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John Major

Prior to election to Parliament, was a bank executive with Standard Chartered Bank from 1965 to 1979. He also was a member of the Lambeth Borough Council from 1968 to 1971. He ran unsuccessfully for Parliament twice before winning in 1979, standing for Huntingdonshire. Since the1983 general election he has been a member for Huntingdon.

From 1981-83 Major served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State at the Home Office. He was an Assistant Government Whip in 1983, and was appointed a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury (senior Government Whip) in 1984. In 1985 he was made Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Security at the Department of Health and Social Security. Promoted to Minister of State for Social Security and the Disabled in 1986, he remained in that post until appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury after the June, 1987, general election. He was created a Privy Counsellor in the same year.

In 1989 he served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Minister of Overseas Development from July to October, when he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, a post he held until his being named prime minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service on 28 November 1990. Despite considerable public disfavor over the poll tax, National Health Service and recession, Major was able to retain his ministry when the Conservative Party won the general election of April 1992. His handling of a number of domestic issues lost him support and called his leadership into question in 1993, but a "Back to Basics" campaign and a joint UK-Irish peace initiatve in North Ireland won him approval points, but his "Back to Basics" campaign ended in disaster following various sexual and financial wrongdoings by several of his ministers. Major's popularity collapsed after sterling was ejected from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in the Autumn of 1992 and he never recovered from this debacle.

1996, Crown copyright photograph.


1992 - Bill Clinton is elected president of the United States.
1996 - Bill Clinton is re-elected president of the United States.

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