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Winston Churchill 1940

Churchill with his war cabinet in 1940.
Churchill with his war cabinet in 1940.
©TopFoto

Coalition Government
10 May 1940 - 23 May 1945

Backbench dismay at the performance of Neville Chamberlain as wartime Prime Minister led to a revolt in the Conservative Party and the installation of Winston Churchill as Prime Minister. A genuine coalition was formed under Churchill. Two out of five members of Churchill's 1940 War Cabinet were Labour politicians, one was National and two were Conservatives. Domestic political fighting was put on hold and all three parties worked together with the common aim of defeating Nazi Germany.

Cabinet members
Position Name Dates
Prime Minister & Minister for Defence W. Churchill* 10 May 40 - 23 May 45
Lord President of the Council N. Chamberlain* 11 May 40 - 3 Oct 40
  Sir J. Anderson* 3 Oct 40 - 24 Sep 43
  C. Attlee* 24 Sep 43 - 23 May 45
Lord Privy Seal C. Attlee* 11 May 40 - 19 Feb 42
  Sir S. Cripps* 19 Feb 42 - 22 Nov 42
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir K. Wood* 3 Oct 40 - 19 Feb 42
  Sir J. Anderson* 24 Sep 43 - 23 May 45
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Viscount Halifax* 22 Dec 40 - 23 May 45
  A. Eden* 22 Dec 40 - 23 May 45
Secretary of State for Home Affairs & Home Security H. Morrison 22 Nov 42 - 23 May 45
Minister of Aircraft Production Lord Beaverbrook* 2 Aug 40 - 1 May 41
Dominions C. Attlee* 19 Feb 42 - 23 May 45
Minister of Labour & National Service E. Bevin* 3 Oct 40 - 23 May 45
Minister resident in the Middle East O. Lyttelton* 19 Feb 42 - 19 Mar 42
  R. Casey* 19 Mar 42 - 23 Dec 43
Minister without Portfolio A. Greenwood* 11 May 40 - 22 Feb 42
Minister for Reconstruction Lord Woolton* 11 Nov 43 - 23 May 45
Minister of State Lord Beaverbrook* 1 May 41 - 29 Jun 41
  O. Lyttelton* 29 Jun 41 - 12 Mar 42
Minister for Supply Lord Beaverbrook* 29 Jul 41 - 4 Feb 42
Minister for (War) Production Lord Beaverbrook* 4 Feb 42 - 19 Feb 42 
  O. Lyttelton* 12 Mar 42 - 23 May 45
Minister for Transport L. Burgin 28 May 37 - 21 Apr 39

Notes: * indicates a member of the War Cabinet.