Podcast: The Night of the Long Knives

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Harold Macmillan lost his reputation for unflappability forever
Harold Macmillan lost his reputation for unflappability forever

Half a century has passed since what might just be the most controversial Cabinet reshuffle ever.

Unexpected, ruthless and disastrous: Harold Macmillan's reshuffle of July 13th 1962 – dubbed 'the Night of the Long Knives' by an unsympathetic press – was arguably the beginning of the end for Macmillan's premiership. In one fell swoop he sacked seven of his senior ministers – and lost his reputation in the process.

In this special episode Alex Stevenson is joined by political biographer D. R. Thorpe, the author of Supermac: The Life Of Harold Macmillan, and Stephen Parkinson, director of the Conservative History Group, to talk about the Night of the Long Knives.


There are a surprising number of parallels between the situation on July 13th 1962 and July 13th 2012…

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