Taylor, Ann (3 of 4). The History of Parliament Oral History Project
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House of Lords, London
Taylor, Ann, 1947- (speaker, female)
Ledgerwood, Emmeline, 1968- (speaker, female)
Part 3: [Session two: 7 November 2013] Remarks on weekly schedule as an MP and constituency work. Comments on social life merging with political life. Remarks on delaying having a family due to political career. Remarks on changing demands from constituency. Anecdote about Bob Mellish suggesting AT wear longer skirts. [07:28] Mentions becoming a PPS. Remarks on issues within education at that time. Remarks on slower path to becoming a minister in 1970s. Comments on drive for comprehensive education. Story about Conservatives blocking plans for Bolton to go comprehensive in 1979. Remarks on Shirley Williams losing her seat in 1979. [13:54] Comments on working in the whips’ office. Remarks on current play ‘This House’. Lengthy description of working as a whip. Mentions colleagues Michael Cox, Walter Harrison, Jack Dormand, Peter Snape, Brian Davis, Jock Stallard. Comments on talking to members about votes and finding out which ones needed to be in their constituencies. Remarks on male MPs not admitting domestic reasons for absence. [20:26] Remarks on by-elections. Comments on party politics. Remarks on attending No. 10 briefings when Jim Callaghan [JC] was Prime Minister. Description of briefings. Remarks on JC’s decision in 1978 to delay election. Comments on union behaviour during winter of discontent. Describes period of ‘crisis management’. Remarks on supporting the Government on TV. Comments on 1979 election campaign in Bolton West. Remarks on fighting an election as an incumbent MP. [30:31] Comments on public role of being an MP. Remarks on making a maiden speech. Comments on experience gained through committee work. Remarks on being young, visible, woman MP and getting press coverage in north-west. Anecdote about being filmed shouting at the referee at a football match. [39:02] Remarks about needing to prove she was serious about politics. Comments on all women shortlists (AWS). Comments on gender imbalance within Parliament. Remarks on women MPs working extra hard. Remarks on possible alternatives to AWS. Remarks on jobs being an issue within the constituency. Mentions winning assisted area status for Bolton. [45:52] Remarks on Conservative victory in 1979. Remarks on internal difficulties in Labour party, such as with Militant. Story about JC dancing with AT at AT’s constituency dinner the night before JC resigned. Mentions supporting Denis Healey in leadership contest. Mentions shadowing on education for two years. Mentions difficult national conferences. Remarks on AT’s constituency party. Mentions losing seat in 1983. Mentions Neil Kinnock’s [NK] speech in which NK took on Militant as marker of change in the party. [51:08] Comments on Margaret Thatcher coming in as Prime Minister. Remarks on Falklands turning things around for MT. Comments on HW, JC, Michael Foot, NK, John Smith [JS], Tony Blair [TB]. Remarks on supporting TB in leadership contest. Comments on TB’s legacy. Remarks on fighting and losing Bolton East in 1983. Remarks on having one-year old son and being pregnant in 1983. Comments on coming to Westminster with a baby. Remarks on working for the Housing Corporation and doing some lecturing after losing the seat. Mentions being selected for Dewsbury. Remarks on applying for another seat in Lanarkshire. Anecdote about local activist in Dewsbury advising AT that they would never select a woman candidate. Remarks on local party organisation in Dewsbury. Comments on demographics in Dewsbury and racism in the area.
Life story interview with Baroness Taylor of Bolton (1947-), former Labour Member of Parliament.