Birth of Winston Churchill

Although remembered as a Conservative, under which banner he began and ended his parliamentary career, for nearly 20 years Winston Churchill was a leading radical light of the Liberal Party, a period, apart from his wartime premiership, which saw his most important achievements. Churchill joined the Liberal Party as the Tories were convulsed by Tariff Reform. Youthful and combative, he formed an effective partnership in government with David Lloyd George. He joined the cabinet as President of the Board of Trade and by 35 he was Home Secretary. His career faltered in the First World War following the failure of the Dardanelles Campaign but Lloyd George brought him back in 1917 as Minister of Munitions and he served as a member of the Lloyd George Coalition until its fall in 1922. He lost his Dundee seat in the election of that year and failed to get elected for Leicester West the following year. His commitment to the Liberal Party wearing thin, he adopted an anti-Socialist platform, securing election for Epping in 1924 as a Constitutionalist. His separation from the Liberals was completed when he accepted office the same year in Stanley Baldwin’s Conservative administration. Although no longer a Liberal, Churchill retained close friendships with members of the Party including Sir Archibald Sinclair, with whom he served in World War One and Asquith’s daughter, Lady Violet Bonham Carter.