Skip to main content

Owen, David

Owen, David (b. 1938). Former leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). After qualifying as a doctor Owen entered politics as a Labour MP. He rose swiftly, becoming foreign secretary in 1977 at the age of just 38. With the party's swing to the left, Owen became increasingly disaffected and helped to found the SDP as one of the ‘gang of four’. He became leader of the party in 1983 and envisaged a multi-party system with proportional representation. He worked hard to maintain the political integrity of the SDP and remained aloof from the merger with the Liberal Party after the 1987 general election. Owen continued to preside over a rump SDP until the party was wound up in 1990. He retired from the Commons in 1992 and was created baron of the city of Plymouth, the seat he represented for over twenty-five years. He has since acted as European Community Peace Envoy to the former Yugoslavia (1992–5).

Richard A. Smith

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Owen, David." The Oxford Companion to British History. . 22 Jul. 2019 <>.

"Owen, David." The Oxford Companion to British History. . (July 22, 2019).

"Owen, David." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved July 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.