Exploring parliamentary history through art

Today’s blog contains details of the Art UK online exhibitions that our researchers have curated during lockdown… The History of Parliament’s researchers have been trying out the Curations tool recently launched by Art UK, which enables anyone to create a digital exhibition from the artworks on its site. With art galleries and museums currently closed, it is an excellent way to visit their collections online. … Continue reading Exploring parliamentary history through art

A tribute to Joe Ashton, MP for Bassetlaw 1968-2001

This is our third blogpost paying tribute to former MPs and interviewees of our Oral History Project who have sadly passed away during the current crisis. Here project lead Dr Emma Peplow remembers Joe Ashton, MP for Bassetlaw October 1968-2001. Born in Attercliffe, Sheffield in 1933, Joe Ashton told us during his 2012 interview for our oral history project that he came second in a … Continue reading A tribute to Joe Ashton, MP for Bassetlaw 1968-2001

A tribute to James Ramsden MP

Sadly we’re marking the deaths of more of our Oral History Project interviewees than normal during the current pandemic. Today Dr Emma Peplow, project lead, looks back on the life of James Ramsden MP, who took over from John Profumo as the last Secretary of State for War. James Ramsden has been described in one of his recent obituaries as a ‘true Knight of the … Continue reading A tribute to James Ramsden MP

A tribute to Ted Graham, MP and Labour peer

In today’s blog, our Oral History Project lead, Dr Emma Peplow, pays tribute to Lord Graham of Edmonton, who was interviewed for the project in 2014. Over the years we have occasionally blogged tributes to former MPs who were interviewed for our oral history project but have since passed away. In the current pandemic we are sadly losing a number of our interviewees – whether … Continue reading A tribute to Ted Graham, MP and Labour peer

‘You’d better accept you’ll have to concentrate on domestic politics for now’ – gender bias in the post-war Commons

As Women’s History Month reaches a close, Dr Emma Peplow, lead coordinator of our Oral History Project, looks back through our interview archive to explore a theme often discussed by female interviewees: gender bias in the post-war House of Commons… For many of the former female MPs interviewed for our oral history project, their experiences in Parliament seem to be both as insiders and outsiders … Continue reading ‘You’d better accept you’ll have to concentrate on domestic politics for now’ – gender bias in the post-war Commons

Voices from the Oral History Project – Chris Smith

Unusually for a profile of one of our Oral History Project interviewees, Chris Smith has not recently passed away! Yet as the first sitting MP who chose to publicly come out, his is a fascinating interview to focus on this LGBT history month. Dr Emma Peplow, our Oral History Project lead, explores his parliamentary career… Chris Smith, Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury 1983-2005, … Continue reading Voices from the Oral History Project – Chris Smith

Oral History at the History of Parliament Trust: new volunteers needed!

Dr Emma Peplow is the new lead coordinator for our Oral History Project. Today she is announcing a new round of training for oral history volunteers. For more information about the project, click here. As many of you know, our oral history project interviews former MPs about their lives and experiences both inside and outside of the House of Commons. Since 2011 we have interviewed … Continue reading Oral History at the History of Parliament Trust: new volunteers needed!

Women MPs in the 1990s

This month’s blog for the Women and Parliament series as part of our activities in celebration of the centenary of the Representation the People Act 1918, which allowed some women to vote in the UK for the first time, comes from our Assistant Director and one of the coordinators of our oral history project, Dr Emma Peplow. She discusses the experiences of women MPs in parliament … Continue reading Women MPs in the 1990s

Now available online: full interviews with former MPs from our oral history project

Since 2011, in partnership with the British Library, we have been interviewing as many former MPs as we can about their lives and careers in parliament. 155 of our completed interviews have now been deposited at the British Library. Our growing archive contains a wide variety of experiences and views of parliament: from ‘big names’ (Denis Healey, Michael Heseltine, David Owen, David Steel, Jonathan Aitken, … Continue reading Now available online: full interviews with former MPs from our oral history project