Dr Nigel Fletcher completed his PhD at King's on the history of the Official Opposition in the UK, and has taught on the Politics and Contemporary History MA since 2017. He took his first degree in Politics at Queen Mary, University of London, where he was awarded the Professor Lord Smith Prize for his undergraduate dissertation on the Conservative Party in Opposition. He then worked for over a decade as a political and policy adviser in the House of Commons, the London Assembly and the Conservative Research Department, where he was special adviser on education and skills. He also served many years as a Councillor in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, eventually becoming Leader of the Opposition.
The relative lack of research on political opposition prompted him to establish the Centre for Opposition Studies as an independent research organisation devoted to promoting the study of the subject. It has as its Honorary Presidents two former UK opposition leaders, Michael Howard and Neil Kinnock, and is now chaired by Baroness Royall, former Labour Leader in the House of Lords. In 2017 the Centre formed a new academic partnership with the University of Bolton, where it is now hosted. As well as public seminars and lectures, it has also run a programme of education and engagement in the Middle East with funding from the UK Foreign Office.
Dr Fletcher edited the book "How to be in Opposition" (Biteback, 2011), contributed a chapter to "Leaders of the Opposition from Churchill to Cameron" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), and his first monograph, based on his PhD thesis, is due for publication by Routledge. He contributes regularly in the media on the subjects of opposition, political history and the constitution, with appearances on the BBC, Times Radio and numerous overseas broadcasters. He also presents the “OppositionCast” podcast, produced by the Centre for Opposition Studies.
Dr Fletcher's research interests include political opposition, UK political institutions and the constitution and British political history since 1945. He also has a special interest in the modern monarchy and its place in the constitution.
Nigel is unable to take on PhD supervision at present.
- How to Be in Opposition (Biteback Publishing, 2011) (Editor)
- “William Hague, 1997-2001”, in Leaders of the Opposition from Churchill to Cameron (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
- The Earl of Derby – in The Prime Ministers, edited by Iain Dale (Hodder and Stoughton, 2020)
- (Forthcoming): Institutionalised Dissent: The Official Opposition in the UK Since 1945 (Routledge)
- Mile End Institute: "I am most deeply hurt" – article with Matthew Bailey on the discovery of a letter relating to the death of Hugh Gaitskell (February 2018)
- History & Policy: The President's Speech - article on objections in 1982 to President Reagan's address to both Houses of Parliament (February 2017)