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

Lesbians and the law: the Wolfenden Report and same-sex desire between women

Our final blog for LGBTQ+ History Month comes from Dr Caroline Derry, who has recently published a book on lesbianism and the criminal law. Here, Caroline will explore the significance of the report of the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution to the legal and parliamentary status of lesbian sexuality… In 1958, Harford Montgomery Hyde MP asked the House of Commons, ‘If homosexual conduct between … Continue reading Lesbians and the law: the Wolfenden Report and same-sex desire between women

Maureen Colquhoun: “an open lesbian-feminist woman” in the House of Commons

In our second blog for LGBTQ+ History Month our Public Engagement Manager, Sammy Sturgess, explores the parliamentary career of Maureen Colquhoun who was the first openly lesbian MP, as well as the first openly LGBTQ+ MP… Maureen Colquhoun was elected as Labour MP for the newly formed constituency of Northampton North in February 1974. This was her second attempt at winning a seat, having lost … Continue reading Maureen Colquhoun: “an open lesbian-feminist woman” in the House of 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