Winston Churchill Is Elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for a Second Term

After the General Election of 1951, Churchill again became Prime Minister.

His third government—after the wartime national government and the brief caretaker government of 1945—lasted until his resignation in 1955. His domestic priorities in his last government were overshadowed by a series of foreign policy crises, which were partly the result of the continued decline of British military and imperial prestige and power. Being a strong proponent of Britain as an international power, Churchill would often meet such moments with direct action. One example was his dispatch of British troops to Kenya to deal with the Mau Mau rebellion. Trying to retain what he could of the Empire, he once stated that, "I will not preside over a dismemberment."

Churchill’s second term as Prime Minister was not characterized as memorable or distinguished. Nevertheless, Churchill had backed the agreement to end the Korean War and was involved in persuading the United States not to intervene to rescue the French from Ho Chi Minh’s guerrilla army in Indochina at Dien Pien Phu. Perhaps Churchill reasoned, why should the French retain Indochina when Britain had lost India? Churchill’s major objective, to organize a summit at which the United States, Britain, and the USSR would work to resolve outstanding differences, failed to materialize.

Churchill remained Prime Minister until 1955 when he relinquished the position to his successor, Anthony Eden (who was married to Churchill’s niece). Churchill continued on in Parliament, representing his constituency of Woodford, until 1964.