In the chaos of coalition, the best storyteller will win

People died – 19 Labour MPs in total, many of them from sheer exhaustion at the stress, the all-night sittings, and the fact that every single day the government might fall. I found their stories often very moving. Joe Harper, one of the whips, died after delaying an operation so he could be around to vote. The gravely ill Alfred “Doc” Broughton, a staunch Labour man all his life, was the one vote missing from the confidence motion that saw the government finally fall after five years. One single vote. His heart stopped beating five days later, and he died a broken man.

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