Skip to main content

David Lloyd George was appointed Prime Minister on 6 December 1916. After months of failure and discontent with the Asquith Government Unionists, Labour members and the majority of Liberals came together to support a government with Lloyd George as its Prime Minister. Because he did not have the strong support of one single party Lloyd George's position depended on his personal success. His success in the War campaigns kept him in his position. He put his own personal stamp on everything the Government did. When appointed, Lloyd George formed a small War Cabinet of five, under his chairmanship to take control of war policy. In this way, he managed to avoid the long drawn out and unhelpful discussions that had hindered the work of the Asquith cabinet. When peace eventually came in 1918, Lloyd George's personal stamp on the whole enterprise ensured for him the epithet "The Man Who Won The War."

David Lloyd George's success during the War secured the premiership for him after the War when he won a massive majority in the December 1918 general election.

By 1922 support for David Lloyd George had weakened and the coalition that supported the Government was very unsteady due to the lack of success of policies. He met personal opposition, especially after the "honours for sale" scandal. But he also faced serious political opposition from the ranks of back bench Conservative members of his coalition. Very many matters worried them; they were very unhappy with the way he conducted business in the seemingly continuous series of international conferences that followed the War. He would conduct these meeting himself, without the help or advice of the Foreign Office. Therefore every failure was seen as his failure. This was seen clearly in the Genoa Conference. It had been convened to promote greater economic co-operation, to improve relations with France and to encourage other governments to recognise Russia. But the Conference failed to achieve anything of worth.

Lloyd George's attempt to build a party of the centre in British politics failed and it was only a matter of time before the coalition fell apart. That happened in October 1922 when a majority of Conservative members voted to leave the Government. Lloyd George resigned on 19 October when he was 59 years old and did not occupy any position of power again.