British centre-left Labour politician and author, deputy leader of the Labour Party 1983–92. A moderate, pro-European, who stood on the right wing of Labour in the 1970s and 1980s, he was prices and consumer protection secretary 1976–79 and deputy leader of the party 1983–1992. In 1994 he retired from the House of Commons and became a life peer, as Baron Hattersley of Sparkbrook, in the House of Lords. He disagreed later with some of the policies of ‘New Labour’ under Tony Blair, considering that that Labour government from 1997 had swung too far to the right and did too little in promoting income distribution through the taxation and welfare system. He retired from the House of Lords in May 2017.
Hattersley was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire. He was active in local Labour politics from a young age, and his mother later became Lord Mayor of Sheffield in 1981. Grammar school-educated, he studied politics at Hull University and taught later for the Worker's Educational Association. He became a Labour MP in 1964 for the multi-racial Birmingham Sparkbrook constituency and became an ally of Roy Jenkins, who led the party's right wing. During Labour's long period in opposition from 1979, he was shadow chancellor 1983–87 and shadow home secretary 1987–92. He also developed a secondary career as a successful author and newspaper columnist writing for Punch, The Listener, and The Guardian. His publications include Politics Apart (1982), Press Gang (1983), Economic Priorities for a Labour Government (1987), 50 Years On: A Prejudiced History of Britain Since the War (1997), and David Lloyd George: The Great Outsider (2010).
Hattersley, Roy Sydney George