Tony Benn receiving an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at the University of Strathclyde in 1969.
Benn was a Labour MP from 1950 to 2001. In 1963, after a legal battle, he made history by being the first peer to renounce the title which he had inherited from his father. He was a Cabinet minister in the Wilson and Callaghan governments from 1964-1979, as Minister of Technology, Secretary of State for both Industry and Energy, and President of the Council of European Energy Ministers in 1977.
As Minister of Technology, Benn was heavily involved in setting up the consortium of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders in 1967, and in dealing with its early financial problems. In 1971 UCS went into receivership, and the Conservative Government's refusal of aid sparked off the famous work-in by shipyard employees. Now in opposition, Benn immediately declared his full support for the workers and supported their campaign, both in the House of Commons and in street demonstrations.
Reproduced with the permission of Strathclyde University Archives
cabinet ministers, Council of European Energy Ministers, demonstrations, graduation ceremonies, honorary degrees, House of Commons, Labour Party, Members of Parliament, MPs, peerages, peers, UCS, University of Strathclyde, Upper Clyde Shipbuilders, work-ins