Foreign affairs and diplomacy

What’s the context? 22 January 1924: Britain’s first Labour government takes office

Ramsay MacDonald

Ninety years ago today, the British political mould was shattered by the election of the first Labour government. After an inconclusive election on 6 December 1923 that the ruling Conservatives lost but nobody won, Ramsay MacDonald took office as both …

‘We shall fight on the beaches’: 3 things you never knew about Churchill’s most famous speech

Ask anyone to name Winston Churchill’s best-known speech and nine times out of ten they will answer: We shall fight them on the beaches. It’s not an exact quotation – Churchill did not include the word ‘them’ – but the …

What’s the context? 30 September 1938: The Munich Agreement

Image from German Federal Archive

75 years ago today, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew back from Munich after two days of tense discussions with the German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. He had reached an agreement setting out a timetable and terms for the Nazi takeover of …

Prime Ministers and Presidents: special relationships

In December 1941, after the Americans had been plunged into the Second World War by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill crossed the Atlantic to confer with Franklin Roosevelt. As a mark of the closeness of the wartime alliance, he was …