Former leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). After qualifying as a doctor Owen entered politics as a Labour MP. He rose swiftly, becoming foreign secretary in 1977 at the age of 38. With the party's swing to the left, Owen became increasingly disaffected and helped to found the SDP as one of the ‘gang of four’. He became leader of the party in 1983 and continued to preside over a rump SDP until the party was wound up in 1990. He retired from the Commons in 1992 and was granted a life peerage. He acted as European Community Peace Envoy to the former Yugoslavia (1992–5).
Subjects: History — Politics.