Author Archives: politicsteaching

About politicsteaching

A Politics Teacher based in Surrey.

Urgent Questions – What are they and how important are they as a mechanism of parliamentary scrutiny?

John Bercow is a major reason for the growth of Urgent Questions.

Until relatively recently Urgent Questions were a rarely used parliamentary device. However, in recent years, their use has grown dramatically, largely as the Speaker John Bercow was keen to consider ways in which, he could “champion the rights of backbenchers”. This article seeks to explain what Urgent Questions are, when they are granted and how big an impact they have on the ability of parliament to scrutinise the executive.

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‘Bigotgate’: Campaigning and 24/7 News Media

Gordon Brown spent 10 years as Chancellor of the Exchequer before becoming Prime Minister.

Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in June 2007. He did not face a leadership contested from within the Labour Party (his only potential opponent, John McDonnell, only received 8.2% of nominations) and Brown was always seen as Tony Blair’s designated successor.

Gordon Brown was an unlucky Prime Minister. He was unlucky in two senses:

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Why won’t electronic voting return to Parliament?

This week the Hybrid Parliament that has been in operation since 22nd April ended. The Hybrid Parliament saw large screens set up in the House of Commons chamber to allow members to participate in debates via Zoom. In addition, MPs voted electronically meaning that everyone could participate.

MPs remotely attend the House of Commons in a 'virtual parliament'
The Hybrid Parliament saw screens erected in the chamber to allow MPs to participate remotely.
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