Lloyd George welcomed back to Parliament

by Stephen Tall on October 25, 2007

85 years since he became the last Liberal Prime Minister, David Lloyd George today took his place in Parliament Square as Prince Charles unveiled an eight-foot statue, declaring: “In the course of a decade, beginning approximately a century ago, he established himself as one of the greatest social reformers and war leaders of the 20th Century.”

Acting Lib Dem leader Vince Cable paid his own tribute:

“This is a long-awaited tribute to a man who is generally regarded as the most radical social reformer to have led this country. Lloyd George created modern liberalism by marrying a belief in freedom with a sense of social justice.

“Both as Chancellor and Prime Minister he was ambitious to bring about changes which helped ordinary people. His pensions and national insurance scheme launched the welfare state and as Prime Minister he focused on core issues of health, education and housing. He was also an ardent campaigner for devolution and he gave women the vote. Furthermore he was Britain’s war leader through the most difficult years of the First World War.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to all who have been involved in campaigning for and creating this statue for this great Liberal leader.”

A letter criticising the move – from inter alia Harold Pinter and John Pilger -was published in today’s Telegraph.