Bevan, Aneurin

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Bevan, Aneurin

Aneurin Bevan (ənī´rĬn bĕ´vən), 1897–1960, British political leader. A coal miner and trade unionist, he served (1929–60) in Parliament as a member of the Labour party. As minister of health (1945–51) he administered and developed the National Health Service instituted by the Labour government. A leader of the party's left wing, he resigned from the government in protest against the decisions to rearm Germany and cut social services. Briefly expelled from the party for insubordination in 1955, and unsuccessful in his contest with Hugh Gaitskell for the party leadership, he was reconciled to the party and became its spokesman for colonial and foreign affairs. In ensuing years he favored British diplomatic neutralism and nuclear disarmament.

See his autobiography (1952); biographies by M. Foot (2 vol., 1962–74), M. Jenkins (1979), and J. Campbell (1987).

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