Jan 10 2013 by Staff Reporter, Ormskirk Advertiser
FORMER Prime Minister and Ormskirk MP Lord Harold Wilson will be honoured with a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey later this year.
Lord Wilson of Rievaulx, who first entered Parliament in 1945, remains the only Labour leader to win four general elections.
He represented the Ormskirk constituency from 1945 to 1950, and was Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970 and from 1974 to 1976. He died in 1995, aged 79.
Under his leadership, his government supported backbench MPs in liberalising laws on censorship, divorce, abortion and homosexuality and he abolished the death penalty in 1965.
Lord Wilson will join a long line of former Prime Ministers who have been buried or given a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey.
The Very Rev Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, said: “Almost every UK Prime Minister from the first half of the 20th century is buried or memorialised in the Abbey, but so far none who held office since 1955.
“As part of our continuing commitment to our neighbours in the Palace of Westminster and Whitehall, it is appropriate for the Abbey – where a memorial service for Lord Wilson was held in July, 1995 – to memorialise him alongside his distinguished predecessors.
“We have announced memorials to other Prime Ministers from the latter half of the 20th century, but Lord Wilson’s, whose widow is happily still with us, will be installed first.” Yorkshire-born Lord Wilson moved from Huddersfield to Bromborough in the early 1930s after his father, a chemist, was made redundant.
He attended Wirral Grammar School.
Reflecting on his youth, Lord Wilson said: “Unemployment more than anything else made me politically conscious.”