Category Archives: Parliament

James Callaghan and the last successful ‘Motion of No Confidence’ in a UK Government

Thatcher won the 1979 General Election following the motion of no confidence in James Callaghan’s government.

Few days in Parliament have had the drama of the 28th March 1979. On this day, the government of Labour leader James Callaghan fell after it lost a motion of no confidence in the House of Commons. Consequently, the 1979 General Election was held which ushered in 18 years of Conservative Government.

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Do Opposition Days in Parliament really matter?

The Parliamentary agenda is largely controlled by the Government.

Parliament in the UK is dominated by the Executive. A combination of the fusion of powers and the First Past The Post electoral system mean that the government is able to control the agenda. In fact, this is written into the Standing Orders of Parliament. Standing Order 14 says:

“Save as provided in this order, government business shall have precedence at every sitting”

Labour get 20 days in each parliamentary session.
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Who are the Hereditary Peers?

What is meant by the Peerage?

The peerage is the system of hereditary titles within the United Kingdom, some of which date back centuries (for example, the Earldom of Arundel was created in 1138).

The current Earl of Arundel, Henry Fitzalan-Howard, the 35th Earl of Arundel.

In medieval times the distribution of titles was an important mechanism for keeping control under the Feudal System. The monarch would grant lands and title in return for the support of the Dukes and Barons in keeping law and order across his Kingdom. In more recent times, the creation of peerages has often been as a recognition of exceptional service to the nation. For example, Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery was created Viscount Montgomery of Alamein in 1946. His son and grandson have since inherited the title.

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