Former British Prime Minister James Callaghan dies aged 92

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Saturday, March 26, 2005

London – The former British prime minister Leonard James Callaghan, the Baron of Cardiff has died at the age of 92, just a day before his ninety-third birthday. He died at his home in East Sussex, leaving two daughters and a son. His wife, Audrey, died just eleven days ago.

James Callaghan was prime minister from 1976-79 before Margaret Thatcher became prime minster in 1979 after the surprise resignation of Harold Wilson. His premiership could be considered to include some of the bleakest times for Britain, since he was Prime Minister during the 1978-79 winter of discontent, when there were numerous strikes. However, his proudest achievement was the introduction of cat's eyes in Britain's roads when he was transport secretary.

Tributes including the prime minster Tony Blair saying he was a "giant" of the Labour movement. Former rival and prime minister Margaret Thatcher said he was a "formidable opponent". Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown said he was "mourned throughout the world" and "It was a commitment to public service that brought Jim Callaghan into Parliament in 1945, and while Jim rose to the top he never forgot his roots."

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