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On one occasion when Attlee faced a challenge, the chief plotter came to see him suggesting that Ernie Bevin should replace Attlee as prime minister.
"And wouldn't Clem Attlee and Ernie Bevin have applauded when in Kosovo, faced with racial genocide, it was Britain and this Government that helped defeat it?"
It was the Labour Government after the war, in the person of Ernie Bevin, which did much to set up Nato and secure Marshall Aid.
"He described me as a cross between Ernie Bevin and Demosthenes.
When it was said that Nye Bevan was his own worst enemy, Foreign Secretary Ernie Bevin retorted: "Not while I'm alive, he ain't!"
Mr Cameron told Tony Blair at Prime Minister's Question Time: "I know you don't want to talk about the deputy leadership campaign, because the contest looks like it could achieve the impossible, which is to make the current Deputy Prime Minister look like a cross between Ernie Bevin and Demosthenes."
Ernie Bevin, Labour's greatest Foreign Secretary, said when a colleague observed that Morrison was his own worst enemy: "Not while I'm alive, he ain't."
When I met him not long ago, he reminded me of an old-style British union leader, someone like Ernie Bevin.
He may still emerge as one of Britain's better Foreign Secretaries and could even beat hero Ernie Bevin's post-war record of six years in the job.