TheyWorkForYou extends political archive back to 1935

Political website TheyWorkforYou.com, which provides a searchable archive of parliamentary records, has extended its coverage of Westminster back from 2001 to 1935.

This is a dream for political journalists. For example, the site now includes:

* Neville Chamberlain’s announcement of the start of the Second World War.

* Winston Churchill’s response.

* and Geoffrey Howe’s resignation statement, which fatally undermined Margaret Thatcher.

The site, which is run by MySociety, has also been redesigned – and director Tom Steinberg has requested feedback.

Steinberg told Press Gazette: “We think it’s important to have every speech of everyone who’s still sitting in the house.

“It is a rich source of facts and statistics about Britain’s past and, of course, we need the ability to find what the arguments were for and against the laws that we all have to live under.

“We’re very grateful for the House of Commons and their Millbank Systems team for investing in scanning and OCRing the texts, and then parsing them into good quality data.”

In April, a version of TheyWorkForYou.com was launched to cover the Irish Dail at KildareStreet.com.

Kildare Street is co-ordinated by John Handelaar, who reported that 9,000 people visited the site during the first month of its existence.

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