‘Honoured that you are writing my father’s biography’ the late Tony Benn, ‘...wonderfully written’ Hilary Benn

‘Sparkles with fascinating detail…a remarkable story of Liberal and Labour politics in the first half of the twentieth century.’ Michael Crick, Political Correspondent, Channel 4 News

‘Casts much light both on the evolution of British radicalism, and on the legacy which he bequeathed to his son, Tony. Professor Vernon Bogdanor, King's College, London

‘Brilliant biography…wonderful reading about the father and...discovering more about the son.’ Steve Richards of The Independent

‘Well-written and carefully researched, this fascinating biography brings to life a major figure in British political history…an excellent job of weaving together the strands of a complex life…as well as filling in the background of the Benn family’ Richard Doherty, military historian

Sunday, 26 January 2014

8 of the most-commonly mis-remembered political facts

1 Lloyd George was born in Manchester. True, he was nicknamed the Welsh Wizard and he represented a seat in Wales, but he was indeed born in Manchester.

2 Before the First World War women’s suffrage groups campaigned against Liberal candidates who were in favour of votes for women. William Wedgwood Benn in 1910 was just one example.

3 William Beveridge was a Liberal MP. True, he wrote his famous report before he became an MP and he was only an MP from 1944 to 1945, but he was indeed a Liberal MP.

4 Over the last century, the decade which saw the greatest proportion of government intentions turn into reality was the 1940s. This included the period of Winston Churchill’s Conservative, Labour and Liberal wartime coalition and Clement Attlee’s first premiership.

5 Margaret Thatcher was prime minister when the Pound joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).

6 John Major was the party leader who won the most ever votes for his party. It was in 1992 and the Conservative Party won over 14 million votes – no party before or since has ever won more votes. Major’s own majority in his seat in Huntingdon was over 36,000.

7 At the 1997 election the Liberal Democrats share of the vote fell, but the number of MPs doubled.

8 Ukip has no MPs, but the Green Party and Respect do.

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