Rachel Reeves MP inks women of Westminster book deal

Rachel Reeves MP inks women of Westminster book deal

I B Tauris has inked a second book deal from Labour MP Rachel Reeves, about the 100-year history of female MPs, to be published on International Women’s Day.

The indie publisher has revealed that The Women of Westminster: MPs who Changed Politics will explore the “many ways women from all political parties have shaped policy in both government and opposition as well as the ways in which conditions and attitudes towards women in parliament have changed since 1919”. It will start with Nancy Astor (the first female MP to take her seat) and continue until 2017’s intake.

The Women of Westminster will be published in hardback on 8th March 2019, which also marks International Women's Day.

In 2016 the London-based publisher acquired Reeves’ first book, about a political biography of Alice Bacon, the first woman to represent Leeds in the House of Commons, which was published in December.

Joanna Godfrey, senior editor at I B Tauris, revealed the team was “thrilled” to be working with the Leeds West MP “following the success of Alice in Westminster”.

She said: “Her new book will restore to prominence the many path-breaking political women whose contributions to the UK’s history have been overlooked, as well as adding new perspectives on well-known figures such as Barbara Castle, Margaret Thatcher and Harriet Harman.”

Godfrey said that the former shadow cabinet member will “draw on first-hand interviews as well as her own experiences as a serving MP since 2010 to reveal new aspects of the challenges faced by women in parliament throughout history”.

Reeves said: “From Nancy Astor to Ellen Wilkinson, Barbara Castle to Margaret Thatcher and from Harriet Harman to Theresa May - the women who entered parliament since 1919 have changed politics and our country. From how they collaborated to bring in family allowances, equal pay and free childcare, to how they were praised and damned by the press; and how individually and collectively they've changed our perceptions of politics and power this book is a chronicle, a celebration and an analysis of the women in the House of the Commons - the first 100 years."

She described the title as "a pleasure to research - uncovering the stories, the highs and the lows, of the women who battled to get in to Parliament and who now occupy a third of the seats in it".

Reeves is also an economist and has served Leeds West since 2010. She was made shadow secretary of state for work and pensions in 2013 but after Jeremy Corbyn's election as leader in 2015, she did not return to the role following her maternity leave.