With Humble Duty Reports


20141005 (R4)

After Labour's election victory in 1997, the MP Janet Anderson was appointed a government whip and found herself in a role unique in the British constitution. As Vice-Chamberlain of the Royal Household, Janet was charged with writing a daily message to Her Majesty the Queen on the proceedings in Parliament. Janet's messages went beyond the usual humdrum, regaling the Queen with a daily soap opera of life in the House of Commons, from the disappearing transport minister to the secret deals done with the Opposition to prevent the viewing of a critical football match being interrupted by parliamentary votes. Her accounts make vivid the characters, rivalries and absurdities of the Palace of Westminster in the first year of Tony Blair's government.

Producer: Adam Bowen.