Richard Grayson Professor of Twentieth Century History at Goldsmiths, University of London

Professor Richard Grayson is Head of History at Goldsmiths, University of London where he is also Professor of Twentieth Century History. He has been at Goldsmiths since 2004 but previously worked in politics as Director of Policy of the Liberal Democrats in 1999-2004, including being Charles Kennedy’s principal speechwriter in 1999-2001. He was the party’s parliamentary candidate for Hemel Hempstead between 2002 and 2010, gaining a gaining 4.4% increase in the vote in 2005 and a 6% increase in 2010 to move into second place. He was Vice-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Federal Policy Committee in 2008-10. Since the 2010 election he has been a critic of the coalition, arguing in a Guardian online article that ‘Liberal Democrats may soon realise that a centre-left party is being led from the centre-right.’ He also argued in a New Statesman article that the roots of the coalition can be found in an ideological shift to the centre-right by the Liberal Democrat leadership. His main academic work includes Belfast Boys: How Unionists and Nationalists Fought and Died Together in the First World War (Continuum, 2009, revised paperback 2010). He is currently working on an edited volume, With the Irish Division: The Letters of J.H.M Staniforth, 1914-18 (forthcoming, Pen and Sword, 2011) and a study of Dublin during the First World War. Prior to working on Ireland and the First World War he published books on inter-war British foreign policy and party politics, and has also published widely on contemporary public policy and politics, especially as related to British liberalism and the Liberal Democrats. Further details are at: