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His strongly left-wing political positions and criticisms of vacillating leadership made him an unpopular leader.

Not particularly telegenic, he was also nicknamed "Worzel Gummidge" for his rumpled appearance.

(Bevan is supposed to have told Beaverbrook on the phone: "I've got a young bloody knight-errant here. Have a look at him.") At the outbreak of the Second World War, Foot volunteered for military service, but was rejected because of his chronic asthma.

It was suggested in 2011 that he became a member of the secret Auxiliary Units.

In 1940, under the pen-name "Cato" he and two other Beaverbrook journalists (Frank Owen, editor of the Standard, and Peter Howard of the Daily Express) published Guilty Men, attacking the appeasement policy of the Chamberlain government (thus Mr Foot reversed his position of the 1935 election – when he had attacked the Conservatives as militaristic and demanded disarmament in the face of Nazi Germany), which became a run-away best-seller.

Beaverbrook made Foot editor of the Evening Standard in 1942 at the age of 28.

Throughout his political career he railed against the increasing corporate domination of the press.

Foot fought the Plymouth Devonport constituency in the 1945 general election.

Foot resigned in 1938 after the paper's first editor, William Mellor, was fired for refusing to adopt a new CP policy of backing a Popular Front, including non-socialist parties, against fascism and appeasement.

Foot was profoundly influenced by the poverty and unemployment that he witnessed in Liverpool, which was on a different scale from anything he had seen in Plymouth.

A Liberal up to this time, Foot was converted to socialism by Oxford University Labour Club president David Lewis, a Canadian Rhodes scholar, and others: "...

During the war, Foot made a speech that was later featured in the documentary TV series The World at War broadcast in February 1974.

Foot was speaking in defence of the Daily Mirror, which had criticised the conduct of the war by the Churchill Government.

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