Parliament and the political process

One direction: first accounting officer ministerial direction published since 2010

, 27 February 2015

The Secretary of State for Transport has formally instructed his Permanent Secretary to act in a way that, under Treasury rules, offers poor value for money. Is it a crisis of civil service confidence in ministers? Or is it evidence of fractious relations at the top of Whitehall? The answer to both questions is...

Posted in Parliament and the political process | No Comments »

Governing in an ever-looser union

, 23 February 2015

Governing is increasingly difficult in our ever-looser union. But there are ways to make it easier.

Posted in Parliament and the political process | No Comments »

A harder bargain: Nick Harvey MP urges his Lib Dem colleagues to play hardball in any future coalition talks

, 6 February 2015

Being a Liberal Democrat minister in a Conservative-led department was like being ‘parachuted in behind enemy lines, with no line of communication open to base camp,’ Nick Harvey MP told an audience at the Institute for Government this week. In the event of another hung parliament, he argued, his party should demand greater influence...

Posted in Parliament and the political process | No Comments »

Public trust in public servants – in six graphs

, 5 February 2015

Some recent surveys have revisited public trust in government. Edelman’s trust barometer, for example, shows trust in government has increased since the financial crisis, and is higher than the media and lower than in business and NGOs. But what about trust in the Civil Service? Gavin Freeguard investigates.

Posted in Parliament and the political process | No Comments »

Clarify election guidelines before May 2015

, 4 February 2015

With uncertainty about the outcome of the general election, IfG Director Peter Riddell backs the call from the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee to “clarify the rules of the game” before May 2015.

Posted in Parliament and the political process | No Comments »

What does good scrutiny look like?

, 22 January 2015

Today's debate on the report of the House of Commons Governance Committee – which has considered how the House should be run in the wake of the controversy over the appointment of the next Clerk of the House – offers a brief and welcome respite from the early skirmishes in the election campaign.

Posted in Parliament and the political process | No Comments »

The delay with the Chilcot report is misunderstood

, 21 January 2015

Much of the political and media outrage over the further delay in publication of the Chilcot report into the Iraq war is exaggerated and misunderstands what such an inquiry involves. Of course, it would have been much better if the report had been published earlier, and the delay has damaged public confidence. But there...

Posted in Parliament and the political process | 1 Comment »

Keep calm and clarify

, 20 January 2015

The prospect of another hung parliament after the May 7 elections is being treated with a mixture of alarm and excitement by the business, political and media worlds. There are certainly risks in an inconclusive result, but the British political system is remarkably resilient. Government will carry on: services will be provided and...

Posted in Parliament and the political process | No Comments »

The laws of effective coalitions

, 20 January 2015

As an instrumental figure in the 2010 Lib Dem/Tory negotiations, it is hard to find someone better placed to give advice on effective coalition formation than David Laws. Now that we face the very real prospect of a hung parliament, this advice may be needed more than ever. As part of the Institute’s series...

Posted in Parliament and the political process | No Comments »

Going full Circle: Hinchingbooke collapse raises outsourcing questions

, 9 January 2015

This morning, it was announced that Circle is withdrawing from the contract under which it manages Hinchingbrooke, the UK’s first privately run NHS hospital. Announcing the withdrawal, which is permitted by the terms of its contract, Circle said: “There have been significant changes in the operational landscape for NHS hospitals since the contract was...

Posted in New models of governance and public services, Parliament and the political process | 1 Comment »