Parliament and the political process

The ever-expanding House of Lords

, 27 August 2015

Appointments to the unelected second chamber are one of a Prime Minister’s most significant powers of patronage. The list of new peers includes 26 Conservatives, 11 Liberal Democrats and 8 Labour members. Since 2010, 50% of party peers appointed by Cameron have been members of the Conservative party. Handing out peerages has enabled Cameron...

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Government defeats in the Lords: the new parliamentary reality?

, 6 August 2015

In the aftermath of the general election, questions were raised about how the composition of the House of Lords would affect the ability of the new Conservative Government to get its business through Parliament. Even though no contentious legislation has yet reached the final crunch point of legislative ping-pong between the two Houses, the...

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Writing wrongs? Ministerial correspondence under the Coalition

, 4 August 2015

Joe Randall looks at the latest data on ministerial correspondence and assesses how government departments and their arm's-length bodies are doing.

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Members’ exits – and entrances: select committee membership, 2010-15

, 15 July 2015

In this blog we look at the 20 select committees whose job is to scrutinise specific government departments. We have excluded ‘cross-cutting’ and internal committees committees from our analysis because many of these – including the Environmental Audit Committee and all those with non-elected chairs and members – have yet to be established. Over...

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Being an effective select committee member

, 9 July 2015

Based on the interviews and workshops conducted as part of its recently published research on the impact of select committees on government, the Institute for Government has published a short pamphlet which aims to do just that. The pamphlet draws together the views and ideas of people with experience of interacting with committees –...

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Where does EVEL lead?

, 3 July 2015

The proposed system will see the Speaker certifying bills or parts of bills that “relate exclusively” to England (or England and Wales) and where the equivalent legislative competence has been devolved to Edinburgh and Belfast. These bills, clauses or schedules will then have to receive the explicit consent of English (or English and Welsh)...

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Meet the new select committee chairs

, 18 June 2015

The results of the elections for Select Committee chairs in the 2015-2020 Parliament have just been announced. Gavin Freeguard and Hannah White report

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Continuity of ministers in the new government: staying (in) power?

, 16 June 2015

In addition to No 10, 12 out of 19 departments are headed by the same minister. Despite the loss of Liberal Democrat ministers, around two-thirds of secretaries of state have retained their pre-election role, with 12 out of 19 Whitehall departments still being run by the same secretary of state as before the election....

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Purdah and the role of the Civil Service in an EU referendum

, 16 June 2015

The government proposal not to apply restrictions on government activity in the campaign period before the EU referendum has been met with vociferous complaints. One side argues that no purdah restrictions would allow the use of government resources and public money in a way that would unfairly benefit the side which the Government sought...

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Select committees under scrutiny

, 9 June 2015

Boosted by the introduction of elections for committee chairs, committees have been experimenting with new ways of conducting inquiries. But too frequently committees focus on completing tasks and delivering outputs – like reports – rather than on making an impact and delivering the outcomes they would like to see – like more effective government...

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