Michael Foot dies

Former Labour leader dies, aged 96.

Michael Foot, who led the Labour Party from 1980 to 1983, has died at 96. He was an MP for 47 years.

Foot was leader of the opposition following Margaret Thatcher's general election win. His 1983 Labour manifesto was described as "the longest suicide note in history." After his resignation, Foot was succeeded by Neil Kinnock as leader.

Foot's death was announced by Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who told the House of Commons: "I am sure that this news will be received with great sadness not only in my own party but across the country as a whole."

Foot's career began in journalism. He worked at the Evening Standard, the Daily Herald and later the Tribune, where he was editor from 1955 to 1960. Throughout his political days, he took a particular dislike to media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

Under the Wilson government, Foot served as Secretary of State for Employment. He was a supporter of the 1975 referendum on the British membership of the European Economic Community.

Foot, a prolific writer and champion of the left wing, entered Parliament in 1945, and is a founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.