Memorial stone for Portsmouth-born former Prime Minister

HONOURED Lord James Callaghan
HONOURED Lord James Callaghan

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PORTSMOUTH born Lord James Callaghan is to receive a memorial stone at Westminster Abbey.

The former Prime Minister from the 1970s will become one of the first Prime Ministers to receive a dedication at the Abbey for more than half a century, alongside Sir Edward Heath.

Memorial stones for Callaghan, who served as Prime Minister between 1976 to 1979, and Heath, the premier from 1970 and 1974, are expected to be unveiled later this year.

The news comes as many mark the 100 year anniversary of Lord Callaghan’s birth.

Lord Callaghan became a Labour MP in 1945 and held lead roles in all four offices of state – he was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1964 to 1967, Home Secretary from 1967 until 1970, Foreign Secretary from 1974 to 1976, and Prime Minister following Harold Wilson’s unexpected resignation.

He died in 2005 at the age of 92.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Rev Dr John Hall, said: ‘The men and women who have contributed most to our island story and our nation’s international influence are memorialised in the Abbey, including most Prime Ministers of the 19th century and of the first half of the 20th century.

‘And yet no Prime Minister since 1956 has a memorial in the Abbey.

‘I have decided, with the support of those closest to them, to include two prime ministers from the 1970s, each of whom gave dutiful service in their own time.

‘Although he and Edward Heath were on the opposite side of many political arguments, they were both of that remarkable generation that served in the Second World War and continued to devote their lives to the service of their nation and of the world. It is fitting that we should honour them.’