UK Politics

Denis Healey's wife, Edna, dies aged 92

Lord Healey with his wife outside 11 Downing Street on the day of the 1978 Budget
Image caption The Healeys were married for 64 years

Lady Edna Healey, the wife of former Labour chancellor Lord Denis Healey, has died at the age of 92.

A teacher by training, Lady Healey became a successful author - her books including a best-selling biography of philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts.

Lord Healey was defence secretary and chancellor of the exchequer in the Wilson and Callaghan governments before becoming deputy Labour leader in opposition.

The couple were married for 64 years.

Lord Healey, who was an MP for 40 years before joining the House of Lords in 1992, celebrated his 92nd birthday last year.

In later life, Lady Healey pursued a career as a writer and award-winning television documentary maker.

Her books included Wives of Fame, The Queen's House: A Social History of Buckingham Palace and a biography of Charles Darwin's wife Emma.

Lady Healey published her memoirs, Part of the Pattern, in 2006.

She died peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday morning at Eastbourne General Hospital, East Sussex.

Harriet Harman, acting leader of the Labour Party, said: "Edna Healey was a remarkable woman, a writer and film-maker of distinction and a true friend to the Labour Party over many decades.

"Our thoughts are with Denis and their family and friends."

The daughter of a crane-driver, Edna Healey was born in the Forest of Dean on June 14 1918.

She married Denis in 1945, after meeting him at Oxford university before the war, and went on travel the world with him on official trips during his years in government, meeting many world leaders.