The emancipation of Catholics in the UK

After the Reformation in the 1530s, Roman Catholics were subject to harsh laws, which carried heavy penalties.

In the late eighteenth century, anti-Catholic laws began to be relaxed; in 1829 Catholics acquired the rights of full citizens.

Was Churchill sexually abused at school?

Michael Dobbs, best-selling novelist and Conservative peer, told an audience at a literary festival that it may well have happened in a speech reported in The Daily Telegraph on 2 July. Alistair Lexden, historian of the Conservative Party, is wholly unconvinced, as he explained in the main letter

International students at sixth form colleges

Alistair Lexden is President of the Council for Independent Education (CIFE) whose member colleges are specialists in preparing international students for entry to British universities.

In the attached article, he reflects on the reasons why the CIFE colleges are so successful.

Tattooing the Royals

The Duke of Cambridge is visiting the Middle East this week. An article in The Times on June 23 urged him to “get a tattoo of the Jerusalem cross on his arm, as did previous princes on visits to the Holy Land”.

Empire and Commonwealth troops in the First World War - a further tribute

Alistair Lexden’s recent Lords debate on the contribution made by Empire and Commonwealth troops during the First World War( see below) led to him being commissioned by Parliament’s House Magazine to write an article for it so that his account of their indispensable role could be given a wider ci

Bridge or Tunnel?

Calls are being made for the building of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. Prominent supporters include the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on whom Mrs May depends to win votes in Parliament. On 12 June Boris Johnson said the idea should be seriously explored.

The First Duke of Sussex

Prince Harry is now the Second Duke of Sussex. What was the first one like? Alistair Lexden revealed some of his quirks of character in a letter published in The Daily Telegraph on 23 May.

Wellington's test

Writing in The Spectator on 12 May, Charles Moore regretted that the present (ninth) Duke of Wellington had not followed the example of his famous predecessor, who urged peers not to tamper with important legislation passed by the Commons even if they disagreed with it strongly.

Asquith's 400 new peers - a precedent for Brexit?

The House of Lords has been strongly criticised in certain quarters for amending the EU Withdrawal Bill in a number of significant respects. Some people are suggesting that the aim is to derail Brexit.