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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr. Christopher Massey has longstanding links to Teesside University. He graduated from the University in 2007 with first-class BA degree in history, and completed an MA the following year, graduating with distinction. In 2012, Christopher submitted his PhD thesis, ‘Public Ownership and the Labour Governments of 1945-51: The Case of Steel Nationalisation’ and graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy.

Christopher has always been fascinated by British labour and trade union history. His doctoral work explored the 1945-51 Labour Governments’ attitude to steel nationalisation by assessing, for the first time, this controversial policy through five key case studies of: the Labour Party, the Conservative Party, the British Iron and Steel Federation, the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation and the campaigns of Alfred Edwards (MP for Middlesbrough East 1935-50).

In 2015, Christopher returned to the University to take up the position of post-doctoral researcher in history. His new research project concentrates on the life and career of Lord Tom Sawyer, Teesside University’s former Chancellor and a key figure in the Labour Party and trade union movement. Lord Sawyer played a crucial, but often unseen and uncredited role in Labour's modernisation in the 1979-97 period. As a prominent NEC member (1983-97), the Chair of Labour's Policy Review (1987-92), and the Party's General Secretary (1994-98), Sawyer played the greatest individual part in the birth of New Labour outside of Kinnock, Blair and Brown.

Dr. Massey published the official biography of Lord Sawyer, The Man at the Back: The Life and Journals of Lord Tom Sawyer in 2017 and is a custodian of Lord Sawyer's personal archive, held at the University. Christopher is currently working on an academic monograph on Labour's modernisation in the period between 1979 and 1997.

Christopher is the Module Leader for the Level 5 BA History Module entitled Labour Pains: The Rise (and Fall?) of the Labour Party and supervises dissertation projects on modern British politics, and also on the history of Middlesbrough, at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Outside of academia Christopher has extensive experience in local government and is the current Deputy Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. Christopher was first elected as a Councillor in 2011, has served on the Authority's Cabinet since 2012 and has been Deputy Leader since 2017. In addition, Dr. Massey also sits on the North York Moors National Park Authority and has worked for the Local Government Association at a national level. He also retains an interest in education as a recent PGCLTHE graduate, former secondary school teacher and school governor.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Christopher Massey is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Labour Party Arts & Humanities
Labor Arts & Humanities
Militants Arts & Humanities
History Arts & Humanities
Modernization Arts & Humanities
General Secretary Arts & Humanities
British Labour Party Arts & Humanities
Chancellor Arts & Humanities

Research Output 2016 2017

The Man at the Back: The Archive of Lord Tom Sawyer

Massey, C., 2 Jun 2017

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

Labour Party
General Secretary

The Man at the Back: The Life and Journals of Lord Tom Sawyer

Massey, C., 2 Jun 2017

Research output: Book/ReportBook

The Militant Tendency and entrism in the Labour Party:

Massey, C., 2017, Waiting for the Revolution: The British Far Left from 1956. p. -

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Labour Party

Dancing with Gilded Egos: The Life and Journals of Lord Tom Sawyer

Massey, C., Hall, M. & Sill, K., 2016

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Review of A History of the Labour Party (review no. 1895)

Massey, C., Feb 2016, In : Reviews in History. p. -

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Open Access
Labour Party
British Labour Party
Labor History


Public Ownership and the Labour Governments of 1945-1951: The Case of Steel Nationalisation

Author: Massey, C., 2012

Supervisor: Copsey, N. (Supervisor) & Howell, D. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis