Hurd, Douglas

Hurd, Douglas, 1930–, British politician. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, he worked in the diplomatic service (1952–66) and later served as Prime Minister Edward Heath's political secretary (1970–74). He entered the House of Commons in 1974 and held a succession of junior posts in Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's government before serving in the cabinet as secretary for Northern Ireland (1984–85), home secretary (1985–89), and foreign secretary (1989–95). A moderate, he played a leading role in defining Great Britain's position in the European Community (now the European Union). After Thatcher's resignation in 1990, he entered the leadership race but was unsuccessful. He remained foreign secretary under Prime Minister John Major and was praised for his handling of Britain's role in the Persian Gulf War. Conservative party “Euroskeptics” opposed to Hurd's advocacy of British integration in the European Union forced his resignation as foreign secretary in 1995.

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