Category Archives: Executive

Are the Government losing control of Committees?

Juliun Lewis was last week appointed as the Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Last week saw a drama play out in Parliament as Julian Lewis sensationally became Chair of the Intelligence and Security Select Committee over Government choice Chris Grayling. He subsequently had the Conservative Whip Withdrawn. These events are a useful of the changing balance of power when it comes to Select Committees in Parliament.

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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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Brexit and Collective Responsibility

A key convention in UK Politics is that of Ministerial Collective Responsibility. This convention dictates that regardless of whether Ministers agree or disagree with government policy in private, in public, they must support it. If they cannot bring themselves to do this, the convention dictates that they should resign from the government. The doctrine applies to all members of the government and has now even been codified by its inclusion in the Cabinet Manual.

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