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Senior Lecturer in Contemporary British History, Newcastle University

My research interests centre on British politics and public life since the First World War, biography, political parties, elections, government, and media. I welcome enquiries in these areas.

Most recently I've completed the writing of book chapters about Barack Obama and David Cameron, and Donald Trump and Theresa May, and Trump and Boris Johnson for the Palgrave Handbook of Presidents and Prime Ministers. Before that my most recent publications were a chapter on popular culture in 1960s Britain for a volume on imperial history, one on the 1970 General Election for a book marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Heath government, and another on Parliament and the death of Margaret Thatcher for a book about Thatcherism. I've two books contracted for publication in 2022: Margaret Thatcher's World, an international history of Thatcherism, for De Gruyter, and Reginald McKenna: Statesman among Financiers, 1916-1943, the second (and final) volume of my biography, for Routledge. I have 'in progress' one article which offers a comparative assessment of the deaths of Hugh Gaitskell (1963) and John Smith (1994), and another on the film version Oh! What a Lovely War (1969).

I've published on declinism and British coastal resorts, British mass tourism in the 1970s, the 1918 Reform Act and the House of Commons, and the Labour Party in the 1980s (in Labour and the Left in the 1980s). Other publications include the first volume of a political biography, and articles on British politics and strategy in the First World War, the 1918 General Election, and the Labour Party and strategic bombing in the Second World War. I've co-edited two volumes on the British abroad: Travellers and Tourists and Experiencing Imperialism, in the former of which I've a chapter on British mass tourism. In 2014 I was principal investigator for the North East and Cumbria on the AHRC/BBC project World War One at Home. I also interview former MPs for the History of Parliament Oral History Project.

I head Britain and the World, an international research association which has a peer-reviewed journal, book series, and an annual conference which alternates between the US and the UK


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary British History, Newcastle University


  • 1998 
    University of Glasgow, PhD History (Modern)


BA, PhD, FRHistS