Happy birthday to David Owen, Leader of the SDP 1983-87

Owen served as Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton, 1966-74 and Labour, later SDP MP for Plymouth Devonport 1974-92, Leader of the SDP 1983-87 and 1988-90. Owen was the youngest ever Foreign Secretary and a key member of the SDP ‘Gang of Four’, who sought to “break the mould” of British politics in 1981. An advocate of a strong independent line for the SDP, Owen opposed merger with the Liberals and refused to join the Social and Liberal Democrats, leading the continuing SDP until its dissolution in 1990. He retired as an MP in 1992 and went to the House of Lords.