CLEMENT ATTLEE Biography - Polititians


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Clement Richard Attlee was born in London on 3 January 1883.


Before becoming a politician, Clement Attlee was called to the Bar in 1905, became a tutor and lecturer at the LSE and served in World War 1. He was Mayor of Stepney between 1919 and 1920, and became the MP for Limehouse in 1922.


Attlee was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the new leader of the Labour Party, Ramsay MacDonald and then became the Under-Secretary for War in the first Labour government and Postmaster-General in the second. He also served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when the infamous Sir Oswald Mosley resigned from that post.


He became Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party in 1935. The ‘Manchester Guardian’ at the time reflected many people’s erroneous view: “This is hardly more than an interim appointment".


He wasn’t a typical Labour leader and was known as ‘Major Attlee’ not only because he had served as an active officer, but also because of his military bearing and appearance. He was made deputy Prime Minister in 1942 in Churchill’s wartime coalition government. In 1945 after a landslide election victory Attlee became Prime Minister.


His government was responsible for the development of the Welfare State, a range of nationalisation and the withdrawal from colonies, such as India.


Attlee retired after the May 1955 election that saw the Conservatives victors. The Queen conferred an earldom on him.


He died in Westminster Hospital on 8 October 1967.