Monthly Archives: January 2020

Who is running in the Labour Leadership Election and how will the new leader be chosen?

Background to the contest

Labour’s General Election result was worst the party had experienced since 1935. With just 202 seats, Labour lost 60 seats from the 2017 General Election. Many of these seats that the Conservatives won from Labour were in the traditional Labour heartlands.

The 2019 Election saw Labour’s ‘Red Wall’ in the North decimated by the Conservatives.
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What is the Private Members Ballot and why is it so important to backbenchers?

In the last Parliament (2017-2019) only four private bills made it through Parliament and received Royal Assent. This compares to 63 public bills, which are usually introduced by the Government.

https://politicsteaching.com/2020/01/08/what-is-meant-by-the-elective-dictatorship-and-why-does-it-exist/

The Government dominates the legislative agenda and very little time is available for backbenchers to try to pass legislation. However, hope is offered through the the Backbench Ballot which takes place each year. Backbench MPs enter a ballot (lottery) and 20 Backbench MPs win the chance to earn priceless parliamentary time for a bill o their choice. Of these 20, the first seven drawn are pretty much guaranteed time to put forward their bill on Friday Mornings, which are usually reserved for backbench business.

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What is meant by the Elective Dictatorship and why does it exist?

In 1976 Lord Hailsham coined the term ‘elective dictatorship’ to describe the extent to which the Government controls the Parliament of the day. Essentially, the term implies that in the UK political system, when elected, a government can essentially take whatever actions it wants without effective scrutiny.

Lord Hailsham held a number of senior government posts during his life.
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