Category Archives: Political Parties

What was Clause IV and what did New Labour do to it?

Labour Leader Jim Smith died in May 1994.

In May 1994 the leader of the Labour Party, John Smith, died suddenly. He had only been Party Leader since July 1992 and his death came as a major shock to the whole nation.

In the leadership election that followed, Tony Blair became Party Leader, with 57% of the overall vote. This was a defining moment in the history of the Labour Party. Alongside Gordon Brown (later Chancellor of the Exchequer), Peter Mandelson (later a Cabinet Member) and Alistair Campbell (later Communications Director) the ‘New Labour’ movement began to take shape. One of the major early policy decisions taken was the abolition of Clause IV. So, what was Clause IV and why did Tony Blair want to see it abolished?

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How does a Conservative Leadership Election work and what happened in 2022?

The resignation of a sitting PM means that a Conservative Leadership Election is actually choosing a new Prime Minister.

Conservative Leadership elections take place relatively regularly. However, because of Britain’s parliamentary democracy it is often the case that a Conservative Leadership election will also essentially mean an election for the position of Prime Minister. This was the case in 2016 when Theresa May succeeded David Cameron and happened again in 2022 when Boris Johnson resigned following a series of scandals. So, how does a Conservative Leadership election work and what happened in the 2022 iteration?

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What is the difference between a party and parliamentary motion of no confidence?

Boris Johnson looks likely to face a confidence vote next week.

It looks increasingly likely that Boris Johnson will face a Conservative Party confidence motion next week. One of the biggest mistakes that students make in their A-Level exams is to mistake a party confidence motion with a parliamentary motion of no confidence. They are two different things and have different potential outcomes. So what is the difference and why is it looking increasingly likely that Boris Johnson will face one?

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