ABSTRACT

In April 1976, James Callaghan was selected as leader of the Labour Party, and hence Prime Minister, by a vote of his colleagues in the Parliamentary Labour Party. This was the first time that the Parliamentary Labour Party had chosen a man leader knowing he would become Prime Minister. Callaghan was only the fourth leader the party had chosen since its recovery in 1935 from the depths of betrayal and division in 1931. In that time, by contrast, there had been eight leaders of the Conservative Party. There had even been four monarchs (and one of them was forced out).