Vince Cable denies disloyalty over Oakeshott polls

 

Vince Cable: "I was not given any information about these polls"

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Vince Cable has denied acting disloyally after one of his closest allies attempted to get Nick Clegg sacked as Liberal Democrat leader.

Lord Oakeshott commissioned polls suggesting the party would do better without Mr Clegg at the helm.

Mr Cable admits knowing about some of the polling, but denied knowing about ones in Mr Clegg's own constituency.

He denied wanting Mr Clegg's job before the next election telling BBC News: "I am supporting the party leader."

The business secretary, who is on a trade mission in China, said he wanted the "in-fighting" in the party to end, saying: "There is absolutely no leadership issue. We have a united team."

Asked about the polls suggesting the party would do better under his leadership, Mr Cable said he was not going to "speculate" about "abstract possibilities".

BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson said that despite Mr Cable's pledge of loyalty "lingering" questions remained because the business secretary knew that the polls had asked about whether a change of leader would improve the party's fortunes but appears not to have told Mr Clegg.

Nick Clegg and Vince Cable Nick Clegg and Vince Cable, enjoying a cuppa during the 2010 General Election campaign

The polls, which suggested the party would lose fewer seats at the next election if Mr Cable or, to a lesser extent Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander, was the leader instead of Mr Clegg were leaked to The Guardian in the wake of disastrous local and European election results for the party.

The man who paid for them, Lord Oakeshott, has been agitating for the removal of Mr Clegg for some time. He has now quit the party, claiming it is "heading for disaster" under Mr Clegg.

In his resignation statement, he said he hoped the polls would give activists the information they needed to force a leadership election, adding that Mr Cable knew about the polls - including the one in Mr Clegg's Sheffield Hallam constituency - some weeks ago.

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That Sheffield Hallam poll

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The ICM poll commissioned by Lord Oakeshott in Nick Clegg's Sheffield Hallam constituency, which Mr Cable insists he knew nothing about, was carried out between 29 April and 4 May. It asked 500 of Mr Clegg's constituents: "I would like you to think again about a General Election to the Westminster Parliament being held in your area tomorrow. Suppose for a moment that Nick Clegg stepped down as Liberal Democrat leader, and the business secretary Vince Cable moved into the job. If Vince Cable were leader of the Liberal Democrats and there were a General Election tomorrow, which party do you think you would vote for?" Some 22% said they would vote for the Lib Dems - just 1% more than said they would vote Lib Dem if Mr Clegg was the leader at the next election. The Lib Dems would retain the seat, however, beating the Conservatives, on 21%, into second place. With Mr Clegg as leader Labour, on 22%, would win the seat, according to the survey. Mr Clegg retained Sheffield Hallam in 2010 with 53.4% of the vote and a majority of 15,284.

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The business secretary has repeatedly denied this, insisting he knew about Lord Oakeshott's polling in his Twickenham constituency and some other areas, but not in Mr Clegg's constituency or fellow minister Danny Alexander's Inverness constituency.

Mr Cable said there was "no disloyalty whatever" and he had made clear that the polling carried out in Mr Clegg's constituency and Inverness was "quite wrong".

Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, Mr Clegg said of Mr Cable: "He clearly didn't know at all about a poll being conducted in Sheffield."

He added that Mr Cable had been "very critical" about the poll having taken place.

Lord Oakeshott Lord Oakeshott is a long-standing critic of Nick Clegg

Mr Clegg admitted the party had lost support since joining the coalition in 2010, but that to leave now - as Lord Oakeshott wants - "would harm the Liberal Democrats for a generation".

He added: "Clearly, we had some really, really bad election results last week. That, of course, quite rightly means there's a lot of questions and soul searching about what we do as a party over the next year."

Prime Minister David Cameron defended Mr Cable, saying he was "playing an important role" as business secretary.

Asked whether he trusts Mr Cable, in the wake of the allegations surrounding Lord Oakeshott, he said: "I judge my ministers on the results they are delivering."

Lib Dem party sources conceded that continued turmoil could threaten to destabilise the party but they said Lord Oakeshott's departure had put an end to what they called a "ham-fisted coup attempt".

Nick Clegg: "Vince Cable clearly didn't know a thing about the poll being conducted"

Mr Clegg has faced calls to step down from 300 activists while a number of constituency associations, including Liverpool and Cambridge, are to hold meetings to discuss their leader's future.

He has said it was "wholly unacceptable" that a senior member of the party "rather than trying to go out and win votes was spending money and time trying to undermine the fortunes of the party".

It emerged on Tuesday that Lord Oakeshott had paid for an ICM poll into Mr Clegg's electoral appeal, with results suggesting the Lib Dems would pick up votes in four seats, including Mr Clegg's, if Mr Cable or other figures replaced Mr Clegg as leader.

The poll suggested the party was on course to lose Sheffield Hallam and three other seats - Cambridge, Redcar and Wells - next year unless there was a change at the top.

 

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  1.  
    19:06: Peter Seddon

    emails: In the summer of 1952 my Father was attending a medical conference in London. Since we lived in Wigan, he used it as an excuse to take his family for a holiday, and to see the sights, ( I was about eight). I remember us walking up Downing Street, and standing outside Number 10, something you sadly haven't been able to do for many years. But my most cherished memory is when we, (my dad, mum, my four year old brother and me) were walking on the pavement outside the Houses of Parliament, about to cross the exit from Parliament's car park. A policeman politely motioned for us to stand still, and a large black limousine drove out and stopped right in front of us, as it waited for a gap in the traffic.

    My dad told me to "wave Pete", and I did , and the gentleman in the back of the limousine wearing a black overcoat, Homburg, and smoking a large cigar waved back. Then the car moved off. The thing that makes it special is, apart from the policeman, we were completely alone on that pavement, there was nobody else around. He waved to me.

     
  2.  
    18:56: SDLP leader predicts government role BBC News Northern Ireland

    The leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) has predicted his party will play a role in a future UK government after the general election. Alasdair McDonnell said the SDLP could help to form a coalition government in the event of a hung parliament in May. Dr McDonnell said his party would maximise its influence to get a better deal for Northern Ireland and work to reverse what he called the "savagery" of some recent cuts.

     
  3.  
    18:42: Bob Evans

    emails: I can remember at the age of 13 standing with my mother on a very crowded platform at Twickenham Station to watch the steam locomotive-hauled funeral train pass through on its way to Oxfordshire. I remember seeing the flag-draped coffin on a trestle alone in a gleaming parcel wagon especially restored for this journey. Local shops removed their normal window dressings - photos of Sir Winston were displayed instead.

     
  4.  
    18:24: Gerald Clipp

    emails: I was 14 years old in January 1965. I lived in Fulham and was attending Elliott Comprehensive in Putney. One night, straight after school I went to Westminster to pay my respects to Sir Winston Churchill. The queue went along the Embankment over Lambeth Bridge and back along the opposite embankment. It took a long time to reach the chapel. There was a military guard on each of the four corners. I remember each one was standing perfectly still the whole time. I don't think you were allowed to stop moving once inside.

     
  5.  
    18:18: Former Welsh Secretary to stand down

    More details on the decision of the former Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy to stand down as a Labour MP at the general election. He has been in parliament for 28 years.

     
  6.  
    18:09: Richard

    emails: As a 10 year old I was glued to the television, fascinated by it all. 10 years later when I was posted to Hong Kong in the Grenadier Guards I found out that my Platoon Sergeant (BEM) was one of the coffin bearers.

     
  7.  
    17:59: Migrant voters BBC News UK

    Migrant voters could have a "decisive" impact in key marginal seats at the general election, a report suggests.

     
  8.  
    17:54: Janet Hoffritz

    emails: I remember watching the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill very vividly. I lived in Washington, DC and I had to go out and buy my first television set so that I could watch his funeral. And getting up at about 5:00 am so as not to miss it. It will be something that I will never forget. Sir Winston was one of the greatest prime ministers the UK has had.

     
  9.  
    17:43: Paul Murphy to stand down

    Former Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy is to stand down as an MP ahead of May's general election. The 66-year-old has been MP for Torfaen since 1987. His majority at the 2010 election was 9,306. He was Secretary of State for Wales twice, from 1999 to 2002 and again in 2008-09. First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "Paul Murphy is one of the great Welsh political figures. He played a major role in securing peace in Northern Ireland and our current and future generations across the UK owe him a debt of gratitude for that alone."

     
  10.  
    17:38: Donald Ian Atkinson

    emails: We watched the funeral on TV at home in Letchworth, we had the day off school. My father (Donald Atkinson), a Royal Marine Commando during the war, cried. My mother said she had never see him cry before. I never saw him cry again. I don't believe my father, or many of his generation, respected anyone more than Winston Churchill.

     
  11.  
    17:29: Labour and the Greens Richard Moss Political editor, North East & Cumbria

    Labour MPs are calling for change as the threat from the Green Party grows.

    The Greens are looking to peel off voters from Labour - but what should Ed Miliband's response be?

     
  12.  
    17:27: 'Plebgate' costs

    The former Conservative chief whip, Andrew Mitchell, has been ordered to pay two sets of legal costs, arising from his unsuccessful libel action over the so-called Plebgate affair. In November, a judge ruled he had probably used the word "pleb" during an argument with a policeman at the Downing Street gates. Today, a High Court judge said he should pay the legal bills for News Group Newspapers, which owns The Sun, and the policeman at the centre of the case, Toby Rowland.

     
  13.  
    17:19: David Robinson

    emails: I remember his Lying in State in the Palace of Westminster. I went with my parents. I was 17. We started lining up on the other side of the river, along by Lambeth Palace at about 8.30 pm, not very far from where I'd been born in 1947. It was a bitter, cold, night, and the crowd, with people still forming behind us, made the long slow trek to the bridge and then over the river. For so many people in one place, there was a remarkable quiet; of course, some people spoke, but in hushed voices, their words making shapes in the icy air. For my parents, it was something that they "must do". They were both Geordies, but had spent much of the war years in London as my father was there on war work. They saw their attendance as an obligation, a duty to witness the final journey of a man who, in their hour of need and fear, had revealed to them the Heroic stature that was their legacy as English men and women. He had found the words that resonated in English hearts and made them brave. That feeling - palpable - was there that night.

    When we finally entered from the dark into the lit space in the Palace where the coffin lay, and I saw the four military persons at the corners, and the flag draped over the coffin, it was about three am. We followed the circle around the coffin, heads bowed with, not only for myself, but, I sensed, for everyone else who was there, a realisation that what we were doing was an act of a Nation in mourning, not just one small family.

     
  14.  
    17:13: Labour and the NHS Chris Cook BBC Newsnight policy editor

    BBC Newsnight's Policy Editor Chris Cook looks at the issues around Labour's stance on the NHS.

     
  15.  
    16:48: Kaz Majcher

    I was five years old when the great man died but I remember the day as if it was only yesterday. Last Sunday I took my two teenage children to his resting place in Bladon, as a mark of respect, it was a very moving experience for all of us. My father came to England after the battle of Monte Casino fighting with the free Polish Army, he made England his home until he died in 1988... and told me that no one should underestimate what Churchill did for the greater freedom of Europe he was a very inspirational man.

     
  16.  
    16:38: Bookie cuts SNP odds

    William Hill says it has cut the odds of the SNP ending up as part of a coalition government following the general election from 13/2 to 9/2, making that the second favourite for a government to be formed, behind a repeat of the coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats at 4/1.

    "All of a sudden the SNP has become extraordinarily pivotal in political pundits' thoughts of what might happen in the event of another hung Parliament - which is now a heavily-backed 3/10 chance," spokesman Graham Sharpe said. "It seems far-fetched to see the SNP, who won just six seats at the last general election, quite possibly ending up as the third largest party in Parliament, but opinion polls are suggesting they have every chance of achieving that." William Hill has made SNP odds-on to win more seats at the general election than the Lib Dems.

     
  17.  
    16:29: Greens move to bigger venue

    The Green Party says it has switched to a bigger venue for their pre-election conference in March, after gaining new members. The party will hold its spring conference at the ACC in Liverpool, which has a 1,350 capacity, rather than St George's Hall, which can only fit around 800. Leader Natalie Bennett also says they are aiming to stand in 100% of seats rather than the 75% they were previously targeting.

    Natalie Bennett
     
  18.  
    16:18: Paul Jenkins

    At the time of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral on the 30th January 1965, I was a pupil at Churchill's old prep school, Brunswick in Sussex. I have a clear memory of the entire school (100 boys) sitting cross-legged in complete silence on the floor of the Main Hall watching the ceremony live from start to finish on television.

    Every boy there was entirely familiar with the Churchill legend and his monumental achievements; in fact the great man had, only a few months prior to his death, made a significant contribution to the school at a time when its finances were perilously placed. I'd like to think that his gift was in recognition of the happy times he spent at Brunswick (when it was situated in Brunswick Square, Hove).

     
  19.  
    16:01: Malcolm King, Surrey

    emails: I remember watching the funeral on television and to this day it is one of the most moving occasions I have seen. I have never seen such perfection in the military precision from the marching to ceremonial coordination. Seeing Jeremy Paxman's review was very emotional.

     
  20.  
    15:47: SNP manifesto appeal

    The SNP is inviting party members to submit ideas for its general election manifesto.

    The party saw its membership increase from around 25,000 to more that 93,000 following the Scottish independence referendum last September.

    Deputy leader Stewart Hosie said: "The SNP are extremely keen to reach out to our new members, who reflect all of the many diverse communities of Scotland, and benefit from their experience.

    "Today we are offering all of our members the opportunity to take part in shaping our manifesto - to put forward their ideas for consideration."

     
  21.  
    15:41: Political pacts

    UKIP says the party is "not promising pacts with anyone". A statement says: "For us politics is about getting something done, not about stitching up deals to get jobs for the boys. We think about you - not us.

    "For that reason we will drive for a confidence and supply agreement to ensure the big issues that matter to the public are on the table and that voters have a powerful voice. It looks increasingly likely that we will have a hung parliament after May, so now is the time for voters to back the party that really represents them and will make sure that their concerns are addressed and not brushed under the carpet for another 5 years by a cosy cartel of establishment parties."

     
  22.  
    15:39: Frances Bingham

    emails: This must be one of my earliest memories. My parents lived in Morpeth Terrace, beside Westminster Cathedral, so the funeral procession passed quite close and we walked from home to join the people watching. I have a very vivid visual memory of seeing the gun carriage pass, which is the only image I recall, but I didn't understand what it was, or that there was a coffin under the union jack. I was lifted up to see it pass slowly by, and sensed the solemn atmosphere in the crowd. The importance of the occasion must also have been explained to me; my grandfather Cedric Worsdell was one of Churchill's election agents in the 1950s and admired him very much.

     
  23.  
    15:27: 'Plebgate' BBC News UK

    Former minister Andrew Mitchell refused an offer to settle his "Plebgate" libel case two months before he lost, court papers seen by the BBC show.

     
  24.  
    15:22: John Davies, Marietta Georgia

    emails: I remember it well, I was apprenticed at a printer in London, one of my first jobs there was to work on a magazine supplement for the funeral. My job was to put the pictures and type together to make the cylinders to print the magazine.

     
  25.  
    15:15: Boris Johnson: 'No regrets'

    Asked whether he regretted his comments in The Sun about people who join religious extremist groups such as Islamic State, the London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "Not remotely; I don't think anybody could contest a word I said." The politician described such people as "porn-driven losers".

     
  26.  
    15:09: Steve Gove-Humphries, Birmingham

    emails: I was just 11 years old at the time of the funeral. We were told about Churchill by the Head Master and were all very excited at the prospect of a day off school for the funeral. We watched the funeral on a TV in the library I recall. The huge TV was wheeled in & we sat in almost complete silence as the service went on.

    It has been fascinating to hear the BBC back stories on the ceremony. The evocation of the past and our history is something that still I find moving. We will not see its like again I think.

     
  27.  
    15:05: Kay-Lesley Hallam Black, Belper

    emails: I am 68 and have been glued to my TV since 9am this morning, watching black & white film of Churchill's State funeral as I watched 50 years ago with my beloved father sitting quietly weeping as he acknowledged this great but flawed man as his saviour and the Lion who gave the roar & inspired the nation in the war years!

    On the 30th of January 1965 he watched and wept in gratitude at the passing not just of this great Briton and inspirational leader of the nation. He thanked God for Churchill's 90 years and at that time his 50 - and I too have kept faith with that again today thanks to your extensive and comprehensive coverage! Only we British can put on a ceremony with such superlative solemnity and dignity!

     
  28.  
    @TweetUKElection 14:56: UK Elections

    tweets: This shows the number of votes cast for each party at By-Elections from 2005-2010.

     
  29.  
    14:41: Adrian Chojnacki

    @ChojnackiAdrian tweets: Now Churchill and Bevan. That was a Great War coalition. Pity the current coalition is but a mere shadow of that example #Churchill2015

     
  30.  
    14:37: Childhood memory
    Sir Winston Churchill funeral barge

    Martyn Best tells us: "I was there as a nine year old with a camera given to me by my father who was a professional photographer. A family friend was an architect working for Taylor Woodrow who were constructing a new building next to the Tower of London. We stood on an open floor of the incomplete structure and I took the attached picture. I had also attended the lying-in-state and remember having to get up at about 5am to get the train up to London from Hertfordshire, walking past the coffin in Westminster Hall and then getting back home in time for school. It is all a very clear childhood memory."

     
  31.  
    14:30: 'Gave the roar to the British lion' BBC News Channel

    Historian Warren Dockter says Churchill's state funeral was a "major and global event" and it is important to commemorate it today. He singles out the wartime leader's "remarkable will". "It's famously said he gave the roar to the British lion and that's definitely true," he says.

     
  32.  
    14:23: Georgette McCready

    @GeorgeTMcCready tweets: @FleurHitchcock #Churchill funeral is my first memory of watching television. Black, white and grainy. My parents stood - out of respect?

     
  33.  
    14:21: Funeral flotilla recreated

    Missed the funeral flotilla recreated for the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill's state funeral? Watch the Havengore make the trip from the Tower of London to the Palace of Westminster where a special service took place.

    The Havengore - which carried Winston Churchill's coffin, returns to the the Thames
     
  34.  
    14:16: John Drake

    emails: I was living in Middleburg in Holland on the day of Churchill's funeral. It seemed to me on that day that Holland came to a standstill to honour the great man.

     
  35.  
    14:10: Robin Pyman

    emails: I was at school in Oxford. A large number of us went down to the railway line that ran alongside the Oxford canal at the bottom of our playing fields and stood alongside the track, bowing our heads as the great man's train passed by, taking him to his final resting place. We were all in awe. He was our hero.

     
  36.  
    13:56: Ina Holmen

    emails: My entire elementary school in Canada was brought into the gymnasium where the funeral procession was viewed on an elevated television placed near the stage. I remember it being similar to Remembrance Day with speeches, flags, and dignitaries from veterans groups present.

     
  37.  
    Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay 13:53: Jan Shoesmith

    @4TBookworm tweets: Amazing to think Churchill's funeral was 50 yrs ago today. it's the first news item I ever remember I was 5 & had measles #Churchill

     
  38.  
    13:44: Westminster Abbey

    Westminster Abbey will host a ceremony from 18:00 GMT, with flowers laid at the green marble stone placed there in memorial to Churchill.

     
  39.  
    13:43: Havengore on the move

    The Havengore is back on the move again.

     
  40.  
    Email talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk 13:35: Send us your comments

    Rosemary Pettit emails: On the day of his funeral I was a know-it-all undergraduate with arrogant ideas, determined not to pay homage to an imperialistic war leader. So I ignored the whole thing but couldn't resist turning on the radio for the occasion. Sharing the top floor of a flat high in Hampstead I was quite unprepared for the fly-past which, like a thunder-clap, roared straight over my head. Suddenly, the superciliousness evaporated, the tension fell away and I felt united with all the good people who had lived and breathed during the war, and were even now gathered by St Pauls and the Thames, round their televisions and all over the world. Thank you RAF for bringing me to my senses.

     
  41.  
    13:24: Havengore comes to rest
    The Havengore outside the Houses of Parliament

    The Havengore comes to rest near the Houses of Parliament, where Churchill served as an MP for 60 years, and a brief service is now being held on board.

     
  42.  
    13:15: John Phillips

    emails: As I watch the re-run of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral I can remember the events quite clearly... Winston Churchill was my 'hero'. My mother, who came from Forest Gate, had endured the Blitz and had always maintained huge respect for "Mr Churchill", had told me countless stories of the war and how he had inspired the nation to victory.... To our disappointment when we got to London, the queues were enormous. However that fact in itself made me realise just how much loved Churchill was and we comforted ourselves with the thought that this had made the enterprise worthwhile.

    We got back around 2 am and the next day, morning school was cancelled so that we could all watch the funeral of the 'Greatest Briton' as Mo Mowlam later called him.

     
  43.  
    13:11: "Sombre and quiet"
    Barry Barnes recalling Churchill's funeral

    Barry Barnes, who witnessed the flotilla in person in 1965 and captured some of the day's images on film, recalls that the mood on the day matched the weather. "It was fairly sombre and very quiet", he tells the BBC.

     
  44.  
    13:07: Watching from the Millennium Bridge
    The Havengore passes under the Millennium Bridge in London

    The crowds may not be of quite the same size as in 1965 but there are new vantage points that weren't available 50 years ago.

     
  45.  
    13:04: Watching the funeral

    Brian Giles emails: Churchill's funeral will always be remembered by me, as on the Thursday before the funeral we had bought our first television from Radio Rentals, it was black and white and I watched the funeral on it with my parents.

     
  46.  
    13:03: Churchill's hearse

    Christopher Meeking emails: My grandfather, Charles Meeking, drove the hearse that took Winston Churchill's casket from the Festival Hall Pier to Waterloo Station as he was the senior driver for Kenyon's Funeral Services in London. My father had a picture from a broadsheet newspaper of the hearse and my grandfather clearly visible through the windscreen - it may well still be in the loft at my mother's house.

     
  47.  
    13:00: Havengore from above
    Havengore passing underneath Blackfriars Bridge

    An aerial shot of the Havengore passing under Blackfriars Bridge.

     
  48.  
    12:56: John Emmerson

    emails: My Dad took me to see the funeral procession, I was 10 years old and we travelled from Warrington down to London on a coach. I fell asleep on the way back and woke up in Wigan!

     
  49.  
    12:54: Michael Smith, Ottawa

    emails: As a 17 year old I had gone to the abbey to pay my respects to Churchill the night prior to the funeral. After a five hour or longer slow walk with what seemed like thousands of other mourners that crossed the Thames twice I finally passed the great man lying in state. To this day I respect Winston Churchill as the greatest Englishman ever and we were lucky to have had him.

     
  50.  
    12:54: The Havengore passes HMS Belfast

    The Havengore passes HMS Belfast, a major military landmark on the Thames. Tourists on board the famous warship wave as the smaller vessel passes by, the BBC's Duncan Kennedy says.

     
  51.  
    12:51: Paul Sayles, Misawa, Japan

    emails: I was living in Dunoon, Scotland at the time and watched the entire event on TV. I think all of my family was moved by the rendering of honours by the crane operators as Sir Winston passed the docks on his way home. I still remember the feeling 50 years on as if it was that day.

     
  52.  
    12:49: On its way
    Havengore

    The Havengore makes its way down the Thames, with those on board including pipers and volunteers reprising the role of pallbearers.

     
  53.  
    12:45: Tower Bridge opens
    Tower Bridge

    Tower Bridge is opening its gate as a mark of respect as the Havengore makes its way down the Thames.

     
  54.  
    12:44:

    emails: I was seven at the time of the funeral, and we had not long had a television. It was switched on for the early part of the ceremony, but, unfortunately, we were in the middle of moving from Cheshire to Shropshire, and had to go house-hunting on that day, it being a Saturday. Consequently, much as I wanted to stay at home and watch the funeral, I couldn't. I've regretted this for fifty years - I am looking forward to seeing the recording later!

     
  55.  
    12:43: 'Lovingly restored' BBC News Channel

    The BBC's Ben Brown says the Havengore has been "loving restored" by its current owner from a stage when "grass had been growing through the deck" a few years ago.

     
  56.  
    12:42: 'Fitting tribute' BBC News Channel
    The Havengore recreating Winston Churchill's funeral cortege

    The BBC's Duncan Kennedy, on board a boat on the Thames, says it was a "fitting tribute" that Churchill's coffin was placed on the front of the Havengore boat and carried down the river because of his role as naval secretary.

     
  57.  
    12:39: Labour NHS debate Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Asked about the internal debate within Labour about health policy and the role of the private sector, shadow minister Steve Reed tells the BBC that the opposition backs "what works". Pressed on this, he says the NHS must be reformed to give more control to the people who use it rather than "privatised".

     
  58.  
    12:29: 'Proud day' Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Asked if it is a "sad day" for his family, Rupert Soames says it quite the contrary. "It is a proud day. It is a triumph he is still remembered," he tells the Daily Politics. "What could be better."

     
  59.  
    12:24: 'In gratitude'
    Message on wreath reading: 'From the nation of today, and the youth of tomorrow - in gratitude'

    Relatives and politicians left messages on wreaths during the service at the Houses of Parliament earlier.

     
  60.  
    12:22: Peter

    emails: I remember, age 11, seeing his funeral on TV. My mum had turned it on. Even then, I knew he was special, but the scale of his funeral made that clear. Now, having read his books, and others, I realise he was a complex and fallible man, who became an extraordinary leader when put under extreme pressure.

     
  61.  
    12:18: 'A great Briton'
    David Cameron at Churchill ceremony

    Earlier, David Cameron paid tribute to "a great leader and a great Briton" after laying a wreath at the feet of the statue of Churchill in Parliament. "He knew that Britain was not just a place on the map but a force in the world, with a destiny to shape events and a duty to stand up for freedom," he said in the shadow of the famous bronze sculpture of Churchill.

     
  62.  
    12:17: 'Great reforming home secretary'

    Rupert Soames, one of Churchill's grandsons, says he was one of the few people in the country who was "cross" on the day of the funeral because, as a five-year old, he was deemed too young to attend. Mr Soames, who remembers sitting on his grandfather's knee during weekends in the country, tells the BBC's Daily Politics that Churchill should be remembered as more than a wartime prime minister - adding that he commissioned the Beveridge Report in the 1940s and was "one of the great reforming home secretaries" before World War One.

     
  63.  
    12:15: Tony Guise

    emails: Although I lived in Aston, Birmingham, I so clearly remember the monochrome coverage from the BBC, as my parents and other family members gathered around our tiny television. I was seven-years old and shall never forget the sense of an historic moment. Never thought that memory would still be with me 50 years later!

     
  64.  
    12:14: Colour-coordinated wreaths
    Leaders of UK political parties with wreaths at Houses of Parliament

    Labour leader Ed Miliband, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Prime Minister David Cameron laid appropriately-coloured wreaths during the service at the Houses of Parliament.

     
  65.  
    12:08: John Simpson on Churchill

    The BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson examines how an all-too-human politician became a great wartime prime minister.

    Winston Churchill giving V-for-victory sign
     
  66.  
    12:01: Tories 'rule out post-election deal with UKIP'

    Conservative chairman Grant Shapps has ruled out any post-election deal with UKIP should there be another hung parliament. Speaking at a campaign event, Mr Shapps said May's election was set to be "incredibly close" and his party was solely focused on gaining power in its own right.

     
  67.  
    11:59: Philip Keevill

    emails: 50 years ago today I was in London, paying my respects to Sir Winston Churchill. I'd seen something on the BBC News the evening before and told my Mum I'd like to go. We were living 30 miles from Preston at the time. My Mum didn't hesitate. We went to Preston station, bought tickets for the overnight sleeper train, and headed south. When we came out of Westminster Abbey, the press pounced on us. Apparently we were the last people to be admitted, and we were in that evening's papers!

     
  68.  
    11:57: Wreath leaves Tower of London
    Wreath carried from Tower of London to Havengore

    A wreath is being carried from the Tower of London to the Havengore boat, which will then carry it along the Thames to Westminster.

     
  69.  
    11:52: Sense of destiny
    Celia Sandys

    Churchill's grandaughter Celia Sandys says her grandfather had a "huge sense of his destiny" and was the "man Britain needed at that time".

     
  70.  
    @BBCArchive 11:51: BBC Archive
    Churchill

    tweets: Would Churchill's depression have prevented him becoming PM today? http://bbc.in/1DmUaec #BBCChurchill

     
  71.  
    11:50: Rob Thornton, Bines Green

    emails: Churchill's funeral was one of the few things I remember vividly from my childhood... I was a 13-year old schoolboy at the time... My parents, who had both been involved in the war - my father serving in the Army - watched in silence on TV and I clearly remember the cranes on the river dipping in salute. Their reverence was a very salutary lesson in what being a truly great man really meant and I have never forgotten that.

     
  72.  
    11:48: Professor David Durling

    emails: I grew up in London in the shadow of World War Two, and had a keen sense of gratitude to Churchill. As an 18-year old, I found a place among the wharves near Blackfriars Bridge, and paid my respects as the Havengore sailed past. I found myself entirely alone, and it was a moment never to be forgotten.

     
  73.  
    11:47: Gift of the gab
    Winston Churchill giving a speech in Walthamstow in 1945

    Winston Churchill is known as one of history's greatest orators, and he attributed his legendary speech-making skills to an Irish-born politician who taught him the gift of the gab as a young man, says the BBC's Greg McKevitt.

     
  74.  
    11:44: Commons 'man through and through'

    Commons Speaker John Bercow has been paying tribute to Churchill as a parliamentarian. Speaking at a special commemoration service in Parliament, Mr Bercow said the wartime leader was a House of Commons "man through and through" and had resisted blandishments to join the House of Lords. Churchill, he said, believed that the "cut and thrust of debate and the searing searchlight of scrutiny were vital".

     
  75.  
    11:42: Barbara Lancaster MBE, Leeds

    emails: I still remember my father, who was a staunch Labour man, saying there will never ever be another politician like him in your lifetime.

     
  76.  
    11:37: Boat ceremony BBC News Channel

    The BBC's Ben Brown, at the Tower of London, says in about 30 minutes a wreath made by Royal British Legion - at the poppy factory in Richmond - will be carried to the Havengore, the boat which carried the wartime prime minister's coffin along the Thames 50 years ago. The boat will then set off on the same journey again from the Tower of London to Westminster, and Tower Bridge will be raised at 12:45 GMT as a mark of respect. Once it reaches the waters opposite the Palace of Westminster, there will be special service and wreath laying in the waters.

     
  77.  
    11:33: Havengore in 2015
    The Havengore docked in London

    And here it is in 2015, being prepared ahead of the anniversary events.

     
  78.  
    11:31: Havengore 50 years ago
    Winston Churchill's coffin on a boat - the Havengore - on the Thames on the day of his funeral

    Here's the Havengore 50 years ago.

     
  79.  
    11:29: Stephen O'Sullivan

    emails: I watched the funeral on the BBC, I was five-years old and it is the first television memory I have, something I've always remembered to this day. I knew it must have been important because things were quiet and everybody knew that it was happening. I remember the procession, the train, the boat journey past the dipped cranes on the Thames. I asked my mother whether everybody got a funeral like this and she replied "oh no, this is different, he was an important man". Older now, I appreciate how important.

     
  80.  
    11:21:

    If you have any pictures of Churchill's state funeral 50 years ago, or other relevant pictures you'd like to share, please send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk.

     
  81.  
    11:20: US/UK special relationship 'alive' BBC News Channel
    Winston Churchill with US President Franklin Roosevelt in 1943

    The US ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun, tells the BBC he is "inspired every day" by Sir Winston Churchill. He says the wartime leader was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States and the special relationship between the US and the UK is still "alive" as the countries stand "shoulder to shoulder" in the fight against Ebola in Africa and ISIS in Iraq.

     
  82.  
    11:17: Boris on 'extremist losers'

    Boris Johnson, who recently published a biography of Churchill, has been making a few headlines of his own this morning. In an interview with The Sun, he has described men who join religious extremist groups such as Islamic State as "losers" who are likely to be users of pornography. Such individuals often turn to violence to boost their own-self esteem, he has suggested.

     
  83.  
    11:12: 'Spellbinding orator' BBC News Channel
    Winston Churchill making a speech during the 1945 election campaign

    Historian Sir David Cannadine pays tribute to Churchill, describing him as a "spellbinding orator" and "at times a marvellous determiner of military strategy" who was regarded as a saviour of the country. "Even though he was a controversial figure, I think that verdict has stood the test of time," he says.

     
  84.  
    @BBCArchive 11:05: Archive footage

    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.

     
  85.  
    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.

     
  86.  
    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.

     
  87.  
    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."

     
  88.  
    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.

     
  89.  
    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.

     
  90.  
    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.

     
  91.  
    @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

     
  92.  
    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."

     
  93.  
    @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
     
  94.  
    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.

     
  95.  
    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.

     
  96.  
    @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

     
  97.  
    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."

     
  98.  
    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."

     
  99.  
    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.

     
  100.  
    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
     

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