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Powell, J. Enoch

Powell, J. Enoch (1912–98). The key to what might appear Powell's maverick political career was belief in Britain. Educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham, he began as a classicist, was a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and then professor of Greek at Sydney. During the war he rose to brigadier. Elected to Parliament in 1950, he was a keen advocate of monetarism and resigned as financial secretary to the Treasury in the Macmillan government in 1957, though returning as minister of health in 1960. He declined to serve under Home in 1963 and never held office again. His outspoken hostility to coloured immigration led Heath to sack him from the shadow cabinet in 1968, though his proposals for repatriation had considerable popular support. He was at odds with his party once more over Europe, bitterly denouncing the loss of British sovereignty, and he retired in February 1974 advising his supporters to vote Labour. Miraculously reborn as an Ulster Unionist in October 1974, he won the Down South seat and held it until 1987, tenaciously defending Ulster's position against encroachment and concession. Like many intellectuals, his logic guided him into passionate and uncompromising positions.

J. A. Cannon

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Powell, Enoch

Enoch Powell, 1912–98, British politician. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was a fellow there (1934–38) and professor of Greek at the Univ. of Sydney, Australia (1937–39). He entered Parliament in 1950 as a Conservative from Wolverhampton and served as minister of health (1960–63). With the Conservative defeat in 1964, he became shadow minister of defense, but was dismissed (1968) when he stirred controversy by calling for an end to nonwhite immigration into Britain. He was the leading Conservative opponent to Britain's entry into the European Community and declined to seek reelection in Feb., 1974. He returned to Parliament as an Ulster Unionist from a Northern Ireland constituency in 1974 and held his seat until 1987. He strongly supported the province's continued separation from the Irish Republic.

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Powell, (John) Enoch

Powell, (John) Enoch (1912–98) British politician. He entered Parliament as a Conservative in 1950, and was minister of health (1960–63). Douglas-Home dismissed Powell from the cabinet after his ‘rivers of blood’ speech (1968) against further UK immigration. He also opposed Britain's entry into the European Economic Community (EEC) and resigned (1974) from the Conservative Party over the issue. Powell later served as an Ulster Unionist MP (1974–89).

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