The election

After the war in Europe had ended, elections were held in Britain to choose a new government.

The election was fought mainly between the Conservative and Labour Parties.

Labour leader Clement Attlee campaigns to a large crowd in the 1945 General Election
Clement Attlee

The Conservative Party was led by Winston Churchill, while the Labour Party was led by Clement Attlee. In July 1945, the Labour Party won the election with a majority.

The Labour Government

Aneurin Bevan Labour Governments Minister for Health
Aneurin Bevan

The Labour Party formed the Government in July 1945. Clement Attlee became Prime Minister and Aneurin Bevan became Minister for Health.

Between 1945 and 1951, the Labour Government passed a series of measures which became known as the ‘Welfare State’.

This refers to the fact that the Government took responsibility for looking after the well-being of all its citizens.

The reforms made were designed to take care of the British people 'from the cradle to the grave' (ie.from birth to death).

The Labour Government introduced a number of reforms and changes in order to attempt to tackle the Five Giants - disease, want, squalor, ignorance and idleness.