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Johnson’s time as PM: Longer than Brown and Chamberlain but still behind May

He is currently the Prime Minister with the seventh shortest time in office since 1900.


File photos of Boris Johnson and Theresa May (PA)

File photos of Boris Johnson and Theresa May (PA)

File photos of Boris Johnson and Theresa May (PA)

Boris Johnson needs to spend another 28 days in the post of Prime Minister before he can say he outlasted Theresa May.

Mr Johnson has clocked up 1,079 days of his premiership, but Mrs May managed 1,106 days in the job between 2016 and 2019.

If the Prime Minister can remain in office until August 4, despite signalling his intention to resign, he will have outrun his immediate predecessor.

Mr Johnson has just reached another symbolic milestone in his time in Downing Street.

He has now passed the 1,078 days clocked up by Neville Chamberlain, who was Conservative prime minister between 1937 and 1940.


(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

Mr Chamberlain’s tenure in the top job came to abrupt end in May 1940, nine months into the Second World War, after he lost the support of many of his backbenchers who were critical of his style of leadership and his handling of the conflict.

During a debate on the conduct of the war in the House of Commons on May 7 1940, the Tory MP Leo Amery quoted at Chamberlain some words originally spoken by the 17th century politician and general Oliver Cromwell, who led the armies of parliament against the monarchy during the English Civil War: “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing.

“Depart, I say, and let us have done with you.

“In the name of God, go.”

The speech hastened Mr Chamberlain’s downfall and three days later, after only narrowly winning a vote of confidence but failing to get support from other parties to lead a new coalition government, he resigned as prime minister.

The same quotation was directed at Mr Johnson by Conservative MP David Davis in the Commons on January 19 2022, in response to Mr Johnson’s involvement in the partygate scandal.

Boris Johnson has now overtaken six prime ministers with the shortest time in office since 1900: Andrew Bonar Law (211 days in 1922-23), Alec Douglas-Home (364 days in 1963-64), Anthony Eden (644 days in 1955-57), Henry Campbell-Bannerman (852 days in 1905-08), Gordon Brown (1,049 days in 2007-10) and Neville Chamberlain (1,078 days in 1937-40).

If he makes it to the end of August, he will have passed two more: Theresa May on August 4 and Jim Callaghan, Labour prime minister from 1976 to 1979, on August 22.

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