Enoch Powell

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John Enoch Powell, MBE (16 June 1912 – 8 February 1998) was a British politician, who served as a Conservative Party MP from 1950-1974. He was an early advocate of monetarism and served as Minister of Health (1960-1963) but attained most prominence in 1968, when he made the controversial Rivers of Blood speech, warning on the alleged dangers of mass immigration from Commonwealth nations. For this, he was sacked from his position as Shadow Defence Secretary (1965-1968) in the shadow cabinet of Edward Heath.

However, his supporters claim that the large public following [1] which Powell attracted may have helped the Conservatives to win the 1970 General Election [2], and perhaps cost them the February 1974 General Election [3] at which Powell endorsed a vote for Labour. He returned to the House of Commons in October 1974 as the Ulster Unionist Party MP for the Northern Irish constituency of South Down until he was defeated in the 1987 General Election.

Before entering politics he had been a classical scholar, becoming a full Professor of Ancient Greek at the age of twenty-five. During the Second World War he served in staff and intelligence positions, reaching the rank of brigadier in his early thirties. He was also known for his talents as a writer and a poet.


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