Jo Richardson Papers

Scope and Content

The papers comprise minutes, agendas, correspondence, conference resolutions, policy and group papers, financial records, draft papers and press cuttings. They are divided into four sections: Ian Mikardo materials assembled in preparation for his autobiography Backbencher ; the Keep Left Group; the Tribune Group and the Victory for Socialism Campaign. The papers end in the late 1970s, and unfortunately later material on Richardson's involvement with issues concerning women's rights do not appear to have survived.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jo Richardson (1923-1994) was Labour MP for Barking from 1974 until her death in 1994. She joined the Labour Party in 1945 and from then on campaigned tirelessly for peace and nuclear disarmament, for women's rights, and against poverty and injustice.

Jo Richardson began her political career as Ian Mikardo's secretary. She co-ordinated the 'Keep Left Group' and went on to become the secretary of the 'Tribune Group' before co-ordinating the 'Victory for Socialism Campaign'.

In her later career she was best known for her involvement in women's issues. She campaigned for women's rights, abortion, equal pay and protection from domestic violence. As a member of the Labour's Shadow Cabinet she worked hard to establish a Ministry for Women.


The files are arranged into four sections: Ian Mikardo; Keep Left; Tribune Group and Victory for Socialism. Within these sections files are arranged into minutes, correspondence, group papers and statements, memberships and financial records.

Access Information

Access by appointment

Acquisition Information

The Jo Richardson's papers were deposited at the People's History Museum (formerly National Museum of Labour History) in 1994. They are now housed in the Labour History Archive and Study Centre inside the People's History Museum.


Collection level description created for the Archives Hub by Janette Martin

Other Finding Aids

A detailed handlist is currently being compiled.

Conditions Governing Use

Standard reprography conditions apply and are available on request from the archive.

Appraisal Information

No appraisal, scheduling or destruction has taken place.

Custodial History

As Jo Richardson began her political career in Ian Mikardo's office, many of these papers have shared provenance. For example, Mikardo's correspondence is found in the papers of the Keep Left Group and the Tribune Group.


Accruals are not expected.

Related Material

The Archive also has files on Jo Richardson in the press cuttings collection. Occasional references to Jo Richardson may be found elsewhere in the Labour Party Archive.


Part of this collection was used by Ian Mikardo in his autobiography, Ian Mikardo, Backbencher , (London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988).