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

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!

The Commonwealth at 70: From Westminster to the World

Today we celebrate the launch of our new publication, The Commonwealth at 70: From Westminster to the World, which has been edited by our Director, Dr Stephen Roberts and published by St James’s House. Below Stephen tells us what to expect from the content of the book – now available as an e-book (click here)… The Commonwealth at 70: From Westminster to the World commemorates … Continue reading The Commonwealth at 70: From Westminster to the World

‘I am a political animal, but I am not a politician’: Leah Manning as a sponsored parliamentary candidate in the 1930s.

Next up in the Women and Parliament series we hear from Dr James Parker of the University of Exeter. He explores the sponsorship of Leah Manning’s candidature by the National Union of Teachers… Leah Manning (1886-1977) was the thirteenth woman to be elected as a Labour Member of Parliament, representing Islington East in the House of Commons from February to October 1931 and later serving … Continue reading ‘I am a political animal, but I am not a politician’: Leah Manning as a sponsored parliamentary candidate in the 1930s.

Hansard at Huddersfield: Making democracy more searchable

Today’s post is a guest blog from Lesley Jeffries of the University of Huddersfield. Lesley explains the Hansard at Huddersfield project which aims to provide some interesting search facilities and visualisations of the results from the record of the UK parliament. I am a linguist working on the language of texts – from poetry to politics – and I sometimes work on what we linguists … Continue reading Hansard at Huddersfield: Making democracy more searchable