As the nation awaits the announcement of new Prime Minister following the 48 day tenure of Liz Truss – the shortest of any British Prime Minister, we take a quick look at the circumstances surrounding the next three shortest serving PMs…
1. George Canning. Canning, a Tory, had twice served as Foreign Secretary – between 1807-1809 and 1822-1827 (a period during which he also served as Leader of the House of Commons) when, following the resignation of Prime Minister Lord Liverpool in April, 1827, he was chosen to succeed him in the office. But Canning’s health took a turn for the worse soon after and he died in office on 8th August, 1827, having served just 119 days as Prime Minister.
2. The Viscount Goderich. FJ Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich, succeeded George Canning as Prime Minister in 1827. But he was unable to hold together Canning’s coalition of Tories and Whigs and so resigned himself after just 144 days in office. He nonetheless went on to serve in the cabinets of both Earl Grey and Sir Robert Peel.
3. Andrew Bonar Law. The only Canadian to have served as British Prime Minister, Law was a Conservative Party leader who became Prime Minister after the fall of David Lloyd George’s Coalition Government on 23rd October, 1922. The party then won a clear majority in a general election on 15th November of that year. But ill with throat cancer he resigned on 20th May the following year, having served just 211 days in office. He died soon after on 30th October that year.