Baldwin Spencer

Winston Baldwin Spencer, born in 1948, was the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda from 2004 to 2014. He graduated with a Diploma in Labour and Economic Studies from Ruskin in the early 1970s.

Baldwin became a prominent Labour leader with the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union and was first elected to Parliament in 1989 as the MP for the St. John’s Rural West constituency.

He would serve as Leader of the Opposition for the United National Democratic Party, where he spearheaded collaborative meetings with the Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement, resulting in the formation of the United Progressive Party (UPP) in 1992. Baldwin rose to become the leader of the new party and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

As opposition leader, he organised public demonstrations and went on a hunger strike to advocate for electoral reform after the widely criticised 1999 elections. Baldwin fought for the formation of an independent Electoral Commission to oversee elections in Antigua and Barbuda. He took the Bird Government to court arguing that, in a democratic society, citizens have a right to hear an opposing political perspective on government airwaves.

He led the UPP to a landslide victory in the March 2004 parliamentary election.

As Prime Minister, Baldwin moved to enact a trio of key government reforms: a nationwide school meals programme, raising the minimum wage and paying all civil servants.

He was also recognised by the United Nations for his leadership, receiving the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Award in recognition for his work advancing the cause of international development.

Ruskin was pleased to welcome Baldwin back for a special visit in 2007.

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