Read transcripts of debates in both Houses
Produced by Commons Library, Lords Library and Parliamentary Office Science and Technology
Search for Members by name, postcode, constituency and party
Learn about their experience, knowledge and interests
Celebrating people who have made Parliament a positive, inclusive working environment
Four staff networks for people to discuss and consider issues.
Contact your MP or a Member of the House of Lords about an issue that matters to you
Sign up for the Your Parliament newsletter to find out how you can get involved
Take a tour of Parliament and enjoy a delicious afternoon tea by the River Thames
See some of the sights you’ll encounter on a tour of Parliament
Book a school visit, classroom workshop or teacher-training session
Access videos, worksheets, lesson plans and games
On 13 May 1940, Winston Churchill stood before the House of Commons to explain that he had accepted the King’s invitation to form a Government when only days previously it had been generally believed that the Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax would be Neville Chamberlain’s successor. Chamberlain’s position as Prime Minister had become increasingly precarious after the German invasion of Denmark and Norway at the beginning of the month, leading to much Parliamentary criticism of his leadership in the Norway Debate on 7-8 May. As First Lord of the Admiralty, Churchill himself was responsible for the British operations in Scandinavia, however Chamberlain took responsibility for the naval debacle and resigned. Churchill's inaugural speech as wartime leader exhibited many of the galvanising characteristics of his rhetoric as he spoke of offering nothing but 'Blood, Toil, Sweat and Tears' and of 'Victory at all costs, Victory in spite of all terror, Victory however long and hard the road may be'.
Find out more about the Parliamentary Archives