Death of Clement Davies, Leader of the Liberal Party 1945-56

Davies’ finest hour probably came in 1940 when as chair of a cross party group of MPs lobbying for a more effective conduct of the war, he helped orchestrate the Norway debate which resulted in the resignation of Neville Chamberlain. First elected as Liberal MP for Montgomery at the 1929 general election, Davies joined the National Liberals in 1931 but returned to the Liberal Party in 1942. After the 1945 election and the unexpected defeat of party leader Sir Archibald Sinclair, Davies was elected to succeed him and held the party together during one of the darkest periods in the party’s history. By the time Davies stood down in 1956 the party’s fortunes had begun to improve. He remained an MP until his death and in a reflection of its improved position, the Liberals easily held the ensuing by-election.