Anthony Greenwood

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Arthur William James ('Anthony') Greenwood (1911-82) was a Labour politician.[1]

Early Life

Greenwood was born in Leeds, the son of Labour MP Arthur Greenwood and his wife Catherine Ainsworth. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School and read politics, philosophy and economics at Balliol College, Oxford. During his time at Oxford he was chairman of the Labour Club and president of the Oxford Union in 1933.[1]

Second World War

From 1939 to 1942 Greenwood worked at the Ministry of Information, becoming private secretary to Director-General Walter Monckton in 1941. He joined the RAF in 1942 and was commissioned as an Intelligence Officer in 1943. In December 1944 he was seconded to the War Cabinet Offices to work with Monckton.[1]

Political Career

From 1945 to 1949, Greenwood led the Labour group on Hampstead borough council. He was elected to Parliament at the 1946 Heywood and Ratcliffe by-election. he moved to the Rossendale constituency in 1950 as a result of boundary changes. He was vice-chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party in 1950-1 and served in the Shadow Cabinet in 1951-2 and 1955-60. He served on the National Executive Committee from 1954 to 1970.

In 1960, Greenwood, a member of CND and a unilateralist, warned Harold Wilson that he would challenge Hugh Gaitskell as party leader if Wilson did not stand. Wilson was subsequently defeated by 166 votes to 81.[2]

In 1961 he unsuccessfully challenged Hugh Gaitskell for the party leadership. He went on to serve as vice-chairman of the party in 1962-3 and chairman in 1963-4.[1]

Greenwood was appointed Colonial Secretary in October 1964. In December 1965 he was transferred to the Ministry of Overseas Development and in August 1966 to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. He was persuaded to stand for general secretary of the Labour Party in July 1968 but was defeated.[1]

In May 1970 Greenwood was appointed to the chairmanship of the Commonwealth Development Corporation by Harold Wilson and as a result he stood down from the Commons in the 1970 General Election. In July 1970 Edward Heath revoked his appointment. Greenwood was elevated to the House of Lords by Wilson in his resignation honours.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Catalogue of the papers of Arthur Greenwood (1880-1954) and Arthur William James ('Anthony') Greenwood, Baron Greenwood of Rossendale (1911-82), Bodleian Library, accessed 29 October 2012.
  2. Robin Ramsay and Stephen Dorril, Smear! Wilson and the Secret State, Fourth Estate Limited, 1991, p.25.