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Mile End Institute

Professor Lord Hennessy


Senior Advisor to the Mile End Institute

Room Number: QMUL School of History


Peter Hennessy is Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at QMUL. Before joining QMUL, Professor Hennessy was a journalist for 20 years, including as a leader writer and Whitehall correspondent with the Times, and as lobby correspondent for the Financial Times. He wrote a regular column for the Independent and was a regular presenter of the BBC Radio 4 Analysis programme.

Professor Hennessy’s journalism was defined by a fascination with ‘the hidden wiring of the constitution, and the power of the machinery of government’ in Britain. He co-founded the Institute of Contemporary British History in 1986. From 1994 to 1997, he gave public lectures as professor of rhetoric at Gresham College, London. From 1992 to 2000, he was Professor of Contemporary History and from 2001, he has been Attlee Professor of Contemporary British history at Queen Mary University of London.

Professor Hennessy’s analysis of post-war Britain, Never Again: Britain 1945–1951, won the Duff Cooper Prize in 1992 and the NCR Book Award in 1993. His study of Britain in the 1950s and the rise of Harold Macmillan, Having It So Good: Britain in the 1950s, won the 2007 Orwell Prize for political writing. In 2010, Peter was appointed as a non-political crossbench peer, taking the title of Baron Hennessy of Nympsfield. He continues to make regular contributions to the press, radio and television.