We encourage our staff and students to be enterprising in all they do and we maintain close ties with regional employers

View content


I am Professor of English Identity and Politics and Convenor of the University's Centre for English Identity and Politics, set up to explore the relationship between a growing sense of English identity and the development of local and national politics in England. The Centre is formally launched on 23 November 2015.

I was the Labour MP for Southampton Itchen from 1992 until standing down at the 2015 General Election. I served as a Minister in the Labour Government for 10 years, including periods as a junior minister and Minister of State at the Social Security (pensions), Health and Home Office before resigning over the Iraq War. I returned to government, as Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and then Communities and Local Government. I also enjoyed the period 2003 - 2007 as Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Before entering Parliament I worked for a variety of voluntary sector advocacy groups including Friends of the Earth, the British Youth Council and War on Want. I took a leading role in establishing both the UK and European campaigns for Third World debt relief. I was also a Hampshire County and Southampton City Councillor.

In addition to my Winchester role I am currently a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, attached to their Institute of Public Affairs. I chair Culture Southampton and the Southern Policy Centre, a new think tank/policy forum for central southern England which was launched at Winchester University in 2014.

Areas of expertise

  • National identities
  • Community cohesion and related issues
  • Constitutional reform
  • Innovative forms of public participation
  • Local and regional government
  • The politics of southern England


My writing has mainly been restricted to articles and blogs, some of which, relevant to my work at the University of Winchester, can be found on my blog www.theoptimisticpatriot.co.uk. On this blog you will find the transcript of Prof. Denham's Enterprise Lecture at the University in Oct 2014 titled Re-imagining England. This forms a logical introduction to the work of CEIP. Read the transcript.

Recent publications

Online publications

'Finding a role' (Demos Quarterly, 20 June 2017)

'England: a crisis' (Fabian Society review article, 28 July 2016)

'The Anglicisation of English politics' (Demos Quarterly, 31 July 2015)

'The Labour Party must embrace England or be doomed to failure' (The Telegraph 15 June 2015)

Edited volumes

Editor, The Shape of Things To Come (Fabian Society 2013).

Staff Directory