The Lloyd George Honours Scandal (1922) (3/5)

The practice of selling honours (knighthoods, baronetcies and peerages) was a common practice among high-ranking government officials and stretched back around a century before the scandal took place. The presiding Prime Minister at the time of the scandal, David Lloyd George, had enjoyed an extremely successful political career up to this point as leader of the Liberal Party, and most famously Britain’s wartime leader during World War One. However, by the early 1920s, he was rapidly losing support among both his party and the British public due to a series of political blunders and policymaking that decreased his popularity.

In a vain attempt to suppress criticism from newspapers and to raise funds for his failing political party, he arranged the sale of hundreds of honours. In a disastrous turn of events for the Prime Minister, his business deals were exposed by the newspapers he had sought to escape from, and his reputation suffered drastically as a result. He was accused by the House of Lords of committing an abuse of power in the station of Prime Minister, and the event is now considered today by modern historians to have brought about the downfall of his political career. While he did not resign, his power and influence would steadily decline until his retirement from politics and his death in 1945.

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