With the announcement of Sir Gus O’Donnell’s resignation as Cabinet Secretary, the role is now to be split from that of Head of the Civil Service for the first time in nearly 30 years. Dr Catherine Haddon examines the issues such a change might raise.
There are so many fringe events at party conferences, they can struggle to attract audiences. Not so the Institute's event on candidate selection in association with Policy Exchange at the Conservative conference, which was packed to the rafters and included in the audience Sir George Young, Leader of the House. It suggests we might have struck a chord in bringing this issue to the conference.
The decline in membership of political parties is one of the main challenges facing representative democracy not only in Britain but throughout the western world, further isolating politicians from the public and undermining the effectiveness of government. If the base of parties is so small (currently less than 1.5 per cent of the electorate), how can they speak on our behalf?
Another week, another example of a big government project failing at scale. This week, the NHS National Programme for IT is back in the news, but there’s also a blazing row over who’s to blame for the failure of the fire service programme, which reportedly cost taxpayers almost £500m.
Nick Clegg this week launched a new strategy to improve the diversity of Liberal Democrat MPs. But the high costs of standing for election, and the small number of winnable seats available, mean that progress will be slow.