Lord John Russell fails to form a government

Two days after telling Queen Victoria that he would be able to form an administration Whig leader Lord John Russell has to tell the Queen that he has failed. Earl Grey refused to serve if Lord Palmerston was appointed Foreign Secretary and both Grey and Palmerston refused to countenance Russell’s proposal to bring Richard Cobden into the cabinet. The Queen sent for Conservative leader Sir Robert Peel who had resigned two weeks earlier. Without consulting any of his colleagues, Peel agreed to resume office and to introduce a bill to repeal the Corn Laws.