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'Harold Wilson: Statesman and Visionary with speaker' Rt Hon. Alan Johnson

An image of Harold Wilson, the first chancellor of the University of Bradford

In honour of our first Chancellor, the Prime Minister, Lord Harold Wilson of Rievaulx, and of his great foresight in setting up a technology university such as Bradford, we initiated the prestigious Harold Wilson Lecture Series in 2016.

Bradford is one of a handful of universities founded as technology universities representing a key component of Harold Wilson’s vision for improving the British economy via ‘the white heat of technology’ and we wish to recognise this in our 50th year, and annually thereafter, by inviting a high-profile speaker from the world of politics to the University.

About the lecture

Harold Wilson was a popular Prime Minister whose approval rating rarely fell below 58%. However, from the moment he left office his reputation has been sullied by the claim that he was, above all else, a ‘devious’ politician. Alan believes that to be a totally unfair accusation and will attempt to present a portrait of a principled and astute politician who fully deserved the public affection he enjoyed.

About the speaker

Alan Johnson was the Labour Party MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle. Alan’s political career started in 1968 when he became a postman in London and joined the Union of Communication Workers. His political career went from strength to strength and following the 2001 General Elections he was promoted to Minister of State for Employment Relations and Regions. In 2003 he was given a new post as the Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Higher and Further Education at the Department for Education and Skills.

Alan later became the Shadow Chancellor until his resignation from the Shadow Cabinet in January 2001. He is also a supporter of Wilson’s concept of technology universities at the heart of economic development.