Every committee wants its say: Parliamentary scrutiny in the run up to the general election

, 3 September 2014

A relatively thin Queen’s speech last June had many speculating that a lacklustre “zombie parliament” lay in store for the 2014-2015 session. We thought it would be interesting to examine the data on select committee activity in the run up to the last general election to see whether the “zombie parliament” label is...

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Dissolving a Civil Partnership: the Home Civil Service after Independence

, 29 August 2014

At present, almost 44,000 civil servants are working in Scotland: 27,000 for UK Government departments and around 17,000 for the Scottish Government. It is not clear what will happen to these civil servants in the event of independence.

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Bringing a post – and a policy – into disrepute

, 29 August 2014

The last thing the advocates of Police and Crime Commissioners needed was the unedifying prospect of Shaun Wright grimly hanging on to his position as PCC for South Yorkshire in the wake of the Rotherham scandal, being disowned by his own party and denounced by the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister.

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Commons divisions

, 29 August 2014

The normal tranquillity of Westminster in August has been broken this year by a rumbling row over the appointment of the next Clerk of the House. The interviews for the top official in the House of Commons were completed in July. But the final stage of the process, whereby the name of the candidate...

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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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