New clues to Prime Minister Harold Wilson's resignation





It is one of the mysteries of Whitehall: why did Harold Wilson resign as Prime Minister only two years into his second reign?

Conspiracy theories have abounded about the events preceding March 16, 1976, when Wilson stunned the country and his Cabinet colleagues. Was he the victim of a plot by the security services, who thought that he had communist sympathies and was a KGB asset, or had the onset of Alzheimer’s already claimed his faculties?

At the time Wilson, later Lord Wilson of Rievaulx, said that he had always intended to resign when he turned 60, which he did on March 11.

The recollections of a distinguished criminal barrister who defended two men accused of breaking into Wilson’s offices in 1974 have raised new questions about what personal pressures Wilson was under in the months leading up to his resignation.


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