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John Enoch Powell, MBE , best known as Enoch Powell, was a British politician, classical scholar, linguist, and poet. He served as a Conservative Member of Parliament , Ulster Unionist Party MP , and Minister of Health .

The Right Honourable

MBE
Enoch Powell 6 Allan Warren.jpg
Member of the British Parliament
for South Down
In office
10 October 1974 – 11 June 1987
Preceded by Lawrence Orr
Succeeded by Eddie McGrady
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
In office
7 July 1965 – 21 April 1968
Leader Edward Heath
Preceded by Peter Thorneycroft
Succeeded by Reginald Maudling
Secretary of State for Health
In office
27 July 1960 – 18 October 1963
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Preceded by Derek Walker-Smith
Succeeded by Anthony Barber
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
14 January 1957 – 15 January 1958
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Preceded by Henry Brooke
Succeeded by Jack Simon
Member of the British Parliament
for Wolverhampton South West
In office
23 February 1950 – 28 February 1974
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Nick Budgen
Personal details
Born John Enoch Powell
(1912-06-16)16 June 1912
Birmingham, England
Died 8 February 1998(1998-02-08) (aged 85)
London, England
Political party Conservative
Ulster Unionist
Spouse(s) Pamela Wilson
Children 2
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
University of London
Religion Church of England
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom/British Empire
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1939–1945
Rank British Army OF-6.svg Brigadier
Unit Royal Warwickshire Regiment
General Service Corps
Intelligence Corps
Battles/wars World War II
 • North African Campaign
 • India
Awards BAR.svg British War Medal
AfricaStarRibbon.png Africa Star
Order BritEmp rib.png Military MBE
Ribbon - 1939-45 Star.png 1939–1945 Star

John Enoch Powell, MBE (/ˈɒn ˈnɒk pl/; 16 June 1912 – 8 February 1998), best known as Enoch Powell, was a British politician, classical scholar, linguist, and poet. He served as a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP, 1950–74), Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP (1974–87), and Minister of Health (1960–63).

Before entering politics, Powell was a classical scholar, becoming a full professor of ancient Greek at the age of 25. During the Second World War, he served in both staff and intelligence positions, reaching the rank of brigadier in his early thirties. He also wrote poetry, his first works being published in 1937, as well as many books on classical and political subjects.

Powell became a national figure following his 20 April 1968 address to the General Meeting of the West Midlands Area Conservative Political Centre, which became known as the "Rivers of Blood" speech. It pointedly criticized immigration into Britain from the Commonwealth nations and opposed the anti-discrimination legislation being mooted at the time. In response, Conservative party leader Edward Heath sacked Powell from his position as Shadow Defence Secretary (1965–68) of the government's Tory opposition.

In the aftermath of the Rivers of Blood speech, several polls suggested that between 67–82% of the UK population agreed with Powell's opinions and his supporters claim that this large public following which Powell attracted helped the Conservatives to win the 1970 general election, and perhaps cost them the February 1974 general election, when Powell turned his back on the Conservatives by endorsing a vote for Labour, who returned as a minority government in early March following a hung parliament. He returned to the House of Commons in October 1974 as the Ulster Unionist Party MP for the Northern Irish constituency of South Down until he was defeated in the 1987 general election.