I am John Denham, Director of the University of Winchester's Centre for English Identity and Politics, set up to explore the relationship between a growing sense of English identity and the development of local and national politics in England. The Centre was formally launched on 23 November 2015.
I was the Labour MP for Southampton Itchen from 1992 until standing down at the 2015 General Election. I served as a Minister in the Labour Government for 10 years. I also enjoyed the period 2003 - 2007 as Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
The Centre for English Identity and Politics has been established to explore the relationship between a growing sense of English identity and the development of local and national politics in England.Over recent decades, more and more English residents have described being ‘English’ as the main or an important part of their identity. Over the same period, many writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers have explored the idea of Englishness and interest in and the study of English history have grown. The rise in English identity is shaping and being shaped by politics. Devolution to cities and counties, procedures in the House of Commons, the English debate about the European Union, responses to Welsh and Scottish devolution, and the organisation of political parties in England are all reflecting English concerns. As yet, there is no settled English identity; it is still being shaped. The Centre for English Identity and Politics, led by former MP John Denham, is developing a cross-disciplinary programme of lectures, seminars, conferences and cultural events. These will increase our understanding of the forces driving English identity and develop ideas for how it can be inclusive and forward-looking.
Welcome to our series of seminars at the University of Winchester for 16-17 which will be focussing on the themes of 'Diversity' and 'The Governance of England'.