Category Archives: Parliament

The House of Lords and the Article 50 Bill: Why is it a good example of the Parliament Acts and the constitutional limits of the House of Lords?

The House of Commons has primacy over the House of Lords in the UK.

In the UK the House of Commons has primacy over the House of Lords. There are a number of reasons for this, including conventions, democratic legitimacy and statute laws. The most important statutes that enforce the supremacy of the Commons are the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949. The significance of these acts was shown as the Article 50 Bill was going through Parliament in 2017. So what are the Parliament Acts and how can the Article 50 bill be used as an example of their significance?

Continue reading

What is the significance of Ten-Minute Rule Bills?

Ten Minute Rule Bills are put forward by Backbench MPs.

The legislative agenda in Parliament is dominated by the Executive. It is rare for bills put forward by backbenchers (Private Members Bills) to become Acts of Parliament. Indeed, between the 2015 General Election and September 2022 only 16% of bills passed were Private Members Bills. Of these, one of the least common passages is through the Ten-Minute Rule Bill. Of those introduced since 2010, only five have become Royal Assent and become laws (0.99%). So, what is a Ten-Minute Rule Bill and why do MPs bother with them?

Continue reading

What is the significance of the withdrawal of the whip and deselection?

Jeremy Corbyn is probably the most famous MP to have had the whip withdrawn.

It is very hard for someone to become an MP without the support of a political party. Indeed, in the 2019 General Election only one MP was elected as an independent and that was the Speaker (who by convention is not opposed by the major parties). As such, MPs are beholden on their political parties for their election and therefore the parties, and their whips, are extremely powerful. Two of the punishments available to political parties for MPs who do not ‘toe the line’ are the withdrawal of the whip and deselection. So, what are these two punishments and how often are they deployed?

Continue reading