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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian
Editor says, what if John Major's leadership gamble backfired? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Personalities thread.
In 1995,the British Prime Minister, John Major, lost his battle to remain leader of the Conservative Party.
Mr Major received backing from 89 of the party's MPs in the leadership ballot. His sole challenger, John Redwood, got 218 votes. There were eight abstentions with 12 spoilt papers. Two Conservative MPs failed to vote. Mr Redwood's victory represented support from two-thirds of the parliamentary party - more than enough to win the contest outright in the first round.
The Barmy Army TriumphRedwood was previously a banker and academic, he was also head of the Number 10 policy unit during Mrs Thatcher's second term, where he was one of the greatest supporters of widespread privatisation, a stance he retains to this day. He was elected to the Commons in 1987 and quickly climbed the ministerial ladder, joining the cabinet as secretary of state for Wales in 1993.
"Put up or Shut up"The enduring television image of his time in the role was his bold attempt to sing the Welsh national anthem in its native form. When John Major resigned the leadership of the Conservative Party in 1995, inviting detractors to "put up or shut up", John Redwood challenged him, standing on a Eurosceptic platform. His fringe supporters became known as the "barmy army" and the bid was a huge success..