LONDON (Nov. 11)
Michael Foot was last night elected leader of the British Labor Party in succession to James Callaghan. Labor MPs gave him a majority of 10 votes over Denis Healey, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Foot, a leftwinger, is 67 years old and a brother of Lord Carodon, Britain’s former United Nations Ambassador.
His election is an historic victory for Labor’s leftwing over the middle of the road politicians who have led the party since the days of Clement Attlee. A brilliant orator and writer, Foot has been associated with the campaign for unilateral nuclear disarmament and opposed British membership in the European Economic Community. Foot has remained silent for many years on most international issues, including the Middle East. However, despite his leftwing leanings, he is regarded as basically friendly towards Israel and has given assurances to this effect to Labor’s pro-Israel lobby. He entered Parliament in 1945 and was a sharp critic of the Palestine policy of Ernest Bevin. But he cooled towards Israel in 1956 at the time of the Suez affair. (See Nov. 10 Bulletin for background report on Foot.)