Denis Howell, Baron Howell

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Denis Herbert Howell, Baron Howell PC (4 September 1923 – 19 April 1998) was a British Labour Party politician.

Early life[edit]

Born in Birmingham, Howell was educated at Handsworth Grammar School, Birmingham and became a clerk and chairman of the Clerical and Administrative Workers Union standing orders committee. He was a Football League referee and keen cricketer.

Political career[edit]

Howell served as a councillor on Birmingham City Council 1946–56 and was Labour Group secretary from 1950.

He contested Birmingham King's Norton in 1951. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham All Saints from 1955 to 1959, and for Birmingham Small Heath from the 1961 by-election until his retirement in 1992. He held several ministerial posts under the Wilson and Callaghan governments, including Sport (1964–1970), Education and Science (1964–1969), Housing and Local Government (1969–1970), the Environment (1974–1979) and for Sport and Recreation (1974–1979).

On 28 October 1974, his wife and son escaped unharmed when an IRA bomb exploded in their Ford Cortina on the driveway of the family home in Birmingham.[1]

In 1976, during Britain's driest summer in over 200 years, he was made Minister for Drought (but nicknamed 'Minister for Rain'[1]). Days later, heavy rainfall caused widespread flooding, and he was made Minister of Floods.[2] Additionally, during the harsh winter of 1978–1979 he was appointed Minister for Snow.[3]

Later life[edit]

He published his memoirs, Made in Birmingham, in 1990, and on 1 July 1992 he was made a life peer as Baron Howell, of Aston Manor in the City of Birmingham.[4] He died in Solihull, aged 74.


His son, Andrew Howell, was elected to Birmingham City Council for Moseley and Kings Heath Ward serving as Chair of the Education Committee and as Deputy Leader.



External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Birmingham All Saints
Succeeded by
John Hollingworth
Preceded by
William Wheeldon
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Small Heath
Succeeded by
Roger Godsiff
Political offices
Preceded by
Quintin Hogg
Minister for Sport
Succeeded by
Eldon Griffiths
Preceded by
Eldon Griffiths
Minister for Sport
Succeeded by
Hector Monro