‘You just become a tiny little speck of history’: First Impressions of the Palace of Westminster

When newly elected MPs first enter the Palace of Westminster, it is hard to ignore the hundreds of years of history that surrounds them. And as Dr Emma Peplow, Head of Oral History at the History of Parliament explores, this legacy could prove inspirational, impressive, or even overwhelming… Find out more about the history of the Palace of Westminster and its famous Elizabeth Tower, home … Continue reading ‘You just become a tiny little speck of history’: First Impressions of the Palace of Westminster

‘Always great fun: particularly when there was a row going on’: memories of the 1922 Committee

Once again, the powerful backbench Conservative 1922 committee is back in the headlines. Here Dr Emma Peplow, head of our Oral History Project, shares some of former MPs’ memories of its workings and influence… Whilst the 1922 Committee comes to public attention only at times of political drama, for the former Conservative MPs interviewed for our oral history project, it was a central part of … Continue reading ‘Always great fun: particularly when there was a row going on’: memories of the 1922 Committee

The Union in Peril: The British Government and the Scottish Question in the Shadow of the Oil Crisis, c. 1973-1975.

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Robbie Johnston of the University of Edinburgh. On 10 May 2022, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Robbie will be responding to your questions about his paper on Parliament and the Scottish question in the 1970s. Robbie’s full-length paper is available by signing up to his seminar and contacting seminar@histparl.ac.uk. Details of how to join the discussion are … Continue reading The Union in Peril: The British Government and the Scottish Question in the Shadow of the Oil Crisis, c. 1973-1975.

Women Speakers and Deputy Speakers

As we have seen in some of our previous blogs, the role of Speaker of the House has a long history, but it wasn’t until the late 20th century that women took to the Speaker’s Chair. Through the History of Parliament Oral History Project we have been able to interview some of the female former MPs who occupied the roles of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, … Continue reading Women Speakers and Deputy Speakers

The office of Governor as the Crown’s representative, symbolising `the permanence both of the authority of the Northern Ireland Government and the union with Great Britain’, 1921-1973

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Donal Lowry of the University of Oxford. On 22 March 2022, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Donal will be responding to your questions about his paper on the office of Governor of Northern Ireland between 1921 and 1973. Details of how to join the discussion are available here, or … Continue reading The office of Governor as the Crown’s representative, symbolising `the permanence both of the authority of the Northern Ireland Government and the union with Great Britain’, 1921-1973

The Politics of Business and the Business of Politics: Messrs Watney and Powell and the Emergence of the Consultant Lobbyist in Britain, 1911-1993

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Mark Roodhouse of the University of York. On 25 January 2022, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Mark will be responding to your questions about his pre-circulated paper on Charles Watney and the emergence of the consultant lobbyist in Britain during the twentieth century. Details of how to join the … Continue reading The Politics of Business and the Business of Politics: Messrs Watney and Powell and the Emergence of the Consultant Lobbyist in Britain, 1911-1993

Speaking about Animal Rights in the History of Parliament Oral History Project

As two animal welfare Bills progress through the stages of debate in Parliament, in our latest blog Emme Ledgerwood looks through our Oral History Project archive to explore former MPs’ responses to animal rights issues during their careers… The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill and the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill are currently making their way through Parliament, the latest additions to the UK legislation which … Continue reading Speaking about Animal Rights in the History of Parliament Oral History Project

‘Housewives in the House’: Labour Women MPs in Parliament, 1945-1951

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Lyndsey Jenkins of Queen Mary, University of London. On 23 November 2021, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., she will be responding to your questions about her pre-circulated paper on ‘Housewives and the House: Women Labour MPs and ‘the housewife’ in Parliament in the 1940s and 1950s’. Details of how to join the discussion are available here, … Continue reading ‘Housewives in the House’: Labour Women MPs in Parliament, 1945-1951

Postwar MPs’ Memories of Summer Holidays

This year we’ve been looking into the holiday habits of parliamentarians throughout history. In our latest blog Emme Ledgerwood has been listening through our Oral History project archive, to find out how MPs spent their summer holidays long before they stepped foot in the chambers of Parliament. When searching the History of Parliament’s oral history collection for MPs’ memories of summer holidays, descriptions of the … Continue reading Postwar MPs’ Memories of Summer Holidays

‘London’s Latest Ordeal’: the Blitz and rebuilding of the House of Commons Chamber

On the evening of the 10/11 May 1941 the House of Commons Chamber was destroyed during the Blitz. In today’s blog, 80 years on, our Public Engagement Assistant Connie Jeffery explores the event and how Parliament rebuilt and recovered from the destruction… Like much of the United Kingdom’s home front, Westminster was no stranger to the effects of the Second World War. Parliament’s recognisable home … Continue reading ‘London’s Latest Ordeal’: the Blitz and rebuilding of the House of Commons Chamber