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Rab Butler was too indecisive (and badly dressed) to be Prime Minister

According to Michael Jago’s The Best Prime Minister We Never Had, the gifted, intellectual Butler effectively sabotaged his own career in the ‘stupid’ party

21 November 2015

9:00 AM

21 November 2015

9:00 AM

Rab Butler: The Best Prime Minister We Never Had? Michael Jago

Biteback, pp.480, £25, ISBN: 9781849549202

‘The best prime minister we never had’ is not an epithet exclusive to Rab Butler. Widely applied to the late Denis Healey, it was also said of Hugh Gaitskell, Iain Macleod and Roy Jenkins. (More recent candidates would include Michael Heseltine and Kenneth Clarke.) All had arguably greater intellects than the prime ministers they ended up serving, all enjoyed significant popularity in the country and all were committed to the centre-ground of British politics.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £21.25 Tel: 08430 600033. Tim Bouverie is a producer for Channel 4 News.

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