Churchill’s swansong remembered

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IT IS 50 years since Winston Churchill last appeared in the chamber of the House of Commons, in the summer of 1964, the year before his death aged 90.

In his last days there, he regularly occupied the famous front-row seat below the gangway, traditionally occupied by former prime ministers.

Veteran lobby correspondent Chris Moncrieff said: “In the Press gallery we held our breath as the great man appeared in the chamber and slowly and unsteadily picked his way unaided along the green carpet to his seat nearly halfway down the chamber.

“On more than one occasion, there were gasps from the public gallery as he swayed dangerously and seemed certain to lose his balance.

“But on each occasion, to the huge relief of everyone, he managed to regain his equilibrium before slumping into his seat.

“In those last few months, he did not take part in debates. But whenever he appeared in the chamber, there was an excited rustling in the public gallery.”