Churchill caretaker ministry

The Churchill caretaker ministry was a short-term United Kingdom (UK) government during the latter stages of the Second World War, from 23 May to 26 July 1945. The prime minister was Winston Churchill, leader of the Conservative Party. This government succeeded the national coalition which he had formed after he was first appointed prime minister on 10 May 1940. The coalition had comprised leading members of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal parties and it was terminated soon after the defeat of Nazi Germany because the parties could not agree on whether it should continue until after the defeat of Japan.

Churchill caretaker ministry
Caretaker government of the United Kingdom
May–July 1945
Winston Churchill speaking on 27 June 1945
during the general election campaign
Date formed23 May 1945 (1945-05-23)
Date dissolved26 July 1945 (1945-07-26)
People and organisations
MonarchGeorge VI
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Prime Minister's history1940–1945
Deputy Prime Ministernone appointed[lower-alpha 1]
Total no. of members92 appointments
Member parties
Status in legislatureMajority (coalition)
Opposition partyLabour Party
Opposition leaderClement Attlee
History
Outgoing election1945 general election
Legislature term(s)37th UK Parliament
PredecessorChurchill war ministry
SuccessorAttlee ministry

The caretaker government continued to fight the war against Japan in the Far East but Churchill's focus was on preparation for the Potsdam Conference where he and his foreign secretary Anthony Eden would meet Joseph Stalin and Harry Truman. The main concern on the home front, however, was post-war recovery including the need for reform in key areas such as education, health, housing, industry and social welfare. Campaigning mostly on those issues, the parties canvassed for support in the forthcoming general election, the first held in the UK since 1935. The general election was held on 5 July but, allowing time to collect the large numbers of votes by overseas service personnel, the result was not announced until 26 July and was a landslide victory for Labour. Churchill thereupon resigned as prime minister and was succeeded by his erstwhile coalition deputy Clement Attlee, who formed a Labour government.