How well do you know the British Prime Ministers?

A quick history quiz for the weekend: only five recent Prime Ministers have not subsequently taken a seat in the House of Lords. Who are the five?

Three you should find quite easy, a fourth not too hard if you are an older reader, but the fifth may surprise – or make you think “oh, of course!”…

(Answer after the jump)




Winston Churchill, Edward Heath, John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Hat-tip: Dishonourabe Insults by Greg Knight

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This entry was posted in Parliament.


  • Richard Gadsden 20th Nov '11 - 4:48pm

    Six. David Cameron.

  • Could you make the jump bigger (I could see the answers just at the bottom of my screen when the page loaded so accidentally read them out of the corner of my eye).

  • Nigel Ashton 20th Nov '11 - 6:11pm

    I only got four. I’d completely forgotten about Gordon Brown.

  • I got all five as well (although as Richard says Cameron counts unless you re-phrase it to former Prime Minsters). Churchill and Heath stayed on as MPs for many years. In fact Churchill was offered a hereditary peerage as often happened to former PMs but turned it down as he didn’t want to harm Randoph’s political career (this was before Tony Benn changed the law).

  • Should have remembered that life peerages were only invented in 1958 so a hereditary peerage was the only option beforehand.

  • Tony Greaves 20th Nov '11 - 8:10pm

    Interesting definition of recent. Former PMs were entitled to an Earldom. Douglas-Home had been an Earl (Earl Home) and renounced it to become PM so returned to the Lords as a plain Baron life peer (Lord Home of the Hirsel). Wilson started the craze for being just a life peer, Heath refused to have anything at all, Thatcher couldn’t have been an Earl anyway. I suppose she could have been a Countess but the peerage would have had to specifically apply to women unlike most hereditary peerages. (There are a few Scottish peerages that go through the female line – a Countess and a hereditary Lady sit in the Lords at present).

    Tony Greaves

  • Old Codger Chris 20th Nov '11 - 8:30pm

    I wonder what titles these ex-PMs might have chosen? Here are some suggestions –
    Lord Churchill of Bloody Mindedness
    Lord Heath of Great Sulking
    Lord Major of Conesfolly
    Lord Blair of Sanctimonious-on-Greed
    Lord Brown of Vesuvius

  • Lib Dem Member 21st Nov '11 - 10:07am

    I forgot about Gordon Brown and was thinking of Bonar Law!

    Until Profumo sadly died, a great one was: Who is the last person alive to have voted in the House of Commons’ Norway Debate of 1940?

  • Roger Roberts 21st Nov '11 - 3:36pm

    Surely Lloyd George, although enobled, never took his sea in the Lords.

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