Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Historical pedantry and the leadership plot

Nick Robinson says:

Weeks before the country gets to choose who should be its next prime minister Labour MPs are considering taking the decision for them. If they succeed a man or woman who has not been elected by the public would replace a man who has himself not been elected by the public.
This is without precedent - in this country at least.

Not true: such a thing has happened here. Stanley Baldwin won the 1935 election and was replaced by Neville Chamberlain in 1937, who was in turn replaced by Winston Churchill in 1940, both sans election. Not a bad precedent, although I do believe the circumstances were ever so slightly different.

(Update: To be even more pedantic, nobody has ever been elected Prime Minister by the public. But you know what Nick sort of means.)

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