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

Voices from our oral history project: Sir Teddy Taylor

Last month we were sad to hear the news of campaigning backbencher Sir Teddy Taylor’s death. In this blog we look back on his life with extracts from our oral history project  interview with him in January 2012… Sir Teddy Taylor was one of the first former MPs to be interviewed for our oral history project. Following his death last month, obituaries remembered him as … Continue reading Voices from our oral history project: Sir Teddy Taylor

When every vote counted: what minority government in the 1970s meant for MPs

With Parliament back and Theresa May’s government trying to pass controversial legislation, Emmeline Ledgerwood, one of our oral history project volunteers and PhD student at the British Library/University of Leicester, blogs on the periods of minority government during the 1970s, using excerpts from our oral history project archive… As Westminster returns to work after the summer recess, MPs must become accustomed to an environment which … Continue reading When every vote counted: what minority government in the 1970s meant for MPs

50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, 1967

On 12 July we brought together parliamentarians, activists and historians to mark 50 years since the passing of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales. Here we report back from the event… We were delighted when the Speaker accepted our suggestion of to organise an event in his official apartments to mark the anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of … Continue reading 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, 1967

First steps in the chamber: making a maiden speech

For the one hundred or so new MPs who were elected in June, many have already achieved one of the major milestones of their Commons’ careers: the maiden speech. Here we share some of our oral history project interviewees’ memories of the first time they spoke in the Chamber… We always ask our Oral History Project interviewees about their maiden speech. It is one of … Continue reading First steps in the chamber: making a maiden speech

Election 2017: Snap elections, memories of 1974

Last week Theresa May shocked the political establishment by calling a snap election. In the first in our 2017 election campaign series, we take a look back at the two elections of 1974 through the memories of our oral history project interviewees… Modern political wisdom has urged caution on Prime Ministers considering calling early elections, in part thanks to memories of 1974. There were two … Continue reading Election 2017: Snap elections, memories of 1974