Party and Politics is a 6 part series on parliament and party politics in Great Britain. It starts with the principle of representation and the origins of the English parliament, to the appearance of party politics in the 17th century. The series then covers the evolution of parliamentary procedure, power and sovereignty, and how British politicians ‘stormed the closet’ of royal power; how parties developed along side mass politics in the 19th century and the arrival of democracy in 1928. We look at the characteristics of the various parties – Whig, Tory, Conservative, Liberal,  Liberal Unionists, Labour – even the Darby Dilly, the progress of change and reform and some of the characters that trod the stage of parliament.

The genesis of the series came about from an idea of my podcasting friend and colleague, Roifield Brown; and you can find the original version in a series of conversational podcasts in the Things that Made England podcast.

The Publishing schedule is as below:

Reading List

Here are some of the books and websites I used in the making of the shedcasts. I suspect I have stolen some of Roifield’s ideas too, but I can’t separate those out, but I will tell you for free that the making of this podcast gave him a new respect for Herbert Henry Asquith.


Linda Colley: ‘Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837’, 1992

Chris Cook: ‘History of British Elections since 1689’, 2014

Iain Dale, ed: ‘The Prime Ministers’, 2020

Eric Evans: Political Parties in Britain, 1783-1867′, 1985

Clyve Jones, ed: ‘A Short History of Parliament’, 2009

Paul Langford: ‘The Eighteenth Century, 1688-1815’, 2002

John Ramsden: ‘An Appetite for Power: A History of the Conservative Party since 1830’, 1998

Anthony Seldon: ‘The Impossible Office?’, 2021

Andrew Thorpe: ‘A History of the Labour Party’, 2001


The History of Parliament Online is an amazing site, stuffed with information, and the blog is wonderful. Well worth following on Twitter too.

The Oxford Database of National Biography is always fantastic. Access is often available in the UK through your local public lending library for free.