Parliament and the political process

Loose bindings: Collective cabinet responsibility and the Heathrow decision

, 24 October 2016

The Prime Minister has told us that her government is going to be about more than just Brexit and that Britain is open for business. If so, finally deciding where to build a new airport runway after decades of prevarication should be one of the Government’s biggest moments. Instead, by suspending collective responsibility over...

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100 days of Theresa May: a break with the past – but an unclear future

, 21 October 2016

Theresa May was not anticipating moving from the Home Office to Number 10 in 2016 – and even after a leadership contest was triggered, she succeeded months earlier than expected. Since then, 16 of the 20 major departments have new secretaries of state, including three completely new departments. In this context, it is unsurprising that...

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Cabinet committees finally published, after IfG FOI

, 18 October 2016

In response to our FOI (see image), the Government today published the full list of cabinet committees and their membership. This is a welcome development. From a first glance, the make-up of the committees reflects Theresa May’s drive for No.10 to exercise greater control over government business. She chairs around half of the committees,...

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Is the Government’s refusal to publish the Brexit cabinet committee secrecy or incompetence?

, 14 October 2016

Theresa May announced in July that she would chair a new ‘cabinet committee’ to manage Brexit. Since then, we’ve heard nothing. This is unusual – cabinet committee membership is normally a fairly run-of-the-mill publication from government, with the most recent list published in April. Today, membership of the Brexit committee has finally leaked, though...

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Theresa May’s speech: big on ambition – but can she really deliver?

, 5 October 2016

Theresa May might be the head of an incumbent government, but during her conference speech she emphasised change not continuity. She repeated her determination to make the break with Europe, but said that the referendum result was not just about EU membership – it reflected a deeper sense that the country did not always...

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The Chancellor sets out his stall

, 3 October 2016

Philip Hammond today gave a conference speech you might expect from a Chancellor of the Exchequer. It dealt with fiscal sustainability, raising productivity and, of course, the economic issues involved in Brexit. The latter will undoubtedly get most of the attention – being hugely over-interpreted in line with a post-referendum tendency towards Kremlinology. But...

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Trust in government is growing – but it needs to deliver

, 19 September 2016

More people believe that politicians try to make government work well than they did in 2014. Surprisingly, given the negative views of politics and politicians generated by the EU referendum, our polling suggests that the public is more likely to think that government is focused on the right things than it was in 2014: 8%...

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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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