1. ITV Report

David Cameron rated 'one of the worst Prime Ministers in modern history'

David Cameron 'one of worst PMs in modern history', according to experts. Credit: Hannah McKay / PA Wire

David Cameron has been rated one of the worst Prime Ministers in modern history by political experts.

The former Conservative leader came third from bottom in the table of post-war leaders, faring worse than Labour's Gordon Brown, in the survey of academics who specialise in politics and contemporary British history.

The European Union referendum was ranked as Cameron's greatest failure by nine out of ten of the respondents, with one claiming it was the greatest defeat of any prime minister "since Lord North lost America".

Only Sir Anthony Eden, whose reputation was left in tatters by his handling of the Suez crisis, and Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who only lasted a year, were ranked lower than Cameron in the list of 13 prime ministers who have served since 1945.

University of Leeds professor Kevin Theakston, who carried out the research, said David Cameron's "reputation and place in history seems destined to be defined by Brexit and his calling and losing the referendum."

Academic opinion, as reflected in our survey, is currently pretty damning. But reputations can wax and wane as subsequent events, the passage of time and new evidence change perspectives.

Depending on how Brexit works out, future historians and political scientists may come to a different verdict on Mr Cameron's premiership and his place in the league table of prime ministers.

– Professor Kevin Theakston

The survey rated Labour's Clement Attlee as the most successful prime minister. He was followed by Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

Academics were also asked to rate the impact each of the last five prime ministers had on society, the economy, foreign policy and Britain's role in the world, their political party, and democracy.

Cameron was the only one to receive a negative rating in each area.

The online survey was completed by 82 academics.