Peter Wilby

Eden (Anthony Eden, 1897-1977, KG 1954, earl of Avon 1961) Conservative politician, Prime Minister 1955-7. Eden was Foreign Secretary under Baldwin at the age of 38 and twice in Churchill’s governments. Long Churchill’s heir-apparent, he finally succeeded him as Prime Minister in 1955 but had not made his mark before being overwhelmed by the Suez Crisis, which damaged Britain’s relations with the USA and spelt the end of the country’s status as a first-rank power in its own right. The dramatic failure of this military adventure led to a collapse in his already frail health and to his resignation.

PETER WILBY has just left the New Statesman after seven years as its editor. Before that he edited the Independent on Sunday. He has been a journalist since the early 1970s, going straight to the Observer after studying history at Sussex University.

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