For the past few months, what available research time I have had available has been devoted to research on the history of the 1922 Committee. (I have previously done a post about the research on Lords of the Blog.) The Committee was first formed in 1923 by a number of Conservative MPs newly elected in the general election of 1922 (hence its name) as a form of self-help group. It was later opened to all Conservative private Members and became, as it remains, a significant force in the Conservative party, in essence the voice of backbenchers.
My research builds on earlier work of mine on the 1922 and has entailed drawing on archival material (the papers of the 1922 Committee in the Bodleian Library at Oxford as well as the Thatcher papers held in Cambridge, the latter available now online) and interviewing parliamentarians, especially long-serving members who have been involved in the work of the Committee. As peers can attend meetings of the 1922, I also have the advantage of being a regular attendee.
The research is for a 20,000-word booklet to mark the 90th anniversary of the Committee. I finished and submitted it by the deadline, which was Monday, in readiness for it being published next month. It has been a labour of love – research that I have thoroughly enjoyed. My plan now is to write a book-length study to mark the Committee’s centenary in 2023.