Prime Ministers don’t fight duels anymore, so we believe, but George Canning, foreign secretary, went into battle with Lord Castlereagh on Putney Heath in 1809. Neither died, and Canning later became the shortest-lived PM after only 118 days.
At around quarter past five on Monday 11 May 1812 PM Spencer Perceval fell down in the lobby of the Palace of Westminster and cried out: “I am murdered!”. Yes, the only time a British prime minister has been assassinated.
Stanley Baldwin was sat by himself in the first class compartment of a train one day in 1926 when a fellow passenger entered, looked at him intensely, and finally exclaimed:
“Baldwin, Harrow, 1882. What are you up to now?”
“I’m prime minister.”
There have been fifty-five British prime ministers, but only one Churchill, and only one of whom the legendary journalist Max Hastings wrote: “While he is a brilliant entertainer … he is unfit for national office. He supposes himself to be Winston Churchill, while in reality being closer to Alan Partridge.”
Who can that be?
* Cruise ships speaker Ed Glinert, one of country’s most prolific tour guides, gets inside No. 10 to reveal the most ridiculous and rip-roaring tales.