Gill Bennett

Formerly Chief Historian of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Senior Editor of the FCO’s official history of postwar foreign policy, Documents on British Policy Overseas, 1995-2005. She was a Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 2002-03 and formerly Assistant Editor of Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919-1939.

What’s the Context? 26 July 1956: Nasser announces the nationalisation of the Suez Canal

Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser returns to cheering crowds in Cairo after announcing the nationalization of the Suez Canal Company, August 1956 (Public Domain)

The UK and the US shared common strategic interests in the region, but their analyses and policies were not identical and there were important differences in their tactical and diplomatic approaches’. (Chilcot Report on the Iraq enquiry, vol. I, p. …

What’s the Context? 4 April 1949: the signature of the North Atlantic Treaty

The signing of the North Atlantic Treaty

How the West was won 65 years ago today the North Atlantic Treaty was signed in the State Department auditorium in Washington. An organisation was born—NATO—that remains a cornerstone of Western defence up to the present day. In 1949 there …

What’s the context? 22 January 1924: Britain’s first Labour government takes office

Ramsay MacDonald

Ninety years ago today, the British political mould was shattered by the election of the first Labour government. After an inconclusive election on 6 December 1923 that the ruling Conservatives lost but nobody won, Ramsay MacDonald took office as both …