The Daily Telegraph

Six of the best? More living former PMS than ever before


The UK has six living ex-prime ministers for the first time in modern history, reflecting the recent rapid turnover of leaders and the younger ages of those in office.

Boris Johnson resigned on Tuesday to join Theresa May, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Sir Tony Blair and Sir John Major on the list.

The number of surviving former prime ministers has doubled in the past 15 years.

When Mr Brown became prime minister in 2007, three of his predecesso­rs in the role were still alive: Sir Tony, Sir John and Margaret Thatcher.

Of the six living ex-leaders, two are under 60: Mr Johnson, aged 58, and Mr Cameron, 55. Sir Tony is 69, Mrs May is 65, Mr Brown is 71 and Sir John is 79.

There have been five living ex-prime ministers several times, most in 2019 recently when Mr Johnson was elected.

When Labour lost the 1979 general election, Jim Callaghan became number five in a group that contained Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Alec Douglashom­e and Harold Macmillan.

There were also five in 1964: Douglas-home, Macmillan, Anthony Eden, Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee.

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