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Lever, (Norman) Harold, Baron Lever of Manchester


LEVER, (Norman ) HAROLD, BARON LEVER OF MANCHESTER (1914–1995), British politician and financial expert. Born in Manchester, Lever practiced as a barrister for several years before entering the House of Commons as a Labour member in 1950. He remained a member of the House of Commons until 1979. He sponsored the Defamation Act of 1952 as a private member's bill and acquired a considerable reputation as an authority on financial matters. In 1967 he was appointed parliamentary under-secretary for economic affairs, later in the same year was promoted to the post of financial secretary to the Treasury, and finally paymaster general, with a seat in the Cabinet, as second minister in charge of the Ministry of Technology (until the Labour Party went out of office in 1970). Lever represented the United Kingdom at the International Monetary Fund and European "Group of Ten" financial conferences which considered the world currency crises of 1968. In 1969–70 Lever served as paymaster-general, with a seat in the Cabinet. From 1974 to 1979 Lever was chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Labour government, acting as adviser to the prime minister on economic and financial policy with membership in all cabinet committees concerned with economy. As one of the few Labour mps regarded as an expert on finance, Lever was much respected for his detailed know ledge and moderation. Though not prominent in any specific communal institution, he worked unofficially for many Jewish and Zionist causes. In 1979 he was given a life peerage as Lord Lever of Manchester.

His brother, leslie lever, baron lever (1905–1977), sat in the House of Commons from 1950 to 1974 and was lord mayor of Manchester in 1957–58. He was given a life peerage in 1975. Lever was active in Jewish affairs as president of the Manchester and Salford Jewish Council and vice president of the Board of Guardians.

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