The search for good governance

As the History of Parliament Oral History Project continues to go from strength to strength following a two-year hiatus, here volunteer interviewer Peter Reilly reflects on his recent interview with Lord David Hunt, MP for Wirral and later Wirral West 1976-1997. A member of cabinet under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major, throughout his career- and interview- Hunt proved committed to a topic still making … Continue reading The search for good governance

Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: ‘That was how politics started for me’: memories on motivations from the History of Parliament Trust’s Sound Archive

Our Parliaments, Politics and People seminar is back for the autumn term! At next week’s seminar our head of Oral History, Dr Emma Peplow, will discuss what drove MPs into politics using materials gathered from our Oral History Project. The seminar takes place on 18 October 2022, between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. It is fully ‘hybrid’, which means you can attend either in-person in London … Continue reading Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: ‘That was how politics started for me’: memories on motivations from the History of Parliament Trust’s Sound Archive

‘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

The world of parliament extends beyond the Commons and Lords

Since 2012 our team of volunteers have been interviewing former MPs about their lives and careers for the History of Parliament Oral History project, and often their memories reflect on current events both in Westminster and the wider world. Here, volunteer interviewer Peter Reilly discusses some of the key moments in the career of Michael Morris, Lord Naseby, who throughout his life had close links … Continue reading The world of parliament extends beyond the Commons and Lords

‘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

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

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

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

Life as an MP: a recipe for marital bliss?

In today’s blog Dr Emma Peplow, coordinator of the History of Parliament’s Oral History Project, picks up our recent theme of marriage and Parliament. As many former MPs discussed in their interviews, a parliamentary career wasn’t always a friend to marital life… Our oral history project interviewers make sure to ask former MP not just about formal politics, but how political life impacted on personal … Continue reading Life as an MP: a recipe for marital bliss?

‘Decided on by men’: International Women’s Day lecture

On 17 March Dr Emma Peplow and Dr Priscila Pivatto gave the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art’s 8th annual International Woman’s Day lecture. Created by the committee to help address the need for more artwork of female MPs in Parliament’s collection, Emma and Priscila discussed women’s experiences in Parliament based on interviews in our Oral History Project. Here Dr Peplow reflects on the … Continue reading ‘Decided on by men’: International Women’s Day lecture