The resignation of Britain's Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, on tuesday (16 March) has plunged the ruling Labour Party into ferment, speculating who his successor will be.
GV cabinet minister with body guards leaving Downing Street (Home Secretary, Jenkins - centre - and Anthony Crossland - right)
SV PAN tony Benn leaving
SV Industry minister leaves
GV crowd outside
SV Wilson leaves and waves to crowd
CU Wilson speaks
(SILENT) SV PAN Callaghan in Rome
SV Moro (left), the then Italian foreign minister with Callaghan (3 shots)
WILSON: "No I'm not happy to go. It is a sad moment in many ways but you do feel a certain relief at the burden falling off your shoulders - that seven day a week burden - particularly if you are confident that your successor will pick up that burden and carry out his duties in a fresh and interesting way, without changing the basic polices."
This film is serviced with English speech by Mr. Wilson. A transcript follows:
Available on Beta comp Nx 021
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The resignation of Britain's Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, on tuesday (16 March) has plunged the ruling Labour Party into ferment, speculating who his successor will be.
Mr. Wilson's resignation takes effect as soon as the party has elected a new leader who will automatically become Britain's Prime Minister.
Four men have emerged as the most likely challengers for succession and the name most mentioned in political circles in James Callaghan, Foreign Secretary since 1974 and a leading party stalwart since World War Two.
The other three most discussed figures are the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Denis Healey, whose economic polices have run him into collision with the party's left wing; the right-of-centre Home Secretary (Interior Minister), Roy Jenkins; and the leftwinger, tony Benn, now Energy Minister.
Mr. Wilson will continue as a member of the Labour Party in the House of Commons but will take up on outside appointments. He has been leader of the party for 13 years and Prime Minister for almost eight years.
Announcing his resignation, he said that in March, 1974, he decided he would remain in office for no more than two years. Mt. Wilson said that decision was "irrevocable".