The Not Quite Prime Ministers by Nigel Fletcher


21 Sept 2023

History is written by the winners, they say. And more often than not, it is written about them too. Books have been published chronicling all of the UK’s Prime Ministers – those individuals who somehow made it to the top of the greasy pole of politics, however short or undistinguished their tenure at No. 10.

But what about those who failed to make it? Leaders of the Opposition present themselves as the alternative Prime Minister, and many of them have indeed gone on to take power. But many more have not. Who were these potential PMs? Why did they never make it to Downing Street? Do they all deserve to be remembered as losers?

In this often wildly entertaining anthology, Dr Nigel Fletcher of the Centre for Opposition Studies brings together key details of each failed opposition leader from Charles James Fox in 1783 to the modern day. Listeners to Matt Chorley’s show on Times Radio during 2022 will have heard Nigel every Monday discussing his Leader of the Opposition of the week, and this book contains all the odd facts, amusing anecdotes and pub quiz trivia from those features, plus much more.

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