Diamond, John 1907-2004

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DIAMOND, John 1907-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born April 30, 1907, in Leeds, England; died April 3, 2004, in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, England. Politician, accountant, and author. Diamond was a Labour Party member of Parliament and later Social Democratic Party leader who held important governmental posts in which he influenced the British economy. After attending Leeds Grammar School, he passed qualifying exams to become a chartered accountant in 1931 and set up his own firm, John Diamond & Co. Though he had not originally intended to do so, he became involved in politics and in 1945 won the Blackley, Manchester, seat under the Labour Party ticket. He lost the election in 1951, working as chair and managing director of a chain of theaters until reentering Parliament when he won the Gloucester seat in 1957. Here he remained until 1970, during which time served in the late 1960s as chief secretary to the Treasury and, from 1968 to 1970, as member of the Cabinet. Gaining the title of Baron in 1970, Diamond joined the House of Lords that year. Here he served as royal chairman of the Royal Commission on the Distribution of Income and Wealth in the late 1970s, and of the Industry and Parliament Trust from 1976 to 1982. When the Social Democratic Party was formed, Diamond left the Labour Party and led the SDP until 1988. But when the SDP gradually merged back into the Labour Party, Diamond left the House of Lords and, somewhat reticently, returned to his old party in 1995. Throughout his career, Diamond was admired by politicians of all political persuasions for his knowledge of finances, his organization and discipline, and his courtesy. He managed to avoid most political divisiveness in government, up until his years with the SDP. Diamond was the author of several books on economics, including Public Expenditure in Practice (1975), Lower Incomes (1978), and Fifth Report on the Standing Reference (1979).



Independent (London, England), April 6, 2004, p. 35.

Times (London, England), April 5, 2004, p. 25.