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BBC News (Nov 1990 - )

[Image: Margaret-Thatcher-Funeral-27.jpg]

Former Prime Minister Aubyn Myerscough was buried this week in Lewisham, after his untimely death from terminal brain cancer at the age of 47. Held in Lewisham's parish church of St Mary the Virgin, Myerscough was the first former Premier laid to rest since Harold Macmillan's death in 1986.

The service itself was conducted by Roy Williamson, the new Bishop of Southwark, with the local vicar preaching the sermon. Archbishop of Canterbury Desmond Tutu and Bishop of London David Hope were both present in choir. The Earl of Dartmouth, patron of the parish, represented the Queen.

The most interesting aspect of the funeral was the extensive political guest list, with former Prime Ministers Baron Home, Baron Wilson, Edward Heath, Baron Callaghan, and the Countess of Finchley amongst the ranks of the mourners. Additionally, the Leader of the Opposition, James McCrimmon and Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cardigan were both in attendance, as was Prime Minister Dylan Macmillan, who gave one of the readings.
Redgrave | A-Team
Dylan Macmillan resigns as Prime Minister
  • PM stands down after just under a month in office
  • Downing Street statement cites health as the reason but ongoing inquiry and impeachment motion cited by sources as the real reason
  • Macmillan becomes shortest-serving PM in British history
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The Prime Minister, pictured soon after hearing about the William Croft revelations

Dylan Macmillan tendered his resignation as Prime Minister, it was announced today.

The Prime Minister, who assumed office less than a month ago, said he was resigning due to health issues related to gastrointestinal diseases. He confirmed that he felt it appropriate to stand down for the good of the country and the party so that a “leader fully up to the job could take over”. 

However, government sources are connecting Macmillan’s resignation to the ongoing Hutton inquiry, the revelations from former Home Secretary William Croft before his arrest and the successful motion from the Opposition to launch a committee and potential impeachment proceedings against Macmillan. 

Macmillan will remain as Prime Minister, supported by the Cabinet, until a successor is chosen to take the party into the upcoming election. 

During his brief tenure in Downing Street, Macmillan signed a deal on the Irish peace process, oversaw the passing of a budget from the Myerscough government and passed the European Union Act. However, Macmillan does also become the shortest serving Prime Minister in history at less than 31 days in office, surpassing the record of 77 days set by Marcus Drummond-Macbeath in February 1991.
Redgrave | A-Team
Bibi Lauria appointed Prime Minister
  • Former Environment Secretary appointed after winning Conservative leadership unopposed following Macmillan resignation
  • New PM faces upcoming general election in seven weeks
  • Lauria becomes Britain’s second female and youngest ever Prime Minister
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Lauria pictured upon hearing news of her appointment

Bibi Lauria has become Britain’s new Prime Minister after she won the Conservative leadership unopposed, following the resignation of Dylan Macmillan.

Lauria, 37, is the second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher and also becomes the youngest ever incumbent to hold the office. 

A former social worker, Lauria dropped out of school at 16 and spent nearly fifteen years working for local councils and housing charities across London. She was elected as the MP for Battersea in 1987 and was appointed as Secretary of State for Energy and the Environment following Dylan Macmillan’s appointment as Prime Minister. Prior to this, Lauria had served as Secretary of State for Health under Aubyn Myerscough from 1991 to 1992. 

Seen as being on the moderate wing of the party, Lauria was actually a member of the Liberal Party until 1984. She was also a key figure behind the Let’s Lead Europe campaign that promotes closer European integration and a single currency. 

With only seven weeks to go before the 1992 general election must be held and an even shorter time before Parliament must be dissolved, Lauria will need to outline her priorities ahead of the coming campaign.
Redgrave | A-Team
Dissolution Honours:  High profile backers, senior MPs and television personalities dominate controversial list of appointments
-         1992 Dissolution Honours list published ahead of June’s general election
-         Michael Heseltine, Speaker Bernard Weatherill and Michael Foot among those honoured by the two main parties
-         Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cardigan controversially appoints a number of television personalities for honours
-         Enoch Powell and Mary Whitehouse amongst those nominated by Referendum amid criticism
The Speaker of the House of Commons Bernard Weatherill, David Blair and former Labour leader Michael Foot lead an illustrious list of nominees for the 1992 dissolution honours
The Prime Minister nominated her Health Secretary, Michael Heseltine and former Falkland Islands Governor Sir Rex Hunt who served as Governor during the war of 1982, for peerages, as well as Tory grandees Cranley Onslow and Alan Clark, both retiring from Parliament at the upcoming election. Speaking to the BBC, Rex Hunt said “I am delighted and honoured to have been nominated to serve in the House of Lords by the Prime Minister, whom we have seen is a staunch defender of this nation, and particularly the Falkland Islands, where I am immensely grateful to have served for five years.” David Blair, the former Home Secretary widely praised for ordering the ongoing Hutton Inquiry, has also been nominated for a peerage, along with the Speaker of the House of Commons Bernard Weatherill, who retires from the Commons after nine years in the chair. Sir James McCrimmon, the Labour leader, has nominated a number of senior Labour MPs for peerages. Former Chancellor and Labour Deputy Leader Denis Healey was “delighted and honoured” to have been nominated, and James Callaghan’s Home Secretary Merlyn Rees has spoken of his “continued desire to serve the people of the country from the other side of the Parliamentary estate.” Also nominated is former Labour leader Michael Foot, as well as former Solicitor General Peter Archer and outspoken disability rights campaigner Jack Ashley.
There has been some controversy over the appointments made by the Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cardigan, who has appointed BBC radio DJ John Peel, a close personal friend, and broadcaster Robin Day to the House of Lords. Cardigan, a former BBC personality who rose to prominence during the 1970s, said in a statement that he believes the Lords is an “archaic institution” and one “full of cynical politicians” and that he intends to bring in media figures into the Lords to question politicians more thoroughly. Critics of the move have accused Cardigan of appointing a number of close friends and colleagues to an institution that the Liberal Democrats have opposed politically for a long time. Labour MP Dennis Skinner said to the media “Alex Cardigan’s statement that he is doing this to provide an outside perspective to the House of Lords would be an interesting one, and something I would agree with, if it were just that. But it’s clear to me, and I think to everyone else, that Cardigan has chosen only his cronies, private school boys who’s circle he’s spent decades in, rather than proper working people who could provide some real scrutiny for this government.” There has been similar criticism of the Referendum Party, who has nominated Enoch Powell for a hereditary peerage, despite controversy over his comments on race. Lib Dem Shadow Home Secretary Charles Kennedy called Powell’s appointment an “unprecedentedly disgraceful appointment”, adding: “What sort of a message does it send that a man who believes that the presence of black and other minority peoples in this country will eventually lead to a civil war in this country? The Prime Minister should be ashamed to recommend such a vile person for a peerage when claiming she wishes to lead a government fit for the 21st century.
Outside peerages, a number of other honours have been granted, including a knighthood for Deputy Commons Speaker Harold Walker and former Health Secretary Charles Kinbote, a damehood for Mary Whitehouse, and MBEs for Keith Floyd, Mark E Smith, and Peter Gabriel.
Hereditary Peerages

-         Enoch Powell – Minister for Health, 1960 – 1963, MP from 1950 – 1987
Life Peerages

-         Michael Heseltine – Health Secretary, MP for Henley 1974 – 1992
-         Sir Rex Hunt - Governor of the Falkland Islands, 1980-1985
-         Cranley Onslow - Chairman of the 1922 Committee, 1984 - 1992
-         Alan Clark - Minister and MP for Plymouth Sutton, 1974 - 1992
-         Speaker Bernard Weatherill - Speaker of the House of Commons, 1983-1992
-         David Blair - Home Secretary, 1992-1992
-         Peter Archer - Solicitor General for England and Wales, 1974 - 1979
-         Jack Ashley - MP for Stoke on Trent South, disability rights campaigner
-         Denis Healey - Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, 1980 - 1983. Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1974 -1979
-         Merlyn Rees - Home Secretary, 1976 - 1979
-         Michael Foot - Leader of the Opposition, 1980 – 1983
-         John Peel - Radio DJ
-         Robin Day – Broadcaster
Knights Bachelor

-         Harold Walker - Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, 1983 – 1992
-         Robert Kilroy-Silk – Broadcaster, MP for Knowsley North, 1983 – 1986
-         Charles Kinbote – Health Secretary, 1991
Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire

-         Beatrice Serota, Baroness Serota – Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords
-         Mary Whitehouse – Educator, anti-obscenity activist
Officer of the Order of the British Empire

-         Pamela Ann Clements – Television actress
Member of the Order of the British Empire

-         Keith Floyd – Cook and TV personality
-         Mark E Smith – Singer and songwriter
-         Peter Gabriel – Singer and songwriter

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