Parliament and the political process

Reflections on the IfG work experience programme

, 25 August 2016

From left to right: Nazmin Hussain, Chloe Hook, Sophie Winter, Beverley Agyekum. Beverley Agyekum My week at the Institute for Government was extremely enlightening. I learned so much about the different parts of the organisation and how they work together as a whole to complete their main function, which is to focus on the...

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The role of public inquiries

, 26 July 2016

Public inquiries rarely satisfy everyone. This is less because of the length of inquiries or their cost. Rather, it is about differences of expectation about what they are intended to do. That was one of the main conclusions of a recent seminar held at the Institute for Government in the aftermath of the Chilcot...

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The UK in Iraq: a case study in policy failure?

, 13 July 2016

While much of the IfG’s research on policy implementation and policy challenges relates to domestic policy, many of the same issues arise in foreign policy, and four lessons can be drawn from Chilcot. Given the scale of the Chilcot report, and the fact that its conclusions are spread through the 2.6m word document rather than...

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So you’re the new Prime Minister – what next?

, 12 July 2016

There are a few traditions in UK changes of prime minister. On Wednesday, after she returns from her meeting with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, Theresa May will head straight into Number 10 to make a speech in front of that famous front door. Then, having clapped David Cameron out the door, officials will...

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The Chilcot report: a system under strain

, 6 July 2016

In addition to criticising several decisions by the Prime Minister, the report makes systematic criticism of the processes of government. For example: The Joint Intelligence Committee should have made clear to the Prime Minister that “the assessed intelligence had not established beyond doubt either that Saddam Hussein had continued to produce chemical and biological...

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Chilcot: what should we expect?

, 4 July 2016

Intelligence The intelligence failures that supported the decision to invade Iraq have been well explored, including by the Butler Review, which Sir John Chilcot participated in. Iraq was a fabricator’s paradise: there was a high demand for intelligence, but a short supply. Although the intelligence failures were shared with the UK’s main allies, it...

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Conservative leadership contests: past and present

, 3 July 2016

Conservative leadership contests have proved to be notoriously tricky to predict. However, a look back at the history does provide a few lessons to ponder: Being favourite is no guarantee of success Boris Johnson’s last minute decision not to run may provide him with a place in the history books alongside the likes of...

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Big questions after Brexit

, 24 June 2016

The Prime Minister has triggered a Conservative Party leadership process, to establish who will lead the UK government through the challenges ahead. In the short term, this means we effectively have a caretaker government. The PM will remain in place and for uncontroversial issues, the cabinet nature of our government will come to the...

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The history of changes of Prime Minister

, 21 June 2016

It is far from unusual for us to have a change of Prime Minister without a general election. Since the Second World War there have been almost as many changes of PM from within the same party as there have as a result of a general election (six during a parliament, seven as a...

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The referendum and the British constitution: strange bedfellows?

, 20 June 2016

The EU referendum campaign has not been the finest advertisement for evidence-based, deliberative decision-making, but the genie of direct democracy is hard to put back in its bottle. Referendums seem here to stay, at least for the biggest constitutional questions, and quite possibly on an expanding range of issues. And at some point the...

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