When I was stretchered out of the House of Commons in an ambulance, after collapsing on the floor after six hours of earth-shattering pain, one of the attendants whispered, “MPs aren’t allowed to die in the palace.” I remember thinking, although I was a supposedly healthy 32-year-old, “maybe I am actually dying”.

This is what others find hard to understand about endometriosis – it’s not just a “bad period”, it is agonising pain beyond belief. A gynaecologist examining me in A&E said: “I’m not surprised you’re crying, these cramps are the same as the second stage of labour.” It’s hard to feel like you’re in labour each month, yet infertility means you will never give birth.

Written by Roz Lewis, published in The Guardian 

Oona talks about her parents, growing up as the only mixed-race child in her class, and being an adoptive parent

I was born in Sheffield. My father, Preston King, is African American; my mother, Hazel, is a Jewish Geordie. I have a brother, Slater, who is two years younger than me. Slater and I hated each other and we fought like cats and dogs when we were smaller. Now I love him to bits.

Oona King, Tessa Jowell, Angela Eagle and others on sexism in Westminster Guardian 2.3.1913

The Rennard allegations have put Westminster's sexual politics in the spotlight. So how bad is it? Women who know tell of boozy conferences, wandering hands and the obstacles to complaining Full article here


When we arrived in 1997, it was institutionally sexist. When women would stand up in the chamber, men on the other side would be shouting "Melons! Melons!" while making hand gestures – that's how juvenile it was. There was an extraordinary level of sexism in terms of power, which hasn't changed that much. It wasn't just from politicians – when the media contacted you, they were as likely to ask about your lipstick as your policies. 

An eclectic group of guests turned out to celebrate the launch of House Music, the Oona King Diaries, which was launched in Parliament as an ebook by Bloomsbury. The publishing party included a performance of parts of the diary, dramatised by award-winning playwright Tanika Gupta, and starring comedian Dave Schneider, newcomer Shelley Williams, and actor – and Oona’s cousin – Ed Stoppard who stars in Upstairs Downstairs.

Tonight in parliament we're launching the ebook version of my diaries, House Music.

The award-winning playwright Tanika Guptaand is directing a dramatisation of some parts of my diary, starring comedian Dave Schneider, newcomer Shelley Williams, and the actor – and my cousin – Ed Stoppard (who stars in Upstairs Downstairs).

I was lucky enough to be a judge  for the Women's Hour Power List and spoke to the BBC about the judging process and how we decided on our top 20. Click Read more to see the clip, and click here to take a look at the full list of 100 amazing women.