Three former health secretaries offer their diagnosis on how to be an effective minister

, 6 July 2015

The book contains insights from ten former health secretaries. Three of these – Stephen Dorrell (1995-97), Alan Milburn (1999-03), and Patricia Hewitt (2005-07) – joined Hunt to discuss how to be effective in the job. The panel emphasised the unique qualities of the health portfolio, but also highlighted the common challenges faced in any ministerial brief....

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A sense of direction: when permanent secretaries object to ministerial decisions

, 6 July 2015

What happens when a Permanent Secretary objects to a ministerial decision? Gavin Freeguard gives a quick update on ‘ministerial directions’.

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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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Supporting politicians to lead in government

, 2 July 2015

Being a politician is hard work, but becoming a minister and getting to grips with Whitehall is a whole other challenge. Yet there is remarkably little support and advice in place to help them manage this transition. Nehal Davison shares some insights from a new Institute for Government report that outlines what works when it...

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A bumpy road ahead for fracking – infrastructure policy will struggle without the right institutions to support it

, 1 July 2015

A flagship policy of this government is the promotion of fracking – exploiting shale oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing. In 2014, David Cameron said that the Government was going ‘all out for shale’ as he announced tax incentives for councils that approved fracking in their area.

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The Government should give a realistic commitment to Agile

, 30 June 2015

The new Minister for the Civil Service, Matt Hancock, has said that the civil service should become more “agile”. He’s right, says Daniel Thornton – but it’s not quite that easy

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