Anthony Crosland

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Person.png Anthony Crosland  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Born29 August 1918
St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, England
Died19 February 1977 (Age 58)
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Cause of death
cerebral haemorrhage
Alma materTrinity College (Oxford)
Member ofFabian Society
UK Labour MP. In 1956 wrote The Future of Socialism, which became a seminal work for the right wing of the party. In the book he outlines the need for socialism to adapt to modern circumstances. Closet homosexual in the 1950s when it still was illegal.

Employment.png Secretary of State for the Environment Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
5 March 1974 - 8 April 1976
Preceded byGeoffrey Rippon
Succeeded byPeter Shore

Employment.png President of the Board of Trade Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
29 August 1967 - 6 October 1969
Preceded byDouglas Jay
Succeeded byRoy Mason

Employment.png Secretary of State for Education and Science

In office
22 January 1965 - 29 August 1967
Preceded byMichael Stewart
Succeeded byPatrick Gordon Walker

Employment.png Minister of State for Economic Affairs

In office
20 October 1964 - 22 January 1965

Employment.png Economic Secretary to the Treasury Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
19 October 1964 - 22 December 1964

Employment.png Member of Parliament for Great Grimsby

In office
8 October 1959 - 19 February 1977

Employment.png Member of Parliament for South Gloucestershire

In office
23 February 1950 - 26 May 1955

Charles Anthony Raven Crosland was a British Labour politician and author.

A social democrat on the right wing of the Labour Party, he was a prominent socialist intellectual. His influential book The Future of Socialism (1956) argued against many Marxist notions and the traditional Labour Party doctrine that expanding public ownership was essential to make socialism work, arguing instead for prioritising the end of poverty and improving public services. He offered positive alternatives to both the right wing and left wing of the Labour Party of his day.

Having served as Member of Parliament (MP) for South Gloucestershire from 1950 to 1955, Crosland returned to Parliament for Great Grimsby (1959–1977). During Harold Wilson's governments of 1964–1970 he served as Economic Secretary to the Treasury (1964), then Minister of State for Economic Affairs (1964–1965). Entering the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Education and Science (1965–1967), he led the Labour campaign to replace grammar schools with comprehensive schools that did not use the eleven-plus for the selection of pupils. He later served as President of the Board of Trade (1967–1969), then Secretary of State for Local Government and Regional Planning (1969–1970).

When Labour returned to power he served as Secretary of State for the Environment (1974–1976) and briefly as Foreign Secretary (1976–1977). In that role he promoted détente with the Soviet Union. He died suddenly in February 1977 of a cerebral haemorrhage, aged 58.

Personal life

Early in his life Crosland had numerous affairs, including allegedly with Roy Jenkins.[1][2][3] He later described the relationship as "an exceedingly close and intense friendship."[4]

Crosland benefited from the patronage of Hugh Dalton, who, in 1951, wrote to Richard Crossman: "Thinking of Tony, with all his youth and beauty and gaiety and charm... I weep. I am more fond of that young man than I can put into words."[5] According to Nicholas Davenport,[6] Dalton's unrequited feelings for Crosland became an embarrassing joke within the Labour Party.

Crosland married Hilary Sarson in November 1952, divorcing after five years, though the marriage had effectively ended after a year. Crosland had numerous affairs with other women. He remarried on 7 February 1964 to Susan Catling, an American from Baltimore resident in London whom he had met in 1956,[7] and, in contrast to his first marriage, this was very happy and content. Susan Crosland was a successful journalist and writer. There were no children of either marriage, although Crosland's second wife had two daughters from a previous marriage.[8] He persuaded his step-daughters to abandon their elite private schools to attend Holland Park Comprehensive.[9] Susan Crosland died on 26 February 2011.[10]


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