Kinnock, Neil Gordon

Kinnock, Neil Gordon kĭnˈək [key], 1942–, British politician, b. Tredegar, Wales. The son of a miner, he studied at University College, Cardiff. In 1970 he was elected to Parliament as a Labour party member. After Labour's defeat in the 1979 elections, he became party education spokesperson. He became party leader after Labour's overwhelming defeat in the 1983 elections. A gifted orator, Kinnock persuaded the party to abandon some of its traditional left-wing positions, such as unilateral disarmament and widespread nationalization, and adopt more moderate policies. In 1992, the Conservatives again defeated Labour in a national election in which the electorate's questioning of Kinnock's ability to lead the nation was a major factor. After this loss, he resigned the party leadership. He remained in Parliament until 1995, when he was appointed to the European Union's European Commission; he served as its vice president from 1999 to 2004. He was created Baron Kinnock of Bedwellty in 2005.

See R. Harris, The Making of Neil Kinnock (1984).

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