General election 2019: What would Winston Churchill have thought of British politics? – News 247

General election 2019: What would Winston Churchill have thought of British politics? – News 247


 With a cigar in hand, Winston Churchill has been memorialised as the man who led Britain to victory in World War 2 However, while leading the country to battle, Mr Churchill also faced battles within his own party during his time as Prime Minister So how does the current in-fighting within the Conservative Party compare to Churchill’s experience as leader? Winston Churchill served two terms as Prime Minister, once between 1940 and 1945, and another between 1951 and 1955  While Churchill is undoubtedly best remembered for his role in World War 2, Brexit is sure to be the political issue Boris Johnson will be remembered for while Prime Minister  The idea of a European Union was a long way off while Churchill was in government, but Express co.uk has spoken to some experts on the British icon to speculate what Churchill would have thought about the current situation in British politics   READ MORE Andrea Leadsom condemns online abuse as record number of MPs quit  Professor of Modern History Richard Toye told Express co.uk Churchill would probably have been “baffled” by the Brexit chaos. He said: “First and foremost he would have been rather baffled at the chaos, although he might be reminded of the Edwardian constitutional crisis that he lived through as a minister  “Whereas the Liberals campaigned on the theme ‘the peers versus the people’ Boris Johnson is now trying to raise the cry ‘parliament versus the people’  “I think that Churchill would be distressed at the current divisions within the Conservative Party, but he would also see the crisis as creating potential political opportunities ” The Conservative Party has seen a turbulent few years since Britain voted to leave the EU  The Tory whip was removed from 21 MPs following their decision to pass legislation blocking a no deal Brexit – this later restored personally by Boris Johnson  Minister after minister has resigned from their post over the last three years, and Boris Johnson’s campaign was won after a hard-fought battle amongst senior Tory members, with an unprecedented ten candidates putting themselves forward for the Conservative leadership  So how did Churchill deal with the divides in the Tory Party while he was leader?   READ MORE Downing Street fury as Grieve hatches plot to publish secret documents  Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London and author of ‘The Conservatives since 1945’, told Express co.uk: “Churchill as party leader tended to stay above the arguments that were going on among his lieutenants – particularly with regard to policy, which he regarded as secondary to his own appeal and that of the Conservative Party more general as the key to winning elections ” So how does Boris’ current political challenges compare to Winston’s? Professor Bale added: “There are some parallels – both men could be said to arouse the passions of their opponents and their supporters in equal measure, and both could be said to face a Labour Party committed to a radical, socialist vision of the country at odds with the Conservative Party’s more market-focused ideas of how it should be run ”  Trending  However, Professor Bale also points out how Mr Johnson faces a “more complex” political situation then his predecessor  He added: “Johnson, however, faces a much more difficult political situation in that he has to worry not just about Labour but about both the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party, too  “And the international environment is much more complex and multi-polar too. “Churchill only had one opponent at home – Labour – and one enemy abroad – the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War ”

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