Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson was in York at the weekend to speak to a packed audience about his book ‘This Boy’.
The talk, held at St Peter’s School as part of the York Literature Festival, was compered by BBC Radio York DJ Elly Fiorentini.
Not an ordinary political memoir, Johnson’s book eschews the years of New Labour Government, instead focussing on his upbringing in post-War London, and the squalor in the condemned housing of now-gentrified Notting Hill.
It is also a book about the two strong women who brought him up in this tumultuous period; his mother and latterly his sister. Indeed, Johnson talked about how he saw himself as their biographer in a sense, more than his own.
After the discussion, Johnson took questions from the audience of York residents, with topics ranging from his political regrets, his time in Government, and his relationship with the unions.