An evening of history and politics with Roy Hattersley

On Thursday 4 March 2010, 250 people, many from the Cambridge region as well as University staff and students, packed into Anglia Ruskin's Mumford Theatre to listen to Roy Hattersley, the distinguished politician, journalist and broadcaster. This special occasion was chaired by Professor Mike Thorne, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin, who welcomed Roy Hattersley on his return to Anglia Ruskin after speaking at the Chelmsford campus last year during the Essex Book Festival.

Roy Hattersley argued eloquently for a return to 'ideological politics' in Britain and the recreation of the 'progressive alliance' of radicals in the Labour and Liberal parties. He has become a recent convert to proportional representation and the benefit of coalition government. In answers to questions, he opposed fines on universities and revealed he had wanted a graduate tax rather than student loans.

As a life-long Labour supporter, Roy Hattersley had never considered switching to the SDP in 1981 but, nonetheless, found it preposterous to be campaigning on different platforms to former Cabinet colleague Shirley Williams, (Liberal Democrats), with whom he shared common ground.

Professor John Shepherd said:
"Whatever one's politics, this was a most memorable and highly engaging talk by Roy Hattersley. he is one of Britain's most experienced politicians, having served in Harold Wilson's governments, Jim Callaghan's Cabinet and as Deputy leader of the Labour Party. Many have commented how much they enjoyed the occasion. It was certainly one of the best events I have organised for the Labour History Research Unit."

Below you will find videos of Roy Hattersley's talk and Q&A session, along with a selection of photographs from the event. We apologise for the brief loss of sound five minutes into the first video - unfortunately this was owing to technical difficulties on the night.