated in an attempt to bring unemployment down, the so-called "Barber Boom".

Heath attempted to rein in the increasingly militant trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 movement, which had so far managed to stop attempts to curb their power by legal means. His Industrial Relations Act set up a special court under the judge Lord Donaldson
John Donaldson, Baron Donaldson of Lymington
John Francis Donaldson, Baron Donaldson of Lymington PC, QC was a senior British judge who served as Master of the Rolls for 10 years, from 1982 to 1992.- Early and private life :...

, whose imprisonment of striking dockworkers was a public relations disaster that the Thatcher Government of the 1980s would take pains to avoid repeating (relying instead on confiscating the assets of unions found to have broken new anti-strike laws). Heath's attempt to confront trade union power resulted in a political battle, hobbled as the government was by inflation and high unemployment. Especially damaging to the government's credibility were the two miners' strikes of 1972 and 1974, the latter of which resulted in much of the country's industry working a Three-Day Week
Three-Day Week
The Three-Day Week was one of several measures introduced in the United Kingdom by the Conservative Government 1970–1974 to conserve electricity, the production of which was severely limited due to industrial action by coal miners...

 in an attempt to conserve energy. The National Union of Mineworkers won its case but the energy shortages and the resulting breakdown of domestic consensus contributed to the eventual downfall of his government.

Heath's government did not curtail welfare spending, though at one point the squeeze in the education budget resulted in Margaret Thatcher, then Secretary of State for Education and Science, acting on the late Iain Macleod's wishes, ending the provision of free school milk from 8 to 11 year olds (the preceding Labour Government having removed it from secondary schools three years before) for which the tabloid press christened her "Thatcher the Milk Snatcher". She did succeed in blocking Macleod's other posthumous Education policy of abolishing the Open University
Open University
The Open University is a distance learning and research university founded by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom...

 recently founded by the preceding Labour Government.

Heath's government's 1972 Local Government Act changed the boundaries of Britain's counties and created "Metropolitan Counties" around the major cities (e.g. Merseyside around Liverpool): this caused significant public anger. Heath did not divide Britain into regions, choosing instead to await the report of the Crowther Commission on the constitution; the ten Government Office Regions
Regions of England
In England, the region is the highest tier of sub-national division used by central Government. Between 1994 and 2011, the nine regions had an administrative role in the implementation of UK Government policy, and as the areas covered by elected bodies...

 were eventually set up by the Major government in 1994.

In Great Britain, Scottish
Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party is a social-democratic political party in Scotland which campaigns for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom....

 and Welsh
Plaid Cymru
' is a political party in Wales. It advocates the establishment of an independent Welsh state within the European Union. was formed in 1925 and won its first seat in 1966...

 nationalism also grew as political forces.

The decimalisation of British coinage
Decimal Day
Decimal Day was the day the United Kingdom and Ireland decimalised their currencies.-Old system:Under the old currency of pounds, shillings and pence, the pound was made up of 240 pence , with 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings in a...

, begun under the previous Labour Government, was completed eight months after he came to power. He established the Central Policy Review Staff
Central Policy Review Staff
The Central Policy Review Staff , nicknamed the "Think-Tank", was an independent unit within the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom tasked with developing long term strategy and co-ordinating policy across government departments...

 in February 1971.

Heath's government oversaw a significant rise in unemployment. His Labour predecessor as prime minister, Harold Wilson, had inherited an unemployment count of around 400,000 at the time of his general election win
United Kingdom general election, 1964
The United Kingdom general election of 1964 was held on 15 October 1964, more than five years after the preceding election, and thirteen years after the Conservative Party had retaken power...

 of October 1964 but seen unemployment peak at 631,000 during the spring of 1967, though it had fallen to 582,000 by the time Heath seized power in June 1970. Like Wilson and Labour, Heath and the Tories were pledged to "full employment" but within a year it became clear that they were losing that battle, as the official unemployment count crept towards 1,000,000 and some newspapers suggested that it was even higher. In January 1972, it was officially confirmed that unemployment had risen above 1,000,000 - a level not seen for more than 30 years. Various other reports around this time suggested that unemployment was higher still, with The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

newspaper claiming that "nearly 3,000,000" people were jobless by March of that year.

Foreign policy

Upon entering office in June 1970, Heath immediately set about trying to reverse Wilson's policy of ending Britain's military presence East of Suez
East of Suez
The phrase East of Suez is used in British military and political discussions in reference to imperial interests beyond the European theatre ....

. Heath took the United Kingdom into the European Community in 1973. He publicly supported the massive US bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong in April 1972.

In October 1973, he placed a British arms embargo on all combatants in the Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur war
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

, which mostly affected the Israelis by preventing them obtaining spares for their Centurion tank
Centurion tank
The Centurion, introduced in 1945, was the primary British main battle tank of the post-World War II period. It was a successful tank design, with upgrades, for many decades...

s. Heath refused to allow US intelligence gathering from British bases in Cyprus, resulting in a temporary halt in the US signals intelligence tap. He also refused permission for the US to use any UK bases for resupply.

He favoured links with the China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, visiting Mao Tse-tung
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 in 1974 and 1975 and remaining an honoured guest in China on frequent visits thereafter and forming a close relationship with Mao's successor Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

. Heath also maintained a good relationship with US President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 and figures in the Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i Ba'ath Party.

Northern Ireland

Heath governed during a bloody period in the history of the Northern Ireland Troubles
The Troubles
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...

. On Bloody Sunday in 1972
Bloody Sunday (1972)
Bloody Sunday —sometimes called the Bogside Massacre—was an incident on 30 January 1972 in the Bogside area of Derry, Northern Ireland, in which twenty-six unarmed civil rights protesters and bystanders were shot by soldiers of the British Army...

, 14 unarmed men were killed by British soldiers during a civil rights march in Derry
Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

. (In 2003, he gave evidence to the Saville Inquiry and stated that he had never sanctioned unlawful lethal force in Northern Ireland). In early 1971 Heath sent in a Secret Intelligence Service
Secret Intelligence Service
The Secret Intelligence Service is responsible for supplying the British Government with foreign intelligence. Alongside the internal Security Service , the Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence Intelligence , it operates under the formal direction of the Joint Intelligence...

 officer, Frank Steele, to talk to the Provisional Irish Republican Army
Provisional Irish Republican Army
The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

 and find out what common ground there was for negotiations. Steele had carried out secret talks with Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyattapron.] served as the first Prime Minister and President of Kenya. He is considered the founding father of the Kenyan nation....

 ahead of the British withdrawal from Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

. In July 1972, Heath permitted his Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, William Whitelaw, to hold unofficial talks in London with a Provisional Irish Republican Army
Provisional Irish Republican Army
The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

 (IRA) delegation by Seán Mac Stiofáin
Seán Mac Stíofáin
Seán Mac Stíofáin was an Irish republican paramilitary activist born in London, who became associated with the republican movement in Ireland after serving in the Royal Air Force...

. In the aftermath of these unsuccessful talks, the Heath government pushed for a peaceful settlement with the democratic political parties.

The 1973 Sunningdale Agreement
Sunningdale Agreement
The Sunningdale Agreement was an attempt to establish a power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive and a cross-border Council of Ireland. The Agreement was signed at the Civil Service College in Sunningdale Park located in Sunningdale, Berkshire, on 9 December 1973.Unionist opposition, violence and...

, which proposed a power-sharing deal, was strongly repudiated by many Unionists and the Ulster Unionist Party
Ulster Unionist Party
The Ulster Unionist Party – sometimes referred to as the Official Unionist Party or, in a historic sense, simply the Unionist Party – is the more moderate of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland...

 who withdrew its MPs at Westminster from the Conservative whip, The proposal was finally brought down by the Loyalist Ulster Workers' Council strike
Ulster Workers' Council Strike
The Ulster Workers' Council strike was a general strike that took place in Northern Ireland between 15 May and 28 May 1974, during "The Troubles". The strike was called by loyalists and unionists who were against the Sunningdale Agreement, which had been signed in December 1973...

 in 1974. Much of what was contained in the Sunningdale Agreement found its way into the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which was once described by the then deputy leader of the SDLP, Seamus Mallon
Seamus Mallon
Seamus Frederick Mallon born 17 August 1936, in Markethill, County Armagh, is an Irish politician and former Deputy Leader of the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland...

, as "Sunningdale for slow learners", a reference to the failed power-sharing deal of 1973.

Heath was targeted by the IRA for introducing internment
Internment
Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning as: "The action of 'interning'; confinement within the limits of a country or place." Most modern usage is about individuals, and there is a distinction...

 in Northern Ireland. In December 1974, the Balcombe Street
Balcombe Street Siege
The Balcombe Street Siege was an incident involving members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army and the Metropolitan Police Service of London, England lasting from 6 December to 12 December 1975. The siege ended with the surrender of the four IRA volunteers and the release of their two hostages...

 ASU
Active Service Unit
An active service unit was a Provisional Irish Republican Army cell of five to eight members, tasked with carrying out armed attacks. In 2002 the IRA had about 1,000 active members of which about 300 were in active service units....

 threw a bomb onto the first-floor balcony of his home in Wilton Street, Belgravia
Belgravia
Belgravia is a district of central London in the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Noted for its immensely expensive residential properties, it is one of the wealthiest districts in the world...

 where it exploded. Heath had been conducting a Christmas carol concert in his constituency at Broadstairs and arrived home 10 minutes after the bomb exploded. No one was injured in the attack, but a landscape portrait painted by Winston Churchill – given to Heath as a present – was damaged.

1974 general elections

Heath tried to bolster his government by calling a general election
United Kingdom general election, February 1974
The United Kingdom's general election of February 1974 was held on the 28th of that month. It was the first of two United Kingdom general elections held that year, and the first election since the Second World War not to produce an overall majority in the House of Commons for the winning party,...

 for 28 February 1974, using the election slogan "Who governs Britain?". The result of the election was inconclusive with no party gaining an overall majority in the House of Commons; the Tories had the most votes but Labour had slightly more seats. Heath began negotiations with Jeremy Thorpe
Jeremy Thorpe
John Jeremy Thorpe is a British former politician who was leader of the Liberal Party from 1967 to 1976 and was the Member of Parliament for North Devon from 1959 to 1979. His political career was damaged when an acquaintance, Norman Scott, claimed to have had a love affair with Thorpe at a time...

, leader of the Liberal Party
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 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 of the same year.

The Centre for Policy Studies
Centre for Policy Studies
The Centre for Policy Studies is a British right wing policy think tank whose goal is to promote coherent and practical public policy, to roll back the state, reform public services, support communities, and challenge threats to Britain’s independence...

, a Conservative group closely involved with the 1970 Selsdon document, began to formulate a new monetarist and free-market policy, initially led by Sir Keith Joseph
Keith Joseph
Keith St John Joseph, Baron Joseph, Bt, CH, PC , was a British barrister and politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet under three Prime Ministers , and is widely regarded to have been the "power behind the throne" in the creation of what came to be known as...

. Although Margaret Thatcher was associated with the CPS she was initially seen as a potential moderate go-between by Heath's lieutenant James Prior.

Rise of Thatcher

Heath came to be seen as a liability by many Conservative MPs, party activists and newspaper editors. He resolved to remain Conservative leader, even after two general election defeats in one year, and at first it appeared that by calling on the loyalty of his front bench colleagues he might prevail. In the weeks following the second election defeat, Heath came under tremendous pressure to concede a review of the rules and agreed to establish a commission to propose changes and to seek re-election. There was no clear challenger after Enoch Powell had left the party and Keith Joseph had ruled himself out after controversial statements implying that the working classes should be encouraged to use more birth control. Joseph's close friend and ally Margaret Thatcher, who believed an adherent to CPS philosophy should stand, joined the leadership contest in his place alongside the outsider Hugh Fraser
Hugh Fraser (politician)
Major Sir Hugh Charles Patrick Joseph Fraser MBE was a British Conservative politician and first husband of the author Lady Antonia Fraser.-Youth and military career:...

. Aided by Airey Neave
Airey Neave
Airey Middleton Sheffield Neave DSO, OBE, MC was a British soldier, barrister and politician.During World War II, Neave was one of the few servicemen to escape from the German prisoner-of-war camp Oflag IV-C at Colditz Castle...

's campaigning amongst back-bench MPs – whose earlier approach to William Whitelaw had been rebuffed out of loyalty to Heath – she emerged as the only serious challenger.

The new rules permitted new candidates to enter the ballot in a second round of voting should the first be inconclusive, so Thatcher's challenge was considered by some to be that of a stalking horse
Stalking horse
A stalking horse is a person who tests a concept with someone or mounts a challenge against them on behalf of an anonymous third party. If the idea proves viable and/or popular, the anonymous figure can then declare their interest and advance the concept with little risk of failure...

. Neave deliberately understated Thatcher's support in order to attract wavering votes from MPs who were keen to see Heath replaced even though they did not necessarily want Thatcher to replace him.

On 4 February 1975, Thatcher defeated Heath in the first ballot by 130 votes to 119, with Fraser coming in a distant third with 16 votes. This was not a big enough margin to give Thatcher the 15% majority necessary to win on the first ballot, but having finished in second place Heath immediately resigned and did not contest the next ballot. His favoured candidate, William Whitelaw, lost to Thatcher in the second vote one week later (Thatcher 146, Whitelaw 79, Howe 19, Prior 19, Peyton 11).

When Thatcher visited Heath the day after her election as leader, accounts differ as to whether or not she offered him a place in her shadow cabinet – by some accounts she was detained for coffee by a colleague so that the waiting press would not realise how brief the meeting had been. Heath stated that he had already informed her that he did not want a place and that the purpose of her visit was to seek his advice as to how to handle the press. Nonetheless after the 1979 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1979
The United Kingdom general election of 1979 was held on 3 May 1979 to elect 635 members to the British House of Commons. The Conservative Party, led by Margaret Thatcher ousted the incumbent Labour government of James Callaghan with a parliamentary majority of 43 seats...

 he was offered, and declined, the post of British Ambassador to the United States.

Later career

Heath for many years persisted in criticism of the party's new ideological direction. At the time of his defeat he was still popular with rank and file Conservative members and was warmly applauded at the 1975 Party Conference. He continued as a central figure on the left of the party and, at the 1981 Conservative Party conference, openly criticised the government's economic policies – namely monetarism
Monetarism
Monetarism is a tendency in economic thought that emphasizes the role of governments in controlling the amount of money in circulation. It is the view within monetary economics that variation in the money supply has major influences on national output in the short run and the price level over...

, which had seen inflation cut from 27% in 1979 to 4% by 1983, but had seen unemployment double from around 1,500,000 to a postwar high of more than 3,000,000 during that time. His bad relations with Thatcher were known as "the longest sulk in history".

He campaigned in the 1975 referendum in which Britain voted to remain part of the EEC and remained active on the international stage, serving on the Brandt
Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm , was a German politician, Mayor of West Berlin 1957–1966, Chancellor of West Germany 1969–1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany 1964–1987....

 Commission investigation into developmental issues, particularly on North-South
North-South divide
The north–south divide is a socio-economic and political division that exists between the wealthy developed countries, known collectively as "the north", and the poorer developing countries , or "the south." Although most nations comprising the "North" are in fact located in the Northern Hemisphere ,...

 projects (Brandt Report
Brandt Report
thumb|right|[[Willy Brandt]], the creator of the Brandt ReportThe Brandt Report is the report written by the Independent Commission, first chaired by Willy Brandt in 1980, to review international development issues...

). In 1990 he flew to Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 to attempt to negotiate the release of aircraft passengers and other British nationals taken hostage when Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 invaded Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

. After Black Wednesday
Black Wednesday
In politics and economics, Black Wednesday refers to the events of 16 September 1992 when the British Conservative government was forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism after they were unable to keep it above its agreed lower limit...

 in 1992 he stated in the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

 that government should build a fund of reserves to counter currency speculators.

In the 1960s Heath had lived at a flat in the Albany, off Piccadilly; at the unexpected end of his premiership he took the flat of a Conservative MP Tim Kitson
Timothy Kitson
Sir Timothy Peter Geoffrey Kitson is a British Conservative politician who was Member of Parliament for Richmond, North Yorkshire. He was first elected in the 1959 general election, and stood down at the 1983 general election....

 for some months. In February 1985 Heath moved to Salisbury
Salisbury
Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England and the only city in the county. It is the second largest settlement in the county...

, where he resided until his death over 20 years later. In 1987 he was nominated in the election for the Chancellorship of the University of Oxford
University of Oxford Chancellor election, 1987
The 1987 University of Oxford election for the position of Chancellor was called upon the death of the incumbent Chancellor, Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton on 29 December 1986.-Electorate:...

 but came third, behind Roy Jenkins
Roy Jenkins
Roy Harris Jenkins, Baron Jenkins of Hillhead OM, PC was a British politician.The son of a Welsh coal miner who later became a union official and Labour MP, Roy Jenkins served with distinction in World War II. Elected to Parliament as a Labour member in 1948, he served in several major posts in...

 and Lord Blake
Robert Blake, Baron Blake
Robert Norman William Blake, Baron Blake was an English historian. He is best known for his 1966 biography of Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, and for The Conservative Party from Peel to Churchill, which grew out of his 1968 Ford lectures...

.

Heath continued to serve as a back bench MP for the London constituency of Old Bexley and Sidcup
Old Bexley and Sidcup
Old Bexley and Sidcup is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.-History:...

 and was, from 1992, the longest-serving MP ("Father of the House") and the oldest British MP. As Father of the House he oversaw the election of two Speakers
Speaker (politics)
The term speaker is a title often given to the presiding officer of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body. The speaker's official role is to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like. The speaker decides who may speak and has the...

 of the Commons, Betty Boothroyd
Betty Boothroyd
Betty Boothroyd, Baroness Boothroyd, OM, PC is a British politician, who served as Member of Parliament for West Bromwich and West Bromwich West from 1973 to 2000, initially for the Labour Party and, from 1992 to 2000, as Speaker of the House of Commons...

 and Michael Martin
Michael Martin (politician)
Michael John Martin, Baron Martin of Springburn, PC is a British politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Glasgow Springburn from 1979 to 2005, and then for Glasgow North East until 2009...

. Heath was created a Knight of the Garter on 23 April 1992. He retired from Parliament before the 2001 general election
United Kingdom general election, 2001
The United Kingdom general election, 2001 was held on Thursday 7 June 2001 to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. It was dubbed "the quiet landslide" by the media, as the Labour Party was re-elected with another landslide result and only suffered a net loss of 6 seats...

.

Parliament broke with precedent by commissioning a bust of Heath while he was still alive. The 1993 bronze work, by Martin Jennings, was moved to the Members' Lobby
Members' Lobby
The Members' Lobby is a hallway in the Palace of Westminster used by members of the House of Commons, the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom...

 in 2002.

On 29 April 2002, in his 86th year, he made a public appearance at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 alongside the then prime minister Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 and the three other surviving former prime ministers, as well as relatives of deceased prime ministers, for a dinner which was part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations. This was to be one of his last public appearances as the following year saw a decline in his health.

Death

In August 2003, at the age of 87, Heath suffered a pulmonary embolism
Pulmonary embolism
Pulmonary embolism is a blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches by a substance that has travelled from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream . Usually this is due to embolism of a thrombus from the deep veins in the legs, a process termed venous thromboembolism...

 while on holiday in Salzburg
Salzburg
-Population development:In 1935, the population significantly increased when Salzburg absorbed adjacent municipalities. After World War II, numerous refugees found a new home in the city. New residential space was created for American soldiers of the postwar Occupation, and could be used for...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

. He never fully recovered, and owing to his declining health and mobility made very few public appearances in the final two years of his life. His last ever public appearance was at the unveiling of a set of gates to Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 at St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

 on 30 November 2004.

Heath paid tribute to James Callaghan
James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC , was a British Labour politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980...

 when he died on 26 March 2005 saying that "James Callaghan was a major fixture in the political life of this country during his long and varied career. When in opposition he never hesitated to put firmly his party's case. When in office he took a smoother approach towards his supporters and opponents alike. Although he left the House of Commons in 1987 he continued to follow political life and it was always a pleasure to meet with him. We have lost a major figure from our political landscape".

This was his last public statement. Heath died from pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

 on the evening of 17 July 2005, at the age of 89. He was cremated on 25 July 2005 at a funeral service attended by 1,500 people. The day after his death the BBC Parliament
BBC Parliament
BBC Parliament is a British television channel from the BBC. Its remit is to make accessible to all the work of the parliamentary and legislative bodies of the United Kingdom and the European Parliament...

 channel showed the BBC results coverage of the 1970 election. A memorial service was held for Heath in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 on 8 November 2005 which was attended by two thousand people. Three days later his ashes were interred in Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury, England, considered one of the leading examples of Early English architecture....

. In a tribute to him, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 stated "He was a man of great integrity and beliefs he held firmly from which he never wavered".

Arundells

In January 2006, it was announced that Heath had left £5 million in his will, most of it to a charitable foundation to conserve his 18th century house, Arundells, opposite Salisbury Cathedral as a museum to his career. The house was open to the public for guided tours from March to September, and preserved a large collection of personal effects as well as Heath's personal library, photo collections and paintings by Winston Churchill. The Trustees of his will approached the Charity Commission for permission to sell the house and contents after it closed to the public in October 2010 because of a shortfall in the charity's income, despite rising visitor numbers.

The plans are still to sell the property but the house will be open on Saturdays, and Mondays to Wednesdays until 29 October 2011. The Trustees of the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation also have permission to open on Sundays at their discretion. Sale of the house is still being contested by the Friends of Arundells.

In his will Heath, who had had no descendants, left only two legacies: £20,000 to his brother's widow, and £2,500 to his housekeeper.

Yachting

Heath was a keen yachtsman. He bought his first yacht Morning Cloud
Morning Cloud
Morning Cloud was the name given by the British politician Edward Heath to a series of five yachts which he owned between 1969 and 1983.-No. 1:...

in 1969 and won the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, starting in Sydney, Australia on Boxing Day and finishing in Hobart. The race distance is approximately...

 that year. He captained Britain's winning team for the Admiral's Cup
Admiral's Cup
The Admiral's Cup is an international yachting regatta. For many years it was known as the unofficial world championship of offshore racing. The Admiral's Cup regatta was started in 1957 and was normally a biennial event which was competed for between national teams. However the event was not...

 in 1971 – while Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 – and also captained the team in the 1979 Fastnet race
1979 Fastnet race
The 1979 Fastnet race was the twenty-eighth Fastnet race, a yachting race competition held since 1925, generally every two years. In 1979, it was the climax of the five-race Admiral's Cup competition, as it had been since 1957....

. He was a member of the Sailing Club in his home town, Broadstairs. Heath's hobby is referred to in the 2008 film The Bank Job
The Bank Job
The Bank Job is a 2008 British crime film written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, directed by Roger Donaldson, and starring Jason Statham, based on the 1971 Baker Street robbery in central London, from which the money and valuables stolen were never recovered...

where it is said that the Prime Minister himself may meet with the bank robbers "if you can drag him off his yacht".

Conductor

Heath also maintained an interest in orchestral music as an organist and conductor, famously installing a Steinway
Steinway & Sons
Steinway & Sons, also known as Steinway , is an American and German manufacturer of handmade pianos, founded 1853 in Manhattan in New York City by German immigrant Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg...

 grand in 10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street, colloquially known in the United Kingdom as "Number 10", is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, who is now always the Prime Minister....

 – bought with his £450 Charlemagne Prize money, awarded for his unsuccessful efforts to bring Britain into the EEC in 1963, and chosen on the advice of his friend, the pianist Moura Lympany
Moura Lympany
Dame Moura Lympany DBE was an English concert pianist.She was born as Mary Gertrude Johnstone at Saltash, Cornwall. Her father was an army officer who had served in World War I and her mother originally taught her the piano...

 – and conducting Christmas carol concerts in Broadstairs every year from his teens until old age. Heath often played the organ for services at Holy Trinity Church Brompton
Holy Trinity Brompton Church
Holy Trinity Brompton with St Paul's, Onslow Square is an Anglican church in Brompton, London, United Kingdom. The church consists of three church buildings, HTB Brompton Road, HTB Onslow Square and HTB Queen's Gate, as well as being the home for Worship Central, St Paul's Theological Centre and...

 in his early years.

Heath conducted the London Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra
The London Symphony Orchestra is a major orchestra of the United Kingdom, as well as one of the best-known orchestras in the world. Since 1982, the LSO has been based in London's Barbican Centre.-History:...

, notably at a gala concert at the Royal Festival Hall
Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall is a 2,900-seat concert, dance and talks venue within Southbank Centre in London. It is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, not far from Hungerford Bridge. It is a Grade I listed building - the first post-war building to become so protected...

 in November 1971, at which he conducted Sir Edward Elgar
Edward Elgar
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM, GCVO was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos...

's overture Cockaigne (In London Town)
Cockaigne (In London Town)
Cockaigne , Op. 40, also known as the Cockaigne Overture, is a concert overture for full orchestra composed by the British composer Edward Elgar in 1900-01.-History:...

. He also conducted the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the English Chamber Orchestra
English Chamber Orchestra
The English Chamber Orchestra is a British chamber orchestra based in London. The full orchestra regularly plays concerts at Cadogan Hall, and the ECO Ensemble performs at Wigmore Hall...

, as well as orchestras in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Heath received honorary degrees from the Royal College of Music
Royal College of Music
The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire founded by Royal Charter in 1882, located in South Kensington, London, England.-Background:The first director was Sir George Grove and he was followed by Sir Hubert Parry...

 and Royal College of Organists
Royal College of Organists
The Royal College of Organists or RCO, is a charity and membership organisation based in the United Kingdom, but with members around the world...

. During his premiership, Heath invited musician friends, such as Isaac Stern
Isaac Stern
Isaac Stern was a Ukrainian-born violinist. He was renowned for his recordings and for discovering new musical talent.-Biography:Isaac Stern was born into a Jewish family in Kremenets, Ukraine. He was fourteen months old when his family moved to San Francisco...

, Yehudi Menuhin
Yehudi Menuhin
Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin, OM, KBE was a Russian Jewish American violinist and conductor who spent most of his performing career in the United Kingdom. He was born to Russian Jewish parents in the United States, but became a citizen of Switzerland in 1970, and of the United Kingdom in 1985...

, Clifford Curzon
Clifford Curzon
Sir Clifford Michael Curzon, CBE was an English pianist.-Early life:Clifford Michael Siegenberg was born in London to Michael and Constance Mary Siegenberg...

 and the Amadeus Quartet
Amadeus Quartet
The Amadeus Quartet was a world famous string quartet founded in 1947.Because of their Jewish origin, violinists Norbert Brainin, Siegmund Nissel and Peter Schidlof were driven out of Vienna after Hitler's Anschluss of 1938...

, to perform either at Chequers
Chequers
Chequers, or Chequers Court, is a country house near Ellesborough, to the south of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England, at the foot of the Chiltern Hills...

 or 10 Downing Street.

In 1988, Heath recorded Beethoven's
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

 Triple Concerto, Op. 56
Triple Concerto (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C Major, Op. 56, more commonly known as the Triple Concerto, was composed in 1803 and later published in 1804 under Breitkopf & Hartel. The choice of the three solo instruments effectively makes this a concerto for piano trio and the...

 and Boccherini's
Luigi Boccherini
Luigi Rodolfo Boccherini was an Italian classical era composer and cellist whose music retained a courtly and galante style while he matured somewhat apart from the major European musical centers. Boccherini is most widely known for one particular minuet from his String Quintet in E, Op. 11, No...

 Cello Concerto in G major, G480.

Performing arts

Heath enjoyed the performing arts as a whole. In particular, he gave a great deal of support to performing arts causes in his constituency and was known to be proud of the fact that his constituency boasted two of the country's leading performing arts schools. Rose Bruford College
Rose Bruford College
Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance is a British drama school, offering university-level and professional vocational training for theatre and performance and the BA and MA degrees, based in Sidcup, Southeast London.-History:Founded in 1950, Rose Bruford "pioneered the first acting degree...

 and Bird College
Bird College
Bird College of Dance, Music & Theatre Performance is an independent performing arts school and college, based in the Greater London suburb of Sidcup...

 are both situated in Sidcup
Sidcup
Sidcup is a district in South East London in the London Borough of Bexley and small parts of the district in the London Borough of Greenwich.Located south east of Charing Cross, Sidcup is bordered by the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Bromley and Kent County Council, and whilst now part of...

, and a purpose built facility for the latter was officially opened by Heath in 1979.

Heath also wrote a book called The Joy of Christmas: A Collection of Carols, published in 1978 by Oxford University Press and including the music and lyrics to a wide variety of Christmas carols each accompanied by a reproduction of a piece of religious art and a short introduction by Heath.

Football

Unusually for someone who lived in the South of England, Heath was a supporter of the Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

 football club Burnley
Burnley F.C.
Burnley Football Club are a professional English Football League club based in Burnley, Lancashire. Nicknamed the Clarets, due to the dominant colour of their home shirts, they were founder members of the Football League in 1888...

, and just after the end of his term as prime minister in 1974 he opened the £450,000 Bob Lord
Bob Lord (football chairman)
Bob Lord was an English businessman best known as the chairman of Burnley F.C.Born in 1908 in Burnley, Lancashire, Lord was the son of a barber. As a boy he worked for a local butcher, until at the age of 19 he started his own business...

 Stand at the club's Turf Moor
Turf Moor
Turf Moor is a football stadium in Burnley, Lancashire. It is the home ground of Burnley Football Club, which has played there since moving from its Calder Vale ground in 1883. The stadium, which is situated on Harry Potts Way, named so after the club's longest serving Manager, has a capacity of...

 stadium.

Author

He wrote three non-political books, Sailing, Music, and Travels, and an autobiography, The Course of My Life (1998). Heath's Daily Telegraph obituary noted that his autobiography "had involved dozens of researchers and writers (some of whom he never paid) over many years".

Private life

Heath was a lifelong bachelor
Bachelor
A bachelor is a man above the age of majority who has never been married . Unlike his female counterpart, the spinster, a bachelor may have had children...

. Heath's interest in music kept him on friendly terms with a number of female musicians including Moura Lympany
Moura Lympany
Dame Moura Lympany DBE was an English concert pianist.She was born as Mary Gertrude Johnstone at Saltash, Cornwall. Her father was an army officer who had served in World War I and her mother originally taught her the piano...

, and he always had the company of women when social circumstances required. Lympany had thought he would marry her, but when asked about the most intimate thing he had done, replied, "He put his arm around my shoulder."

John Campbell
John Campbell (biographer)
John Campbell is a British political writer and biographer.His works include biographies of Aneurin Bevan, Edward Heath, and Margaret Thatcher, the last consisting The Grocer's Daughter and its sequel The Iron Lady...

, who published a biography of Heath in 1993, devoted four pages to a discussion of the evidence concerning Heath's sexuality. Whilst acknowledging that Heath was often assumed by the public to be gay
Gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

, not least because it is "nowadays ... whispered of any bachelor" he found "no positive evidence" that this was so "except for the faintest unsubstantiated rumour" (the footnote refers to a mention of a "disturbing incident" at the beginning of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in a 1972 biography by Andrew Roth
Andrew Roth
Andrew Roth was a biographer and journalist known for his compilation of Parliamentary Profiles, a directory of British Members of Parliament, which is available online in The Guardian...

).

Heath had been expected to marry childhood friend Kay Raven, who reportedly tired of waiting and married an RAF officer whom she met on holiday in 1950. In a terse four-sentence paragraph of his memoirs, Heath claimed that he had been too busy establishing a career after the war and had "perhaps ... taken too much for granted". In a 1998 TV interview with Michael Cockerell, Heath admitted that he had kept her photograph in his flat for many years afterwards.

Titles from birth

  • Edward Heath, Esq (9 July 1916–1992)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Edward Heath (1945)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Edward Heath, MBE (1946)
  • Edward Heath, Esq, MBE (?-23 February 1950)
  • Edward Heath, Esq, MBE, MP (23 February 1950–1955)
  • The Right Honourable Edward Heath, MBE, MP (1955–24 April 1992)
  • The Right Honourable Sir Edward Heath, KG, MBE, MP (24 April 1992 – 7 June 2001)
  • The Right Honourable Sir Edward Heath, KG, MBE (7 June 2001 – 17 July 2005)

Nicknames

Heath was persistently referred to as "The Grocer", or "Grocer Heath" by magazine Private Eye.

Edward Heath's Government (June 1970 – March 1974)

  • Prime Minister: Edward Heath
  • Lord Chancellor
    Lord Chancellor
    The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

    : Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone
    Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
    For the businessman and philanthropist, see Quintin Hogg Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC, FRS , formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham , was a British politician who was known for the longevity of his career, the vigour with which he campaigned for the Conservative...

  • Lord President of the Council
    Lord President of the Council
    The Lord President of the Council is the fourth of the Great Officers of State of the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord High Treasurer and above the Lord Privy Seal. The Lord President usually attends each meeting of the Privy Council, presenting business for the monarch's approval...

     and Leader of the House of Commons
    Leader of the House of Commons
    The Leader of the House of Commons is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Commons...

    : William Whitelaw
  • Lord Privy Seal
    Lord Privy Seal
    The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state...

     and Leader of the House of Lords
    Leader of the House of Lords
    The Leader of the House of Lords is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Lords. The role is always held in combination with a formal Cabinet position, usually one of the sinecure offices of Lord President of the Council,...

    : Lord Jellicoe
  • Chancellor of the Exchequer
    Chancellor of the Exchequer
    The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

    : Iain Macleod
    Iain Macleod
    Iain Norman Macleod was a British Conservative Party politician and government minister.-Early life:...

  • Foreign Secretary
    Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
    The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, commonly referred to as the Foreign Secretary, is a senior member of Her Majesty's Government heading the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and regarded as one of the Great Offices of State...

    : Sir Alec Douglas-Home
    Alec Douglas-Home
    Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC , known as The Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963 and as Sir Alec Douglas-Home from 1963 to 1974, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964.He is the last...

  • Home Secretary: Reginald Maudling
    Reginald Maudling
    Reginald Maudling was a British politician who held several Cabinet posts, including Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had been spoken of as a prospective Conservative leader since 1955, and was twice seriously considered for the post; he was Edward Heath's chief rival in 1965...

  • Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
    Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
    The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was a UK cabinet position, responsible for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The post was originally named President of the Board of Agriculture and was created in 1889...

    : James Prior
  • Secretary of State for Defence
    Secretary of State for Defence
    The Secretary of State for Defence, popularly known as the Defence Secretary, is the senior Government of the United Kingdom minister in charge of the Ministry of Defence, chairing the Defence Council. It is a Cabinet position...

    : Lord Carrington
  • Secretary of State for Education and Science: Margaret Thatcher
    Margaret Thatcher
    Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

  • Secretary of State for Employment
    Secretary of State for Employment
    The Secretary of State for Employment was a position in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. In 1995 it was merged with Secretary of State for Education to make the Secretary of State for Education and Employment...

    : Robert Carr
  • Minister of Housing and Local Government: Peter Walker
    Peter Walker, Baron Walker of Worcester
    Peter Edward Walker, Baron Walker of Worcester, MBE, PC , was British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet as the Environment Secretary , Trade and Industry Secretary , Agriculture Minister , Energy Secretary and Welsh Secretary...

  • Secretary of State for Health and Social Security: Keith Joseph
    Keith Joseph
    Keith St John Joseph, Baron Joseph, Bt, CH, PC , was a British barrister and politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet under three Prime Ministers , and is widely regarded to have been the "power behind the throne" in the creation of what came to be known as...

  • Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is, in modern times, a ministerial office in the government of the United Kingdom that includes as part of its duties, the administration of the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster...

    : Anthony Barber
  • Secretary of State for Scotland
    Secretary of State for Scotland
    The Secretary of State for Scotland is the principal minister of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Scotland. He heads the Scotland Office , a government department based in London and Edinburgh. The post was created soon after the Union of the Crowns, but was...

    : Gordon Campbell
  • Secretary of State for Technology: Geoffrey Rippon
    Geoffrey Rippon
    Geoffrey Frederick Rippon, Baron Rippon of Hexham, PC, was a British Conservative politician. He was Chairman of the European-Atlantic Group....

  • President of the Board of Trade: Michael Noble
    Michael Noble, Baron Glenkinglas
    Michael Antony Cristobal Noble, Baron Glenkinglas PC was a Scottish Tory politician.Noble was the youngest son of Sir John Noble, 1st Baronet, and the grandson of Sir Andrew Noble, 1st Baronet, and was educated at Eton College and Magdalen College, Oxford...

  • Secretary of State for Wales
    Secretary of State for Wales
    The Secretary of State for Wales is the head of the Wales Office within the British cabinet. He or she is responsible for ensuring Welsh interests are taken into account by the government, representing the government within Wales and overseeing the passing of legislation which is only for Wales...

    : Peter Thomas

Changes

  • July 1970 – Iain Macleod dies, and is succeeded as Chancellor by Anthony Barber. Geoffrey Rippon
    Geoffrey Rippon
    Geoffrey Frederick Rippon, Baron Rippon of Hexham, PC, was a British Conservative politician. He was Chairman of the European-Atlantic Group....

     succeeds Barber as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. John Davies
    John Davies (businessman)
    John Emerson Harding Harding-Davies, MBE, PC was a successful British businessman who served as Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry during the 1960s...

     succeeds Rippon as Secretary for Technology.
  • October 1970 – The Ministry of Technology and the Board of Trade are merged to become the Department of Trade and Industry. John Davies becomes Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
    Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
    The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills is a cabinet position in the United Kingdom government. Its secondary title is the President of the Board of Trade...

    . Michael Noble leaves the cabinet. The Ministry of Housing and Local Government is succeeded by the new department of the Environment which was headed by Peter Walker
    Peter Walker, Baron Walker of Worcester
    Peter Edward Walker, Baron Walker of Worcester, MBE, PC , was British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet as the Environment Secretary , Trade and Industry Secretary , Agriculture Minister , Energy Secretary and Welsh Secretary...

    .
  • March 1972 – Robert Carr
    Robert Carr
    Leonard Robert Carr, Baron Carr of Hadley, PC is a British Conservative politician.Robert Carr was educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he read Natural Sciences, graduating in 1938....

     succeeds William Whitelaw as Lord President and Leader of the House of Commons. Maurice Macmillan succeeds Carr as Secretary for Employment. Whitelaw becomes Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
  • July 1972 – Robert Carr succeeds Reginald Maudling as Home Secretary. James Prior succeeds Robert Carr as Lord President and Leader of the House of Commons. Joseph Godber
    Joseph Godber
    Joseph Bradshaw Godber, Baron Godber of Willington PC was a British Conservative Party politician and cabinet minister.-Background:...

     succeeds Prior as Secretary for Agriculture.
  • November 1972 – Geoffrey Rippon succeeds Peter Walker as Secretary for the Environment. John Davies succeeds Rippon as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Peter Walker succeeds Davies as Secretary for Trade and Industry. Geoffrey Howe
    Geoffrey Howe
    Richard Edward Geoffrey Howe, Baron Howe of Aberavon, CH, QC, PC is a former British Conservative politician. He was Margaret Thatcher's longest-serving Cabinet minister, successively holding the posts of Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary, and finally Leader of the House of Commons...

     becomes Minister for Trade and Consumer Affairs with a seat in the cabinet.
  • June 1973 – Lord Windlesham
    David Hennessy, 3rd Baron Windlesham
    David James George Hennessy, 3rd Baron Windlesham and Baron Hennessy, CVO, PC, FBA was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who held visiting professorships at various universities....

     succeeds Lord Jellicoe as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords.
  • December 1973 – William Whitelaw succeeds Maurice Macmillan as Secretary for Employment. Francis Pym
    Francis Pym
    -Bibliography:****- External links :...

     succeeds Whitelaw as Secretary for Northern Ireland. Macmillan becomes Paymaster-General.
  • January 1974 – Ian Gilmour succeeds Lord Carrington as Secretary for Defence; Lord Carrington becomes Secretary of State for Energy.

Honorary degrees

  • University of Calgary
    University of Calgary
    The University of Calgary is a public research university located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Founded in 1966 the U of C is composed of 14 faculties and more than 85 research institutes and centres.More than 25,000 undergraduate and 5,500 graduate students are currently...

     7 June 1991 (LLD)
  • University of Wales
    University of Wales
    The University of Wales was a confederal university founded in 1893. It had accredited institutions throughout Wales, and formerly accredited courses in Britain and abroad, with over 100,000 students, but in October 2011, after a number of scandals, it withdrew all accreditation, and it was...

     (LLD) 1998
  • University of Greenwich
    University of Greenwich
    The University of Greenwich is a British university located in the London Borough of Greenwich, London, England. The main campus is located on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, a central location within the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site.-History:The history of the...

     (LLD) 18 July 2001

External links



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