The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs: Selection Troubles

Out this month, The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs explores the fascinating interviews with former MPs hidden in our oral history project archive. In this post the book’s authors, Dr Emma Peplow and Dr Priscila Pivatto, explore one of the most crucial times of an MP’s career: getting selected for a parliamentary seat… One topic which our oral history interviews heavily focus on – … Continue reading The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs: Selection Troubles

Out this month: ‘The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs: An Oral History of Parliament’

Later this month the very first book based on our Oral History Project Archive is published by Bloomsbury Academic. Today, the book’s authors, Dr Emma Peplow and Dr Priscila Pivatto, give a preview of what you can expect in the book… A publication based on our oral history project archive has been some time coming – as readers of this blog will know, we have … Continue reading Out this month: ‘The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs: An Oral History of Parliament’

A tribute to John M. H. Lee

In the fifth blog of this sombre series that pays tribute to interviewees from our Oral History Project, Emma Peplow looks back on the life and career of John Lee, Labour MP for Reading (1966-70) and Birmingham Handsworth (Feb 1974-79), who we interviewed in 2013… John Lee was born in Bagshot, Surrey. His comfortable background (his father worked in the City) might be a surprise … Continue reading A tribute to John M. H. Lee

A tribute to David Mudd MP

In the fourth in our series of tributes to our Oral History Project interviewees who have sadly passed away during the current crisis, Emma Peplow looks back on the life of David Mudd, Conservative MP for Falmouth and Camborne, 1970-92. David Mudd was a lifelong Conservative party member, but also – unusually – a member of the Cornish party Mebyon Kernow, an example of both … Continue reading A tribute to David Mudd MP

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