UKIP: The story of the UK Independence Party's rise

Nigel Farage celebrates Mark Reckless's Rochester victory Nigel Farage was in jubilant mood as his party took its second Westminster seat

Related Stories

With its second elected MP at Westminster in as many months, the UK Independence Party has cemented its place as the new force in British politics. But its achievements are no overnight success.

The UK Independence Party has, as its name implies, one key policy - to leave the European Union.

It is a simple, understandable message, which has led to the party gaining bigger and bigger support in European elections, culminating in it topping the vote in May this year.

But it is also a message which meant people often dismissed it as a single-issue party, unlikely to transfer its success to Westminster politics.

It has spent considerable effort on broadening its appeal, spelling out how leaving the EU is the answer to a whole range of issues, notably controlling immigration, while also outlining plans to cut taxes for middle earners, speaking up for grammar schools and opposing gay marriage.

And the message from leader Nigel Farage - if any party has been associated with one man it is UKIP and Farage - seems to have struck a chord with disenchanted voters from the "big three".

Nigel Farage at the bar Nigel Farage enjoys an everyman image

It became clear in the 2013 Eastleigh by-election that UKIP, rather than Westminster's official Labour opposition, seemed to have become the party of choice for the anti-government vote and the anti-politics vote.

It has since proved capable of causing upsets in local elections in Tory and Lib Dem heartlands in the South of England and, as the South Shields and Heywood and Middleton by-elections demonstrated, Labour strongholds in the North. Its crowning moment came in October, when the party won its first Westminster seat, after the Conservative MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell, defected to Mr Farage's team.

line

UKIP's share of the vote in Westminster by-elections:

November 2014: 42.1%

October 2014: Clacton 59.75%

October 2014: Heywood and Middleton 38.7%

June 2014: Newark 25.9%

Feb 2014: Wythenshawe and Sale East 18%

May 2013: South Shields 24.2%

Feb 2013: Eastleigh 27.8%

Nov 2012: Rotherham 21.7%

Nov 2012: Middlesbrough 11.8%

Nov 2012: Croydon North 5.7%

Nov 2012: Manchester Central 4.5%

Nov 2012: Corby 14.3%

Nov 2012: Cardiff South and Penarth 6.1%

Mar 2012: Bradford West 3.3%

Dec 2011: Feltham and Heston 5.5%

July 2011: Inverclyde 1%

May 2011: Leicester South 2.9%

March 2011: Barnsley Central 12.2%

Jan 2011: Oldham East and Saddleworth 5.8%

line

UKIP has realised the hard way that it is not enough just to pitch up at a by-election with a loud hailer and some media-friendly stunts, it requires months, even years, of groundwork in the local area.

The party's campaigning effort has become far more professional and well-funded in the past three years as a result. It is learning the highly specialised discipline, once the domain of the Lib Dems, of winning elections.

But UKIP is no overnight success or, as it can sometimes seem from the ubiquity of Mr Farage on the airwaves, a one-man party.

It has had more twists and turns - and splits and schisms - in its 20-year history than many a soap opera, with an equally colourful cast of characters.

Nigel Farage in 1997 Nigel Farage, pictured at a party event in 1997

How UKIP became a political force

Small parties have a habit of disintegrating into internal warfare or being wiped out by the vagaries of the electoral system and political fashion - British politics has seen a few come and go over the years.

But UKIP managed to keep its show on the road and defy the predictions of those who were ready to write the party off as, in the often-quoted words of David Cameron, "fruitcakes and loonies".

The party was founded on 3 September 1993 at the London School of Economics by members of the Anti-Federalist League, which had been founded by Dr Alan Sked in November 1991 with the aim of running candidates opposed to the Maastricht Treaty in the 1992 general election.

line

UKIP's growing vote share in national elections:

1999 European elections 7%

2001 General election 1.5% (saved deposit in one seat)

2004 European elections 16%

2005 General election 2.3% (saved deposit in 38 seats)

2009 European elections 16.5%

2010 General election 3.2% (saved deposit in 100 seats)

2014 European elections 27.5%

Candidates must get 5% of votes cast to save their deposit

line

UKIP's early days were overshadowed by the higher-profile and well-financed Referendum Party, led by Sir James Goldsmith, which was wound up soon after the 1997 election.

The new party's initial successes were all in the proportional representation elections for the European Parliament - winning its first three seats in 1999 with 7% of the vote.

From 1997: Nigel Farage says UKIP's time has come

It built on that in 2004, winning 12 seats and pushing the Lib Dems into fourth place. The 2009 poll saw its total grow to 13 seats, pushing Labour into third place with 16% of the vote.

And in 2014's European election the party lived up to its confident promise to top the vote, getting 27.5% of all those cast.

General elections, however, with their first-past-the-post voting systems, have been a different story and the party has failed to make the breakthrough it has been hoping for.

In 2001 it saved its deposit (that is, got at least 5% of votes) in just one seat. In 2005 it saved its deposit in 38 seats but lost its deposits in 451 others - costing about £225,500. Even its then leader, former Conservative MP Roger Knapman, could only poll 7% of the votes in Totnes, Devon.

Recognition factor

In 2010 it was led into the general election by Lord Pearson of Rannoch but again lost out, with just 3% of the vote across the UK, although there were signs of progress as it saved its deposit in 100 seats.

The party had hoped to make headlines after Mr Farage stood down as leader so he could take on Speaker John Bercow in Buckingham at the 2010 election - he did make the headlines but it turned out they were about a plane crash that almost cost Mr Farage his life, rather than election success.

Robert Kilroy Silk Robert Kilroy Silk was the public face of UKIP in 2004, before forming his own party
A UKIP billboard from the European elections in 2009 A UKIP billboard from the European elections in 2009

He recovered from his injuries and returned to head the party later in the year, in the latest instalment of the colourful story of UKIP's leadership.

Original leader and UKIP founder Alan Sked quit before the 1999 European elections, after arguing the party should refuse seats in the "gravy train" of the Strasbourg Parliament.

Shortly after that, the national executive lost a no-confidence vote and leader Michael Holmes resigned, although he remained an MEP.

Mr Knapman took over the role of leader in 2002, but in 2004, a new pretender to the crown - former Labour MP and chat show host Robert Kilroy-Silk - arrived in a flurry of media publicity to shake things up once again.

Before long he was openly jockeying for the leadership and was the media face of the party for the 2004 European election success - but when Mr Knapman refused to stand aside for him, Mr Kilroy-Silk quit and formed his own short-lived rival party.

Some thought that without Mr Kilroy-Silk's recognition factor the party might struggle.

Farage returns

In 2006, the lower-key Mr Knapman retired, to be replaced by Nigel Farage, an eye-catching media performer who pledged to make UKIP a "truly representative party", ending its image as a single-issue pressure group.

He spearheaded its success at the 2009 European elections and raised UKIP's profile, but surprised his own party conference in September that year by standing down as leader.

Nigel Farage Mr Farage says UKIP is not just a threat to the Conservatives, but is "parking our tanks on the Labour Party's lawn".

Mr Farage said he would instead run for a seat in the Commons - specifically the seat of Commons Speaker John Bercow, which, by convention, other major parties do not fight. Mr Farage said it was "very important that UKIP gets a voice in Westminster".

Eton-educated Lord Pearson was Mr Farage's choice to replace him - but the peer never seemed at home in the job - for instance, admitting at the 2010 general election manifesto launch that he was not quite across the party's policy detail.

Mr Farage continued to be the highest-profile UKIP member - making headlines, and a viral video success, after telling the in-coming president of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, that he had "the charisma of a damp rag".

Following the 2010 election, when the party failed again to turn European into UK political success, Lord Pearson announced in August 2010 that he was stepping down, saying he did not enjoy party politics. Five hopefuls entered the race to succeed him, with Mr Farage triumphing.

'I'm a bit odd'

From that point onwards the party has seen its poll ratings rise, overtaking the Lib Dems and staying above them in most polls, and putting in increasingly stronger showings in by-elections.

David Cameron's historic pledge to hold and an in/out referendum on UK membership of the EU if the Conservatives won the next election was interpreted by some as an attempt to halt the rise of UKIP, which senior Tories feared could prevent them from winning an overall majority in 2015.

line

UKIP membership figures:

2002: 9,000

2003: 16,000

2004: 26,000

2005: 19,000

2006: 16,000

2007: 15,878

2008: 14,630

2009: 16,252

2010: 15,535

2011: 17,184

2012: 20,409

2013: 32,447

line

If that was Mr Cameron's plan, it does not appear to have worked.

Mr Farage criticised the decision to delay the vote by five years, and claimed the prime minister's promise showed "we have changed the political agenda in this country" calling it "our proudest achievement to date".

UKIP's position in recent by-elections and opinion polls

How UKIP became a political force

Asked what he would do if the British people voted to remain in the EU, Mr Farage joked that he would have to get a "proper job". But the party's success in local elections suggests it might have a future, even without the European issue, as a libertarian, right wing alternative to a centrist Conservative Party.

UKIP appears to have struck a chord with many voters on the issue of immigration, which was the focus of its European election campaign this year and an issue frequently raised by people saying they were going to vote for them ahead of the Rochester and Strood by-election.

It has rejected claims that it is simply "against" foreigners, arguing that it is in favour of a sensible "managed" migration policy, something Mr Farage argues is not possible while Britain remains in the EU. However, the party found itself in hot water over the issue a few days before its Rochester win, when is candidate, Mark Reckless, suggested EU migrants would only be allowed to stay in the UK for a fixed period if the UK left the European Union.

Those remarks were clarified later by UKIP, to reject the idea EU citizens faced deportation, and Mr Reckless later said he had been misquoted.

The party says leaving the EU is the only way to be able to control who moves the UK from Europe and says it would boost the UK's border force to crack down on illegal immigration. They would also change the law so that those without identifying documents can be sent back to the country they travelled from.

Although it is widely said to have gained support as a result of its tough talk on immigration - something pointed out by Nottingham University professor Matthew Goodwin in a book charting UKIP's rise - it has also been a key part of Nigel Farage's strategy to distance the party from the far right - its constitution bans former BNP members from joining.

Professor Matthew Goodwin Matthew Goodwin says UKIP's message has changed from one just about the EU to one with immigration and anti-Westminster establishment at its heart

Mr Farage's maverick style - his fondness for a pint of beer, disarming frankness and ability to laugh at himself - has given him a similar kind of appeal to voters as Boris Johnson, who has described the UKIP man as "a rather engaging geezer". But higher prominence has brought greater scrutiny, and earlier this month Mr Farage was forced to clarify his position on the NHS after a video of him appeared in which he suggested a publicly funded health service be replaced by a private insurance model.

Despite his background being, on paper, identical to many a politician, the message from focus groups and voters is that he is "different", not one of "them" at Westminster.

SDP official launch in 1981 UKIP will hope to avoid the fate of the SDP in 1980s, which won by-elections, and soared in polls but in the end failed to translate that into a large chunk of Westminster seats

He told BBC Radio 4's Today in 2013 that he was "odd" but only in the sense that it was "odd" to be a politician "not doing this for a career... I'm here as a campaigner. I want to free this country from the European Union and then I want us to have a much smaller level of state interference in our lives in this country".

For much of its life UKIP has been seen as attracting Tories unhappy with the party, especially the Conservatives' move towards the centre under David Cameron and the current coalition government. Mr Farage says there are now "three social democratic parties".

There have also been more recent signs of gains from Labour, with UKIP seeming to get support from the same sort of anti-Westminster, anti-politics vote as Alex Salmond's Yes campaign in the recent Scottish referendum.

In that Today interview Nigel Farage said UKIP did not have any MPs because "the first-past-the-post system is brutal to a party like us".

That may have been so at past general elections - but winning in Clacton and now Rochester and Strood shows it is no longer just in European elections that UKIP is a force to be reckoned with.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More UK Politics stories

RSS

Politics Live

  1.  
    @BBCArchive 11:05: Archive footage

    @BBCArchive are live tweeting archive footage from Churchill's funeral, replicating the BBC coverage of that day as it unfolded in 1965. Go to https://twitter.com/BBCArchive to follow the coverage.

     
  2.  
    11:01: Warship aspirations

    Not all senior politicians are in the Commons for the Churchill commemoration, with politics continuing elsewhere. On a visit to Portsmouth, Chancellor George Osborne says the UK should aspire to build a new warship every two years and to make the Royal Navy the "most modern" fleet in the world.

     
  3.  
    10:52: Cameron lays wreath
    David Cameron lays a wreath at Churchill ceremony

    Prime Minister David Cameron lays a wreath at the Churchill commemoration ceremony at the Houses of Parliament.

     
  4.  
    10:51: Migrant election vote BBC News Channel

    The BBC's Louise Stewart tells the BBC News Channel this election is the first time where migrants will swing the vote in certain constituencies - most of them in London and the Midlands. "They don't vote as a blob - so many seats are tightly fought - but they could make a real difference, and they are of course more likely to support parties in favour of immigration."

     
  5.  
    10:46: Havengore ceremony BBC News Channel
    BBC's Ben Brown

    The BBC's Ben Brown is on board HMS Belfast on the Thames, where the Havengore, the boat which carried the wartime prime minister's coffin along the river from Tower of London to Westminster 50 years ago, will make the journey again later. Tower Bridge will be raised at 12:45 GMT for the ceremony.

     
  6.  
    10:39: Migrant election vote

    Let's break away from events 50 years ago for a moment. Migrant voters could have a "decisive" impact in a range of key marginal seats in the forthcoming general election, a new study has found. Almost four million foreign-born voters in England and Wales will be eligible to cast a vote on 7 May, according to a report by academics at the University of Manchester and the Migrants' Rights Network.

     
  7.  
    10:34: A million mourners
    People standing on roofs to see Churchill's funeral

    Crowded streets forced people to use every vantage point to see the funeral procession 50 years ago. A million mourners lined the route in London, while 25 million people in the UK - just under half the entire population of the country - saw it on television. About 350 million viewers, a tenth of the world's population, watched around the globe.

     
  8.  
    @PhilippaBBC 10:28: Live ceremony Philippa Thomas BBC News

    tweets: We'll have live ceremony coverage @BBCWorld 1245 #GMT MT @BBCArchive: Churchill's political career #BBCChurchill

     
  9.  
    10:26: 'Fitting tribute'

    Churchill's grandson, MP Sir Nicholas Soames, says the Westminster events were a "fitting tribute" to his grandfather and a "strong reminder of all he did for his country". Emma Soames, Churchill's granddaughter, adds: "To me growing up he was a grandfather, but I came to realise at his death that he was so much more than that."

     
  10.  
    @bbcArchive 10:24: Share your memories BBC Archive

    tweets: Do you remember the day of Churchill's funeral? Share your memories with us #BBCChurchill pic.twitter.com/5gzSwuWKsP

    BBC graphic
     
  11.  
    10:23: Churchill in numbers
    Winston Churchill doing a radio interview in 1928

    Churchill's career in the House of Commons began in 1900 and spanned 64 years, the longest in the 20th Century. While he was a member of the Commons, Churchill sat for two parties, represented five constituencies and contested 21 elections. He held numerous ministerial positions and served as prime minister twice.

     
  12.  
    10:00: 'Unprecedented funeral'

    Former BBC correspondent Martin Bell tells the BBC News Channel that Churchill's state funeral was "unprecedented - we will not see the likes of it again". He says the nation was "absolutely riveted" by the funeral. "It was very quiet, dignified, almost devotional - it's hard to imagine anyone drawing that kind of emotion, it was the passing of a great man," he says.

     
  13.  
    @BenBrownBBC 09:51: Ben Brown, BBC News Presenter

    tweets: On board HMS Belfast for BBC news channel coverage of 50th anniversary of Sir Winston's state funeral #Churchill2015

     
  14.  
    09:45: 'Inspired a nation'

    Prime Minister David Cameron, who is attending a remembrance service for Sir Winston Churchill at the Houses of Parliament, says the wartime leader's legacy "continues to inspire not only the nation whose liberty he saved, but the entire world". He adds: "2015 is a year to remember Winston Churchill's extraordinary life of achievement, to admire and to celebrate it anew, and to give thanks for his service not only to the country he loved, but to humanity as a whole."

     
  15.  
    09:34: 'Touched nation's heart'

    Churchill had "touched the nation's heart", his great-grandson said. "The story of how he first entered politics, he fought 19 general elections, and he was not always right on the issues, but people so admired what he managed to do in 1940 to inspire a nation and lead them through his great speeches and oratory. So he retains a very warm place in the nation's heart and the family have been bowled over by all the coverage."

     
  16.  
    09:33: 'Proud day'
    Randolph Churchill lays a wreath at the statue of his great-grandfather Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square

    The great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill says the wartime leader would be "surprised but thrilled" at the commemorations of the 50th anniversary of his state funeral. Randolph Churchill, who was accompanied by Churchill's grandaughter Celia Sandys, says it is a "proud day" after he laid a wreath at the statue of the leader in Parliament Square.

     
  17.  
    09:12: Churchill anniversary

    A reminder that BBC Parliament is re-broadcasting the state funeral of the UK's wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill in about five minutes.

    Crowds lining a London street as the coffin of Sir Winston Churchill passes along
     
  18.  
    08:54: 'Different election' BBC Radio 4

    Back to contemporary politics for a moment. Former Labour minister Peter Hain says he believes more and more people will "swing behind" Ed Miliband as the election approaches. He rejects claims by his former colleague Alan Milburn that the election could be a repeat of 1992 - which Labour narrowly lost. "I don't recognise 1992 at all and I went through that election," he tells Today. "This is a very different election."

     
  19.  
    08:48: 'Britain at a standstill'

    "It was the day Britain came to a standstill, the world watched and an era passed" - BBC South of England Correspondent Duncan Kennedy looks back at the day of Winston Churchill's funeral - 30 January 1965.

     
  20.  
    08:40: Controversial Churchill

    For some, Sir Winston Churchill remains an intensely controversial figure. The BBC's Tom Heyden writes about the 10 greatest controversies of Churchill's career.

    Churchill statue, Westerham
     
  21.  
    08:31: Churchill's place in history BBC Radio 4

    Historians Simon Heffer and Andrew Roberts have been discussing Sir Winston Churchill's place in history on Today and considering how he would have adapted to contemporary politics. They agree it is "completely impossible" to compare him with today's leaders as they face lesser challenges and "you need the crisis to create the statesman". Simon Heffer says Churchill would have struggled with modern media scrutiny given his fondness for whisky first thing in the morning and his "dictatorial" style. But Andrew Roberts says Churchill never over-ruled his generals and the "granite" he showed in 1940 and 1941 undisputedly make him the greatest occupant of No 10.

     
  22.  
    08:15: NHS row BBC Radio 5 live

    Labour's shadow health minister Liz Kendall tells BBC 5 live Breakfast that former Labour health minister Lord Darzi is "wrong" for thinking that using the private sector is the way to make "the big changes we need" to public services like the NHS. "I just don't think that that's the case," she says. It comes after Lord Darzi told the BBC the NHS should prefer providers who deliver the highest quality care - whether they are "public, private or not-for-profit".

     
  23.  
    08:02: 'Million-strong crowd' BBC Breakfast

    The BBC's Duncan Kennedy, outside St. Paul's Cathedral in central London, tells BBC Breakfast a million-strong crowd gathered between the cathedral and Westminster Abbey for Sir Winston Churchill's funeral 50 years ago. "In many places it was 20-people deep as many regarded him as the greatest Englishman who ever lived... he's one of those rare leaders that is remembered in life and in death, however history ultimately judges him," he says.

     
  24.  
    07:51: Churchill's funeral BBC Radio 4

    Broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby tells Today he will be watching the replay of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral on BBC Parliament this morning. It will be poignant for him, he says, since his father Richard - whose commentary on the event has lived so long in the memory - also died 50 years ago.

     
  25.  
    @BBCBenThompson 07:41: Housing shortage

    BBC business correspondent Ben Thompson tweets: 150,000 new homes built across UK last year but is it enough if demand still outstripping supply? @CountrysideProp boss - 0750 @BBCBreakfast

     
  26.  
    07:37: Behind the scenes at Westminster

    Parliament is not sitting today due to events marking the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral. But those wanting a different insight into how the famous institution works might like to read about a new BBC documentary - Inside the Commons - to be broadcast next week. Michael Cockerell and his team have been behind the scenes at Westminster and not all MPs have been happy about it.

    Documentary-maker Michael Cockerell
     
  27.  
    @BBCr4today 07:28: Medical training BBC Radio 4

    tweets: Plan to reduce length of medical training will lead to "lower standard of expertise" @thomasdolphin, @TheBMA #r4today

     
  28.  
    07:20: 'Dirtiest campaign' The Independent

    Ukip leader Nigel Farage says this general election could be the "dirtiest" campaign in British history. Writing in the Independent, he accused the Conservatives and Labour of employing "attack-campaign" election strategists and "hurling hundreds of thousands of pounds at Facebook and twitter".

     
  29.  
    07:07: Funeral film BBC Radio 4

    The TV pictures of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral remain "compelling viewing" 50 years on, James Rowland from BBC Archive says. There was a "little bit of damage" on the original film and dirt that had to be cleaned off, he tells Radio 4's Today, prior to its rebroadcast on BBC Parliament today. He reflects on the fairly rudimentary camerawork used in 1965, compared to today's standards, remarking that the pictures seem "slightly twitchy".

     
  30.  
    07:06: Churchill event timings

    Here are some of the 50th anniversary timings if you want to plan your day:

    • The Houses of Parliament will host a remembrance service and wreath-laying ceremony at 09:00 GMT
    • BBC Parliament is re-broadcasting the state funeral, which runs for a little over four hours, at 09:15 GMT.
    • Tower Bridge will be raised at 12:45 GMT as the Havengore repeats its 1965 journey from the Tower of London to Westminster
    • Westminster Abbey will host a ceremony from 18:00 GMT, with flowers laid at the green marble stone placed there in memorial to Churchill.
     
  31.  
    06:58: Churchill anniversary
    The Havengore carrying Sir Winston Churchill's coffiin along the Thames

    A bit more about what's happening in London later to mark the 50th anniversary of the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill. The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey will both host remembrance services, and there'll be a ceremony recreating the flotilla which carried Churchill's coffin along the Thames from the Tower of London to Westminster Pier. Members of Churchill's family will travel along the Thames on the Havengore, which carried his coffin 50 years ago.

     
  32.  
    06:51: 'Three parent baby law'
    Daily Telegraph

    And the Daily Telegraph's lead is on concern from the Church of England that legislation is being rushed through to allow children to be born with three genetic "parents". The technique - mitrochondrial DNA transfer - is being promoted as a way to combat a series of inherited medical conditions.

     
  33.  
    06:45: 'Religious slaughter of animals'
    The Times

    Meanwhile, the Times leads on a big rise in the number of food animals slaughtered without stunning. The British Veterinary Association - which wants the practice banned from Britain - says the number of animals killed in this way has risen by 60%. The paper says this is because of campaigning by Muslims for traditional slaughter methods.

     
  34.  
    06:41: 'Migrant voting power'
    The i

    Migration is the focus of the i newspaper. It says immigrants could decide the result in 70 marginal seats, and Conservatives fear "migrant voting power" could cost them the election.

     
  35.  
    06:36: 'Gas bill rip-off'
    Daily Express

    It's a "gas bill rip-off" for the Daily Express, which says figures show the big six energy suppliers are enjoying bumper profits, as temperatures plummet. The paper says the big firms will pocket an extra £114 per household in the coming year.

     
  36.  
    06:34: The newspapers
    The Guardian

    A quick look at what's making the headlines in the newspapers. Energy prices take a prominent place in a few, with the Guardian saying real take-home pay is less now than it was in 2001, according to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Men and young workers have noticed the greatest fall in spending power, the paper adds.

     
  37.  
    06:28: Missed Newsnight and This Week?

    Don't worry if you weren't glued to your telly seven hours ago - you can catch up with the full editions of Question Time and This Week by clicking on the 'Live Coverage' tab on this page.

     
  38.  
    06:24: Cameron tribute to Churchill
    Winston Churchill statue outside parliament

    Last night Downing Street released the text of the message on the wreath David Cameron will lay at the statue of Winston Churchill, which stands just outside the Commons chamber. The PM has written: "Britain was so incredibly fortunate that in our hour of greatest need there came forward one of our greatest ever statesmen. 50 years on the light has not dimmed. David Cameron."

     
  39.  
    06:22: Churchill anniversary
    Richard Dimbleby Richard Dimbleby commentating on Sir Winston Churchill's state funeral for the BBC

    Fifty years to the day, BBC Parliament is re-broadcasting the state funeral of the UK's wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill. Introduced by Sir Winston's grandson, Sir Nicholas Soames, the historic broadcast runs for a little over four hours. Fourteen reels of film, complete with impeccable commentary by Richard Dimbleby, have been restored, joined and re-mastered. The showing starts at 09:15 GMT.

     
  40.  
    06:20: Good morning Alex Hunt Politics editor, BBC News Online

    Hello and welcome to a fresh day's coverage of political developments ahead of the 7 May General Election - yes there's just 97 days to go now. You'll be able to listen or watch all the BBC's political output today on this page and we'll be bringing you all the best clips, quotes, analysis, reaction and breaking political news throughout the day. If you want to see what to expect, here's yesterday's campaign countdown.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • The AmericansThe good guys?

    A US TV show examining the Cold War is offering a radical revision of history, writes Eric Kohn

Programmes

  • A car being driven by Cruise Automation technologyClick Watch

    The tech which could allow any car with an automatic gearbox to become self-driving

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.