[email protected]: David Steel – The night Labour self-destructed

Over at the Daily Mail, former Liberal party leader Lord (David) Steel recalls the dramatic evening of 28 March 1979, when the Labour Government lost a confidence motion by one vote, and the then Prime Minister James Callaghan was forced to call an early General Election. It was this election that swept Margaret Thatcher to victory. Here’s an excerpt:

The tension was palpable, politicians from all parties talking and arguing with one another, all speculating about what was going to happen next.

I had never seen the chamber so packed before. Not one of us had the slightest idea what the outcome of the debate was going to be, which in itself was very unusual.

I knew that an unforgettable experience was about to take place. I even warned my wife, Judy, who very rarely visited the Commons, to make sure she came to Westminster to witness an evening that was certain to go down in political history.

You can read the article in full HERE. BBC4 is dedicating its evening schedule to the events of that night, including highlights of the ‘No confidence’ debate: you can watch it all on iPlayer HERE.

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