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Dissolution of Parliament

The dissolution of Parliament took place on Thursday 30 May 2024. All business in the House of Commons and House of Lords has come to an end. There are currently no MPs and every seat in the Commons is vacant until after the general election on 4 July 2024.

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Baroness Castle of Blackburn

Barbara Castle (1910-2002) served on St Pancras Metropolitan Borough Council from 1937 until the end of the Second World War, she was elected as MP for Blackburn in July 1945 serving till 1979. During the War Castle worked at the Ministry of Food as an administrative officer and also served as an Air Raid Precautions warden.

Castle, later Baroness Castle of Blackburn, held the record for the female MP with the longest continuous service until 2007. A committed Left-wing Labour politician, Castle was a vocal advocate for a number of social causes. She held several ministerial posts including Secretary of State for Employment 1968-70 and Secretary of State for Social Services 1974-76.

Ian Walters, sculptor and lecturer, gave up teaching to devote his life to producing memorials to important left-wing figures. A deeply committed socialist, Walters thought it important that his sculptures be displayed in public spaces so people could draw inspiration from those causes.

Image: © The estate of the artist. Parliamentary Art Collection, WOA S518. Reasonable attempts have been made to contact the copyright holder of this artwork.


Baroness Castle of Blackburn


Ian Walters


Bronze bust

Catalogue number

WOA S518