The triumph of William Pitt

Pitt’s remarkable political success from the 1780s until his early death in 1806 is the most memorable feature of a new book about his bitter rivalry with Charles James Fox.

The duplicity of Conservative MPs

The parliamentary stage of the Tory leadership contest ended on 20 June amid widespread reports of dirty tricks and bullying by Boris Johnson's supporters designed to influence the choice of the second candidate to be put forward to Party members.

Neville Chamberlain: A formidable politician

On 17 June, a letter published in The Times stated that “the assessment that Mrs May is oddly lacking in political skills may be unusual but not unique in Britain’s prime ministers” and went on to claim that Chamberlain falls into the same category.

Tory leadership concepts since 1965

Over nearly fifty-five years they have changed considerably in some respects, but not in others, as Alistair Lexden pointed out in an article published in Parliament’s House Magazine on 17 June.


A man who was loved and loathed

Lord Beaverbrook, the famous press magnate, made friends and enemies everywhere. A new biography of him has recently been published . Alistair Lexden reviewed it for the issue of Parliament’s House Magazine dated 10 June.

Parliament paralysed

As a historian, Alistair Lexden is often asked: “what precedents are there for today’s extraordinary, long-running political crisis?”

Queen Victoria's sketches of her children

A number of Queen Victoria’s drawings of her children, which were given to the British Museum in 1926, are to go on public display for the first time to mark the bicentenary of her birth in 1819.

The worst election result ever

In the May European elections, the Tories won 9.1 per cent of the vote; just three of their candidates were successful. This result was widely described in the media as the Party’s worst since 1832, the year of the Great Reform Bill.

Mrs May and history

It is Alistair Lexden’s view as a historian that Mrs May has done worse than any of her Tory predecessors. He has repeated his view on a number of occasions, and did so again in a letter in The Daily Telegraph on 24 May, the day she finally announced her resignation.

The Man who was Saturday

The Man who was Saturday: The Extraordinary Life of Airey Neave, Soldier, Escaper, Spymaster, Politician
Patrick Bishop, William Collins, £20 (hardback)