PM to call 'unprecedented' vote on Juncker EU appointment

 
David Cameron & Jean-Claude Juncker David Cameron opposes Mr Juncker's instincts for closer ties with Europe

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David Cameron will call for a vote from fellow EU leaders on the next European Commission president if there is an attempt to rubber-stamp Jean-Claude Juncker in the role.

Mr Cameron opposes the ex-Luxembourg PM, whom he sees as preventing EU reforms, and a No 10 source says he will seek a vote at a summit next week.

But correspondents say it looks likely Mr Juncker will get the job.

Meanwhile, business leaders have warned about EU measures affecting the City.

The row over Mr Juncker hit the headlines a few weeks ago when Mr Cameron reportedly warned the UK could leave the EU if Mr Juncker became president of the European Commission - the body which drafts EU laws.

Mr Cameron wants a delay in the process in an effort to find a consensus candidate, but if his fellow 27 EU leaders are not even willing to consider alternatives to Mr Juncker, he will call a vote and require them to set out their positions clearly.

"British officials have been clear... that if there was the political will to find consensus then the decision on commission president could and should be delayed," a Downing Street source said.

Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski: "The largest party gets the top job"

"But if leaders are not even willing to consider alternative names, despite their widely expressed misgivings, then a vote should take place.

"The prime minister believes it is important that each leader sets out their position clearly when such an important principle is at stake - handing power to the parliament through a back-room deal."

'Alternative names'

Mr Cameron, who wants to renegotiate the terms of the UK's membership of the EU, wants a reformer to take charge, whereas Mr Juncker is seen by some as a politician with an instinct for ever-closer European integration.

The responsibility for proposing a new president lies with Mr Cameron's 27 fellow heads of government, in a grouping called the European Council.

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Jean-Claude Juncker: The numbers game
Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Juncker The German chancellor has given Jean-Claude Juncker her backing
  • EU leaders split over whether Jean-Claude Juncker can drive the changes many want in the EU
  • Mr Juncker seen as traditional Brussels "insider" by UK - some other EU leaders also against him
  • Germany's Chancellor Merkel backs Mr Juncker - but stresses that leaders must agree on EU priorities first
  • In anti-Juncker camp, UK PM David Cameron appears to have Netherlands, Sweden and Hungary as allies
  • UK hopes of support from Italy - which has sizeable voting weight - have been dashed
  • Juncker also needs European Parliament approval
  • Parliament says Mr Juncker is first choice as his centre-right European People's Party (EPP) bloc won election and leaders must take account of result
  • But Mr Juncker would need 376 votes in 751-seat parliament - not clear he could get that
  • Mr Juncker would get support of EPP and Liberals, but big Socialist bloc looks split and many other MEPs would oppose him
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But under new rules, they must now take into account the results of the recent European Parliament elections. Mr Juncker is the chosen candidate of the centre-right European People's Party, the largest bloc in the European Parliament.

Start Quote

It's been a real pleasure watching a British prime minister do what he thinks is right in Europe”

End Quote Liam Fox Former defence secretary

Downing Street believes that the European Parliament now has too much say.

Mr Cameron will meet the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, on Monday in Downing Street to discuss the issue, ahead of a European summit in Brussels on Friday.

Both the Labour leader Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, have also said they do not want Mr Juncker to be the next leader of the commission.

But on Saturday, Mr Juncker received the backing of nine left-wing heads of government.

Speaking on their behalf, the President of France, Francois Hollande, said it was important to respect the spirit of the European parliament elections.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has also backed Mr Juncker's bid - after some hesitation - and he also has support from other conservative leaders.

'Bloody nose'

Mr Juncker was prime minister of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2013 and one of the architects of the euro.

He is a strong advocate of a European "solidarity" union - an EU that strives to raise living standards in its poorest regions and sectors.

Poland's foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, criticised Mr Cameron's opposition to Mr Juncker on the BBC's Andrew Marr show.

He said the European Parliament's main parties had announced their candidates in advance.

Had the Conservatives been part of the European People's Party (EPP), Mr Sikorski said, Mr Cameron could have made his anti-Juncker argument "when EPP chose its candidate and he may well have prevailed".

Former defence secretary Liam Fox told the same programme that "it's been a real pleasure watching a British prime minister do what he thinks is right in Europe".

Liam Fox: Cameron is right to "fight a battle and take a bloody nose"

"Now he may not win the battle, but it is so much better to see a prime minister willing to fight a battle and take a bloody nose than not fight at all."

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said getting the right candidate for the head of the European Commission "is ultimately a test of David Cameron's influence with our allies to secure the best deal for Britain in Europe".

"Even his strongest supporters recognise that so far the prime minister has badly misjudged these vital negotiations, and his public anger appears a very poor substitute for private influence."

City concern

Meanwhile, writing in the Sunday Times, 54 people - including Conservative donors and two former ministers Lord Lamont and Lord Flight - said they were "extremely concerned" about Britain's "difficulties" in preventing the introduction of new EU financial measures.

"As we enter a period of EU reform and renegotiation, we urge political leaders to remember the significant contribution that our industry plays in Britain's economic success," they said.

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason says the letter highlights the challenge Mr Cameron faces - "convincing people he can reform the UK's relationship with Brussels sufficiently to be able to argue Britain should remain within the EU, in a referendum he'd like to hold in 2017".

 

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 908.

    Junckers got the job, Merkel backs him. All Dave can do is say we'll have a referendum but doesn't support an exit himself. The eu is the socialists dream come true, so there'll be no referendum from labour. For all of you who don't mind being led like sheep, then continue to vote for the above 2. For those who have minds of their own, you know who to back next year.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 907.

    The fine art of seeming to be taking action when really you want to achieve nothing at all. For more details just ask Dave.

    There are many more important issues than this - austerity, zero hours contracts, fracking, which affect us all. Instead we get this massive smokescreen which isn't going to achieve a thing. Watch it crash and burn whilst you struggle to make ends meet as normal.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 906.

    #898
    You're into the realms of the real power brokers now - not the little fish like the EU.AIPAC GoldmanPACS and SuperPACS representing the likes of Haliburton.Blair just did what any tory would do and poodled up to Uncle Sam's lobby representatives.Forget the EU, let's focus on the insanity of exporting arms to a country with a repressive leadership that exports Jihad.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 905.

    As Gavin reports:
    "Germany's Chancellor Merkel backs Mr Juncker - but stresses that leaders must agree on EU priorities first"
    Thanks goodness for common sense from Frau Merkel.
    By focusing on Juncker Cameron has lost any support he had.
    There are many other leaders keen on a reform agenda but they are not behaving like some spoilt brat in the way Cameron is doing.
    UK politics needs to grow up.

  • Comment number 904.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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    emails: I was a junior member of the BBC News workforce stationed in Broadcasting House when Winston Churchill died. On Monday we went into Regent Street and found all the big shops and stripped their windows out and were full of purple and pictures of Churchill. They must have worked through Sunday because in those days there were no shops open.

    On the Friday my flatmate and I queued over Westminster Bridge in the sleet and the cold to get to the lying in state and on the Saturday we got up and walked to Ludgate Hill to watch it all. There was no public transport. The crowds were enormous, quiet, patient and when the coffin went by all these gentlemen took off the hats, many crying. Two things I remember more than anything was the quiet, the muffled sounds of horses and music. London had a special atmosphere.

     
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    emails: I was 13, living in Bristol. It was a Saturday so I was at my riding school. Our riding school mistress had made sure that all the pupils (about 15 of us) listened to the whole funeral in the tack room. Although we were too young to remember his war years, we had a great reverence for him and listened quietly to the whole event, knowing that it was a very sombre day for the country. We did not go riding that day as it was a day of mourning for everyone.

     
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  16.  
    19:31: Claire Suart

    emails: I was a 12 year old living in Uganda when Churchill died. My father was a history teacher with the Colonial Service in a secondary school. Having been in the RAF during the war, he was a big fan of Churchill's so for his funeral he sourced a radio from somewhere and then invited all the neighbours in to listen to it. I had only ever heard or seen radios in England - we didn't have one in Uganda. We relied on the local newspaper for local news and The Manchester Guardian sent out weekly from England for international news. I assume they heard about Churchill's death from colleagues - there was always someone who found out these things and spread the word. I clearly remember the sitting room being full of chairs so that everyone could listen to the proceedings. I remember imagining the contrast between the cold dark wet winter's day in London compared to the hot bright day with us.

     
  17.  
    19:26: Peter Watts

    emails: I was 18 years of age at the time of Churchill's state funeral. I lived in Kingston, but worked at The British & French Bank in the City. In those days we worked half a day on Saturday. The bank was on the corner of King William Street and Arthur Street. To get from Bank underground station to my office I was given a memorandum signed by my manager which I had to show to a policeman if I wanted to cross any road. A colleague brought a cine camera to work to film the funeral as it crossed the junction where Cannon Street joins Eastcheap. His camera was taken apart by the police. It reminds me that terrorism was a concern 50 years ago. A director of the bank invited all the staff into his office, which overlooked the Cannon Street/Cheapside junction, and I have a firm memory of watching the cortege pass from my second floor vantage point.

     
  18.  
    19:06: Peter Seddon

    emails: In the summer of 1952 my Father was attending a medical conference in London. Since we lived in Wigan, he used it as an excuse to take his family for a holiday, and to see the sights, ( I was about eight). I remember us walking up Downing Street, and standing outside Number 10, something you sadly haven't been able to do for many years. But my most cherished memory is when we, (my dad, mum, my four year old brother and me) were walking on the pavement outside the Houses of Parliament, about to cross the exit from Parliament's car park. A policeman politely motioned for us to stand still, and a large black limousine drove out and stopped right in front of us, as it waited for a gap in the traffic.

    My dad told me to "wave Pete", and I did , and the gentleman in the back of the limousine wearing a black overcoat, Homburg, and smoking a large cigar waved back. Then the car moved off. The thing that makes it special is, apart from the policeman, we were completely alone on that pavement, there was nobody else around. He waved to me.

     
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    emails: I can remember at the age of 13 standing with my mother on a very crowded platform at Twickenham Station to watch the steam locomotive-hauled funeral train pass through on its way to Oxfordshire. I remember seeing the flag-draped coffin on a trestle alone in a gleaming parcel wagon especially restored for this journey. Local shops removed their normal window dressings - photos of Sir Winston were displayed instead.

     
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    emails: I was 14 years old in January 1965. I lived in Fulham and was attending Elliott Comprehensive in Putney. One night, straight after school I went to Westminster to pay my respects to Sir Winston Churchill. The queue went along the Embankment over Lambeth Bridge and back along the opposite embankment. It took a long time to reach the chapel. There was a military guard on each of the four corners. I remember each one was standing perfectly still the whole time. I don't think you were allowed to stop moving once inside.

     
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    17:38: Donald Ian Atkinson

    emails: We watched the funeral on TV at home in Letchworth, we had the day off school. My father (Donald Atkinson), a Royal Marine Commando during the war, cried. My mother said she had never see him cry before. I never saw him cry again. I don't believe my father, or many of his generation, respected anyone more than Winston Churchill.

     
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  30.  
    17:19: David Robinson

    emails: I remember his Lying in State in the Palace of Westminster. I went with my parents. I was 17. We started lining up on the other side of the river, along by Lambeth Palace at about 8.30 pm, not very far from where I'd been born in 1947. It was a bitter, cold, night, and the crowd, with people still forming behind us, made the long slow trek to the bridge and then over the river. For so many people in one place, there was a remarkable quiet; of course, some people spoke, but in hushed voices, their words making shapes in the icy air. For my parents, it was something that they "must do". They were both Geordies, but had spent much of the war years in London as my father was there on war work. They saw their attendance as an obligation, a duty to witness the final journey of a man who, in their hour of need and fear, had revealed to them the Heroic stature that was their legacy as English men and women. He had found the words that resonated in English hearts and made them brave. That feeling - palpable - was there that night.

    When we finally entered from the dark into the lit space in the Palace where the coffin lay, and I saw the four military persons at the corners, and the flag draped over the coffin, it was about three am. We followed the circle around the coffin, heads bowed with, not only for myself, but, I sensed, for everyone else who was there, a realisation that what we were doing was an act of a Nation in mourning, not just one small family.

     
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  32.  
    16:48: Kaz Majcher

    I was five years old when the great man died but I remember the day as if it was only yesterday. Last Sunday I took my two teenage children to his resting place in Bladon, as a mark of respect, it was a very moving experience for all of us. My father came to England after the battle of Monte Casino fighting with the free Polish Army, he made England his home until he died in 1988... and told me that no one should underestimate what Churchill did for the greater freedom of Europe he was a very inspirational man.

     
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  35.  
    16:18: Paul Jenkins

    At the time of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral on the 30th January 1965, I was a pupil at Churchill's old prep school, Brunswick in Sussex. I have a clear memory of the entire school (100 boys) sitting cross-legged in complete silence on the floor of the Main Hall watching the ceremony live from start to finish on television.

    Every boy there was entirely familiar with the Churchill legend and his monumental achievements; in fact the great man had, only a few months prior to his death, made a significant contribution to the school at a time when its finances were perilously placed. I'd like to think that his gift was in recognition of the happy times he spent at Brunswick (when it was situated in Brunswick Square, Hove).

     
  36.  
    16:01: Malcolm King, Surrey

    emails: I remember watching the funeral on television and to this day it is one of the most moving occasions I have seen. I have never seen such perfection in the military precision from the marching to ceremonial coordination. Seeing Jeremy Paxman's review was very emotional.

     
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  38.  
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    "For that reason we will drive for a confidence and supply agreement to ensure the big issues that matter to the public are on the table and that voters have a powerful voice. It looks increasingly likely that we will have a hung parliament after May, so now is the time for voters to back the party that really represents them and will make sure that their concerns are addressed and not brushed under the carpet for another 5 years by a cosy cartel of establishment parties."

     
  39.  
    15:39: Frances Bingham

    emails: This must be one of my earliest memories. My parents lived in Morpeth Terrace, beside Westminster Cathedral, so the funeral procession passed quite close and we walked from home to join the people watching. I have a very vivid visual memory of seeing the gun carriage pass, which is the only image I recall, but I didn't understand what it was, or that there was a coffin under the union jack. I was lifted up to see it pass slowly by, and sensed the solemn atmosphere in the crowd. The importance of the occasion must also have been explained to me; my grandfather Cedric Worsdell was one of Churchill's election agents in the 1950s and admired him very much.

     
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  41.  
    15:22: John Davies, Marietta Georgia

    emails: I remember it well, I was apprenticed at a printer in London, one of my first jobs there was to work on a magazine supplement for the funeral. My job was to put the pictures and type together to make the cylinders to print the magazine.

     
  42.  
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  43.  
    15:09: Steve Gove-Humphries, Birmingham

    emails: I was just 11 years old at the time of the funeral. We were told about Churchill by the Head Master and were all very excited at the prospect of a day off school for the funeral. We watched the funeral on a TV in the library I recall. The huge TV was wheeled in & we sat in almost complete silence as the service went on.

    It has been fascinating to hear the BBC back stories on the ceremony. The evocation of the past and our history is something that still I find moving. We will not see its like again I think.

     
  44.  
    15:05: Kay-Lesley Hallam Black, Belper

    emails: I am 68 and have been glued to my TV since 9am this morning, watching black & white film of Churchill's State funeral as I watched 50 years ago with my beloved father sitting quietly weeping as he acknowledged this great but flawed man as his saviour and the Lion who gave the roar & inspired the nation in the war years!

    On the 30th of January 1965 he watched and wept in gratitude at the passing not just of this great Briton and inspirational leader of the nation. He thanked God for Churchill's 90 years and at that time his 50 - and I too have kept faith with that again today thanks to your extensive and comprehensive coverage! Only we British can put on a ceremony with such superlative solemnity and dignity!

     
  45.  
    @TweetUKElection 14:56: UK Elections

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  46.  
    14:41: Adrian Chojnacki

    @ChojnackiAdrian tweets: Now Churchill and Bevan. That was a Great War coalition. Pity the current coalition is but a mere shadow of that example #Churchill2015

     
  47.  
    14:37: Childhood memory
    Sir Winston Churchill funeral barge

    Martyn Best tells us: "I was there as a nine year old with a camera given to me by my father who was a professional photographer. A family friend was an architect working for Taylor Woodrow who were constructing a new building next to the Tower of London. We stood on an open floor of the incomplete structure and I took the attached picture. I had also attended the lying-in-state and remember having to get up at about 5am to get the train up to London from Hertfordshire, walking past the coffin in Westminster Hall and then getting back home in time for school. It is all a very clear childhood memory."

     
  48.  
    14:30: 'Gave the roar to the British lion' BBC News Channel

    Historian Warren Dockter says Churchill's state funeral was a "major and global event" and it is important to commemorate it today. He singles out the wartime leader's "remarkable will". "It's famously said he gave the roar to the British lion and that's definitely true," he says.

     
  49.  
    14:23: Georgette McCready

    @GeorgeTMcCready tweets: @FleurHitchcock #Churchill funeral is my first memory of watching television. Black, white and grainy. My parents stood - out of respect?

     
  50.  
    14:21: Funeral flotilla recreated

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    The Havengore - which carried Winston Churchill's coffin, returns to the the Thames
     
  51.  
    14:16: John Drake

    emails: I was living in Middleburg in Holland on the day of Churchill's funeral. It seemed to me on that day that Holland came to a standstill to honour the great man.

     
  52.  
    14:10: Robin Pyman

    emails: I was at school in Oxford. A large number of us went down to the railway line that ran alongside the Oxford canal at the bottom of our playing fields and stood alongside the track, bowing our heads as the great man's train passed by, taking him to his final resting place. We were all in awe. He was our hero.

     
  53.  
    13:56: Ina Holmen

    emails: My entire elementary school in Canada was brought into the gymnasium where the funeral procession was viewed on an elevated television placed near the stage. I remember it being similar to Remembrance Day with speeches, flags, and dignitaries from veterans groups present.

     
  54.  
    Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay 13:53: Jan Shoesmith

    @4TBookworm tweets: Amazing to think Churchill's funeral was 50 yrs ago today. it's the first news item I ever remember I was 5 & had measles #Churchill

     
  55.  
    13:44: Westminster Abbey

    Westminster Abbey will host a ceremony from 18:00 GMT, with flowers laid at the green marble stone placed there in memorial to Churchill.

     
  56.  
    13:43: Havengore on the move

    The Havengore is back on the move again.

     
  57.  
    Email talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk 13:35: Send us your comments

    Rosemary Pettit emails: On the day of his funeral I was a know-it-all undergraduate with arrogant ideas, determined not to pay homage to an imperialistic war leader. So I ignored the whole thing but couldn't resist turning on the radio for the occasion. Sharing the top floor of a flat high in Hampstead I was quite unprepared for the fly-past which, like a thunder-clap, roared straight over my head. Suddenly, the superciliousness evaporated, the tension fell away and I felt united with all the good people who had lived and breathed during the war, and were even now gathered by St Pauls and the Thames, round their televisions and all over the world. Thank you RAF for bringing me to my senses.

     
  58.  
    13:24: Havengore comes to rest
    The Havengore outside the Houses of Parliament

    The Havengore comes to rest near the Houses of Parliament, where Churchill served as an MP for 60 years, and a brief service is now being held on board.

     
  59.  
    13:15: John Phillips

    emails: As I watch the re-run of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral I can remember the events quite clearly... Winston Churchill was my 'hero'. My mother, who came from Forest Gate, had endured the Blitz and had always maintained huge respect for "Mr Churchill", had told me countless stories of the war and how he had inspired the nation to victory.... To our disappointment when we got to London, the queues were enormous. However that fact in itself made me realise just how much loved Churchill was and we comforted ourselves with the thought that this had made the enterprise worthwhile.

    We got back around 2 am and the next day, morning school was cancelled so that we could all watch the funeral of the 'Greatest Briton' as Mo Mowlam later called him.

     
  60.  
    13:11: "Sombre and quiet"
    Barry Barnes recalling Churchill's funeral

    Barry Barnes, who witnessed the flotilla in person in 1965 and captured some of the day's images on film, recalls that the mood on the day matched the weather. "It was fairly sombre and very quiet", he tells the BBC.

     
  61.  
    13:07: Watching from the Millennium Bridge
    The Havengore passes under the Millennium Bridge in London

    The crowds may not be of quite the same size as in 1965 but there are new vantage points that weren't available 50 years ago.

     
  62.  
    13:04: Watching the funeral

    Brian Giles emails: Churchill's funeral will always be remembered by me, as on the Thursday before the funeral we had bought our first television from Radio Rentals, it was black and white and I watched the funeral on it with my parents.

     
  63.  
    13:03: Churchill's hearse

    Christopher Meeking emails: My grandfather, Charles Meeking, drove the hearse that took Winston Churchill's casket from the Festival Hall Pier to Waterloo Station as he was the senior driver for Kenyon's Funeral Services in London. My father had a picture from a broadsheet newspaper of the hearse and my grandfather clearly visible through the windscreen - it may well still be in the loft at my mother's house.

     
  64.  
    13:00: Havengore from above
    Havengore passing underneath Blackfriars Bridge

    An aerial shot of the Havengore passing under Blackfriars Bridge.

     
  65.  
    12:56: John Emmerson

    emails: My Dad took me to see the funeral procession, I was 10 years old and we travelled from Warrington down to London on a coach. I fell asleep on the way back and woke up in Wigan!

     
  66.  
    12:54: Michael Smith, Ottawa

    emails: As a 17 year old I had gone to the abbey to pay my respects to Churchill the night prior to the funeral. After a five hour or longer slow walk with what seemed like thousands of other mourners that crossed the Thames twice I finally passed the great man lying in state. To this day I respect Winston Churchill as the greatest Englishman ever and we were lucky to have had him.

     
  67.  
    12:54: The Havengore passes HMS Belfast

    The Havengore passes HMS Belfast, a major military landmark on the Thames. Tourists on board the famous warship wave as the smaller vessel passes by, the BBC's Duncan Kennedy says.

     
  68.  
    12:51: Paul Sayles, Misawa, Japan

    emails: I was living in Dunoon, Scotland at the time and watched the entire event on TV. I think all of my family was moved by the rendering of honours by the crane operators as Sir Winston passed the docks on his way home. I still remember the feeling 50 years on as if it was that day.

     
  69.  
    12:49: On its way
    Havengore

    The Havengore makes its way down the Thames, with those on board including pipers and volunteers reprising the role of pallbearers.

     
  70.  
    12:45: Tower Bridge opens
    Tower Bridge

    Tower Bridge is opening its gate as a mark of respect as the Havengore makes its way down the Thames.

     
  71.  
    12:44:

    emails: I was seven at the time of the funeral, and we had not long had a television. It was switched on for the early part of the ceremony, but, unfortunately, we were in the middle of moving from Cheshire to Shropshire, and had to go house-hunting on that day, it being a Saturday. Consequently, much as I wanted to stay at home and watch the funeral, I couldn't. I've regretted this for fifty years - I am looking forward to seeing the recording later!

     
  72.  
    12:43: 'Lovingly restored' BBC News Channel

    The BBC's Ben Brown says the Havengore has been "loving restored" by its current owner from a stage when "grass had been growing through the deck" a few years ago.

     
  73.  
    12:42: 'Fitting tribute' BBC News Channel
    The Havengore recreating Winston Churchill's funeral cortege

    The BBC's Duncan Kennedy, on board a boat on the Thames, says it was a "fitting tribute" that Churchill's coffin was placed on the front of the Havengore boat and carried down the river because of his role as naval secretary.

     
  74.  
    12:39: Labour NHS debate Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Asked about the internal debate within Labour about health policy and the role of the private sector, shadow minister Steve Reed tells the BBC that the opposition backs "what works". Pressed on this, he says the NHS must be reformed to give more control to the people who use it rather than "privatised".

     
  75.  
    12:29: 'Proud day' Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Asked if it is a "sad day" for his family, Rupert Soames says it quite the contrary. "It is a proud day. It is a triumph he is still remembered," he tells the Daily Politics. "What could be better."

     
  76.  
    12:24: 'In gratitude'
    Message on wreath reading: 'From the nation of today, and the youth of tomorrow - in gratitude'

    Relatives and politicians left messages on wreaths during the service at the Houses of Parliament earlier.

     
  77.  
    12:22: Peter

    emails: I remember, age 11, seeing his funeral on TV. My mum had turned it on. Even then, I knew he was special, but the scale of his funeral made that clear. Now, having read his books, and others, I realise he was a complex and fallible man, who became an extraordinary leader when put under extreme pressure.

     
  78.  
    12:18: 'A great Briton'
    David Cameron at Churchill ceremony

    Earlier, David Cameron paid tribute to "a great leader and a great Briton" after laying a wreath at the feet of the statue of Churchill in Parliament. "He knew that Britain was not just a place on the map but a force in the world, with a destiny to shape events and a duty to stand up for freedom," he said in the shadow of the famous bronze sculpture of Churchill.

     
  79.  
    12:17: 'Great reforming home secretary'

    Rupert Soames, one of Churchill's grandsons, says he was one of the few people in the country who was "cross" on the day of the funeral because, as a five-year old, he was deemed too young to attend. Mr Soames, who remembers sitting on his grandfather's knee during weekends in the country, tells the BBC's Daily Politics that Churchill should be remembered as more than a wartime prime minister - adding that he commissioned the Beveridge Report in the 1940s and was "one of the great reforming home secretaries" before World War One.

     
  80.  
    12:15: Tony Guise

    emails: Although I lived in Aston, Birmingham, I so clearly remember the monochrome coverage from the BBC, as my parents and other family members gathered around our tiny television. I was seven-years old and shall never forget the sense of an historic moment. Never thought that memory would still be with me 50 years later!

     
  81.  
    12:14: Colour-coordinated wreaths
    Leaders of UK political parties with wreaths at Houses of Parliament

    Labour leader Ed Miliband, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Prime Minister David Cameron laid appropriately-coloured wreaths during the service at the Houses of Parliament.

     
  82.  
    12:08: John Simpson on Churchill

    The BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson examines how an all-too-human politician became a great wartime prime minister.

    Winston Churchill giving V-for-victory sign
     
  83.  
    12:01: Tories 'rule out post-election deal with UKIP'

    Conservative chairman Grant Shapps has ruled out any post-election deal with UKIP should there be another hung parliament. Speaking at a campaign event, Mr Shapps said May's election was set to be "incredibly close" and his party was solely focused on gaining power in its own right.

     
  84.  
    11:59: Philip Keevill

    emails: 50 years ago today I was in London, paying my respects to Sir Winston Churchill. I'd seen something on the BBC News the evening before and told my Mum I'd like to go. We were living 30 miles from Preston at the time. My Mum didn't hesitate. We went to Preston station, bought tickets for the overnight sleeper train, and headed south. When we came out of Westminster Abbey, the press pounced on us. Apparently we were the last people to be admitted, and we were in that evening's papers!

     
  85.  
    11:57: Wreath leaves Tower of London
    Wreath carried from Tower of London to Havengore

    A wreath is being carried from the Tower of London to the Havengore boat, which will then carry it along the Thames to Westminster.

     
  86.  
    11:52: Sense of destiny
    Celia Sandys

    Churchill's grandaughter Celia Sandys says her grandfather had a "huge sense of his destiny" and was the "man Britain needed at that time".

     
  87.  
    @BBCArchive 11:51: BBC Archive
    Churchill

    tweets: Would Churchill's depression have prevented him becoming PM today? http://bbc.in/1DmUaec #BBCChurchill

     
  88.  
    11:50: Rob Thornton, Bines Green

    emails: Churchill's funeral was one of the few things I remember vividly from my childhood... I was a 13-year old schoolboy at the time... My parents, who had both been involved in the war - my father serving in the Army - watched in silence on TV and I clearly remember the cranes on the river dipping in salute. Their reverence was a very salutary lesson in what being a truly great man really meant and I have never forgotten that.

     
  89.  
    11:48: Professor David Durling

    emails: I grew up in London in the shadow of World War Two, and had a keen sense of gratitude to Churchill. As an 18-year old, I found a place among the wharves near Blackfriars Bridge, and paid my respects as the Havengore sailed past. I found myself entirely alone, and it was a moment never to be forgotten.

     
  90.  
    11:47: Gift of the gab
    Winston Churchill giving a speech in Walthamstow in 1945

    Winston Churchill is known as one of history's greatest orators, and he attributed his legendary speech-making skills to an Irish-born politician who taught him the gift of the gab as a young man, says the BBC's Greg McKevitt.

     
  91.  
    11:44: Commons 'man through and through'

    Commons Speaker John Bercow has been paying tribute to Churchill as a parliamentarian. Speaking at a special commemoration service in Parliament, Mr Bercow said the wartime leader was a House of Commons "man through and through" and had resisted blandishments to join the House of Lords. Churchill, he said, believed that the "cut and thrust of debate and the searing searchlight of scrutiny were vital".

     
  92.  
    11:42: Barbara Lancaster MBE, Leeds

    emails: I still remember my father, who was a staunch Labour man, saying there will never ever be another politician like him in your lifetime.

     
  93.  
    11:37: Boat ceremony BBC News Channel

    The BBC's Ben Brown, at the Tower of London, says in about 30 minutes a wreath made by Royal British Legion - at the poppy factory in Richmond - will be carried to the Havengore, the boat which carried the wartime prime minister's coffin along the Thames 50 years ago. The boat will then set off on the same journey again from the Tower of London to Westminster, and Tower Bridge will be raised at 12:45 GMT as a mark of respect. Once it reaches the waters opposite the Palace of Westminster, there will be special service and wreath laying in the waters.

     
  94.  
    11:33: Havengore in 2015
    The Havengore docked in London

    And here it is in 2015, being prepared ahead of the anniversary events.

     
  95.  
    11:31: Havengore 50 years ago
    Winston Churchill's coffin on a boat - the Havengore - on the Thames on the day of his funeral

    Here's the Havengore 50 years ago.

     
  96.  
    11:29: Stephen O'Sullivan

    emails: I watched the funeral on the BBC, I was five-years old and it is the first television memory I have, something I've always remembered to this day. I knew it must have been important because things were quiet and everybody knew that it was happening. I remember the procession, the train, the boat journey past the dipped cranes on the Thames. I asked my mother whether everybody got a funeral like this and she replied "oh no, this is different, he was an important man". Older now, I appreciate how important.

     
  97.  
    11:21:

    If you have any pictures of Churchill's state funeral 50 years ago, or other relevant pictures you'd like to share, please send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk.

     
  98.  
    11:20: US/UK special relationship 'alive' BBC News Channel
    Winston Churchill with US President Franklin Roosevelt in 1943

    The US ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun, tells the BBC he is "inspired every day" by Sir Winston Churchill. He says the wartime leader was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States and the special relationship between the US and the UK is still "alive" as the countries stand "shoulder to shoulder" in the fight against Ebola in Africa and ISIS in Iraq.

     
  99.  
    11:17: Boris on 'extremist losers'

    Boris Johnson, who recently published a biography of Churchill, has been making a few headlines of his own this morning. In an interview with The Sun, he has described men who join religious extremist groups such as Islamic State as "losers" who are likely to be users of pornography. Such individuals often turn to violence to boost their own-self esteem, he has suggested.

     
  100.  
    11:12: 'Spellbinding orator' BBC News Channel
    Winston Churchill making a speech during the 1945 election campaign

    Historian Sir David Cannadine pays tribute to Churchill, describing him as a "spellbinding orator" and "at times a marvellous determiner of military strategy" who was regarded as a saviour of the country. "Even though he was a controversial figure, I think that verdict has stood the test of time," he says.

     

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