Former Labour leader Michael Foot dies (UK)

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Michael Foot, Labour leader during one of the most tumultuous periods in the party's history has died, it was announced today.

Foot led the party from 1980 to 1983, presiding over the party during the formation of the breakaway Social Democratic party. He quit after Labour slumped to a stunning defeat in the 1983 election. A distinguished writer and journalist, as well as a cabinet minister in the Wilson and Callaghan governments, he was an MP from 1945 to 1992.

Tony Benn, his cabinet colleague and occasional nemesis, said today: "He was one of the great figures of the Labour movement."

Ken Livingstone said: "It's amazing that somebody that nice got to the top of the Labour party but not surprising that he didn't win the election."

Foot was a founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and an editor of Tribune.

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