Keith Joseph

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Keith Joseph (b. January 17, 1918; d. December 10, 1994) British conservative politician. His father, Sir Samuel Joseph, served as Lord Mayor of London in 1942-1943 and at the end of his term he had been created a baronet. On his death in 1944, his son inherited the title and became known as Sir Keith. He won the safe Conservative seat of Leeds-North-East at a by-election in February 1956 and held it until his retirement from the Commons in 1987 when he received a Life Peerage.

He was seen as the obvious right-wing challenger to Ted Heath for the leadership of the party in 1974. However, after some ill-judged speeches he withdrew and supported Margaret Thatcher.

Keith Joseph did not prove to be an efficient administrator. Yet, he had the talent to adopt new ideas and develop them further even if it meant questioning the conventions of the time. He was one of the first proponents of the Chicago School of Economics in Britain and closely monitored the Chilean experiment. Enoch Powell and he were the British politicians Margaret Thatcher identified as having the greatest influence on her.

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