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On This Day In Photos: Gutsy Neil Kinnock Becomes Labour Party Leader

ON this Day in History: October 2, 1991 – Neil Kinnock becomes Leader of the Labour Party. At the Labour party conference in Brighton, the “dream ticket” of Kinnock and Roy Hattersley take the plaudits.

Up until then, Kinnock had been Labour’s spokesman on education. On Question Time in 1983, he had told the audience debating the job market that Mrs Thatcher was “the most loathed prime minister in modern history.”

Someone in the crowd had yelled that Mrs Thatcher had “showed guts.”  Kinnock’s reply was awful: “It’s a pity others had to leave theirs on the ground at Goose Green to prove it.

His second most famous quote was that he was the “first Kinnock in a thousand generations” to go to university. Joe Biden, the current US Vice President, liked it so much he nicked it and never credited Kinnock.

Now with Roy Hattersley as deputy, Labour could not fail to unseat Maggie Thatcher. Kinnock would take Labour to the Promised Lands after the years under Michael Foot. Kinnnock has secured 71% of the Labour Party’s vote, seeing off Michael Meacher’s challenge. The force was behind him.

Said Kinnock in Brighton:

“We can enjoy fraternity between socialists and we must enjoy fidelity to socialism.”

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Posted: 2nd, October 2011 | In: Flashback | Comment