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14 October 2022

The shortest-serving chancellors in British history

Kwasi Kwarteng has become the second-shortest serving chancellor in postwar history after the Conservatives’ Iain Macleod who died in office.

By Ben Walker

Kwasi Kwarteng ends his stint as chancellor as the second shortest-serving incumbent since the end of the Second World War. Having lasted just 38 days, Kwarteng is beaten only by Conservative chancellor Iain Macleod who served under Ted Heath and lasted 30 days. But Macleod had the excuse of dying in office whereas Kwarteng resigned at the request of Liz Truss, or of his own volition, depending on which letter you believe.

Kwarteng’s predecessor, Nadhim Zahawi, served 63 days as chancellor during the caretaker period of Boris Johnson’s premiership. 

The longest-serving chancellor in post-war British history was Gordon Brown who held the office for 3,708 days.

[See also: Liz Truss sacks Kwasi Kwarteng - will she be next to go?]

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