No longer just big party dominance

, 28 August 2014

Douglas Carswell’s defection to UKIP and his decision to fight a by-election is a reminder that the UK now has a multi-party system – even though Westminster and Whitehall have only partially conceded the shift. We still largely live in the mindset in English national politics – even if not in European and mayoral...

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Guest blog: A new Magna Carta?

, 28 August 2014

2015 will see the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta—one of the most important constitutional documents in history. The Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee, which I chair, has been looking forwards, rather than back, by working on a major project with King’s College London to ask whether the UK needs a codified constitution and...

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Family friendly government?

, 18 August 2014

The middle of August may not sound like the best time to announce a new policy initiative – to subject all government policy to a family impact test. But that is what David Cameron has just done. In a speech to the Royal College of General Practitioners he said: “I want every government department...

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Then and now – learning lessons for the new fuel poverty strategy

, 1 August 2014

No-one can accuse the current government of rushing into publishing a new strategy on fuel poverty. There has been an extensive review of the issue by Professor Sir John Hills published in March 2012, followed more than a year later by DECC’s new ‘framework for future action’ redefining the problem, and then earlier this...

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Guest blog: Bernard Jenkin MP on permanent secretary objectives and role of Civil Service CEO

, 31 July 2014

The Civil Service is one of the great institutions of state. Under our constitution, the executive exercises the Royal Prerogative and enjoys substantial de facto control over the legislature and appointments to the judiciary. Governments come and go, and having no codified constitution, or formal separation of powers, Parliament depends upon this body of...

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Challenges facing the new Civil Service chief executive

, 29 July 2014

The new CEO will have important roles, but more modest and limited than those of a chief executive as normally understood. He or she will not run the Civil Service or line manage Permanent Secretaries, as a CEO elsewhere would. So what does the job involve? And will it help fix any of the...

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