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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Book Review – No.10: The Geography of Power at Downing Street

Reading this book, as a Politics teacher, was either informative or interesting throughout, it never failed to deliver on one of these criteria. It was a thoroughly enjoyable book to read.

Plenty of films and TV Series delve into the geography of the West Wing of the White House. Of course, The West Wing, is the most prominent of these. Few do the same in the UK. Even Yes Prime Minister is largely based from the Cabinet Room and the the office of the Cabinet Secretary. This book attempts to explain how Downing Street works, how it has evolved and why this is important.

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