Short, Renee

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SHORT, RENEE (1916–2003), British politician. The daughter of a Jewish engineer from Eastern Europe, Short was educated at Manchester University and worked as a journalist and stage designer before entering politics. She served as a Labour member of Parliament from 1964 to 1987. In the early part of her political career she was one of the most left-wing of national politicians, a constant critic of the United States and a supporter of the Soviet Union, and chairman of the British-German Democratic Republic parliamentary group. She was also a strong feminist. In the 1970s, she moved to the center-left and was actively opposed by the "hard left" in the Labour Party. By the end of her career she had attracted considerable opprobrium from her former allies for attacking large-scale non-white immigration into Britain. Her left-wing stance meant that she never held a ministerial position, but she served as chairman of the influential House of Commons Select Committee on the Social Services from 1979 to 1987.

[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]