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Britain abandons foreign policy. And abandons debates about foreign policy too.

19 August 2014 16:10
IRAQ-UNREST

Cynics have long suspected that Britain’s foreign policy is as independent as its nuclear deterrent. Cynics have a point. Perhaps, as some suggest, it’s time to concede the game’s a… Continue reading

64 Comments

Forget warnings and labels. Make problem drinkers pay for their excess

11 August 2014 13:26
Pubs And Clubs in England and Wales Prepare For New Licensing Laws

It was news to me that there exists an All Party Commons Committee on Alcohol Misuse, but when you think about it, the notion makes complete sense; for evidence, all… Continue reading

48 Comments

The three parent technique is genetic modification. Will parliament confront this?

29 July 2014 16:19
DNA Testing

If I were choosing a third parent for a baby, you know, I’d be inclined to choose one of the Williams sisters — the top-notch tennis players. If you want… Continue reading

22 Comments

A full separation of powers could reinvigorate parliament

26 July 2014 13:22
Big Ben and the The Houses of Parliament

Last summer, parliament was recalled after President Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in Syria. David Cameron wanted the Commons to support air strikes against the Syrian regime in response. But… Continue reading

121 Comments

Boulton and Co

26 June 2014 15:45
Adam Boulton is not retiring. (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

Journalists do, occasionally, say something nice about politicians. It does not happen very often; but, when it does, it’s usually heartfelt. Adam Boulton hosted a party at the Savoy last… Continue reading

4 Comments

We get few answers from the Work and Pensions grudge match

23 June 2014 17:41
Image: Getty

Departmental questions have, by this stage of the parliament, all developed their own characters. There is the colourful combat of Treasury questions, often involving one Tory minister deploying a lengthy… Continue reading

23 Comments

MP recall is a populist gesture that cheapens our democracy

5 June 2014 10:58
Image: Getty

Anger is a bad counsellor. A lot of voters are angry with MPs and want to punish them. They believe that during the recent economic crisis, many MPs had only… Continue reading

85 Comments

Rory Stewart elected Chairman of the Defence Select Committee

14 May 2014 15:53
Rory Stewart, the new Commons Defence Select Committee chairman. Image: Getty

Rory Stewart, the colourful and interesting Tory MP, has been elected as chairman of the Defence Select Committee. Stewart is a formidable appointment. He is knowledgeable on defence and foreign… Continue reading

37 Comments

When is a party not a celebration?

15 April 2014 12:12
Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 16.26.14

Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans stood on the steps of Preston Crown Court last week and said: ‘This isn’t a time for celebration or euphoria. Bill Roache just a few… Continue reading

25 Comments

Keith Vaz on the smarm offensive

14 April 2014 15:52
Keith Vaz is all things to all men. (ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

Keith Vaz was in full oil slick mode on Friday night when he found himself as the only Labour MP at the Asian Business Awards in Waterloo. Surrounded by dozens… Continue reading

39 Comments

Why Maria Miller should not have resigned

10 April 2014 12:39
20140406-151756.jpg

Maria Miller’s forced resignation is a disgrace. No iniquity was proved against her. Over her expenses, I suspect her motive was innocent: she was trying to work out childcare with… Continue reading

70 Comments

PMQs needs reforming but it shouldn’t be toned down

11 February 2014 21:57
Angry shouty politicians — the hallmarks of Prime Minister's Questions.

To anyone in Westminster, Prime Minister’s Questions is terrific fun and a good measurement of how the leaders are doing every week. But what does the rest of the country… Continue reading

12 Comments

Parliament itself shouldn’t drag MPs down

24 January 2014 14:56
London Landmarks At Night

The conventional image of Parliament is of a grand, imposing building packed with ancient traditions. The reality for those who work in it isn’t quite so glamorous: mouse-infested offices, administrative… Continue reading

17 Comments

John Bercow is his own worst enemy

14 November 2013 18:20
Photo: Getty Images.

John Bercow has done many good things as Speaker. But he’s in danger of being the second Speaker in a row to be turfed out. Why? Because he can’t let… Continue reading

29 Comments

Are Parliament’s select committees working? – I say no

5 November 2013 18:57
Members Of The New Coalition Cabinet Arrive For Their First Cabinet Meeting

Our parliamentary select committees need to be taken seriously. Yet, for them to be so, we need to clarify their legal powers, use wider expertise and practice what we preach.… Continue reading

51 Comments

William Hague tells the 1922 that ‘lessons will be learned’ from Syria vote

4 September 2013 18:28
National Security Council Meet To Discuss The Response To Chemical Weapons Use In Syria

William Hague’s appearance at the 1922 Committee has underlined the fact that the Tory party is now split on foreign policy. I’m told that the questions that the Foreign Secretary… Continue reading

88 Comments

George Osborne: There’ll be no second Commons vote on Syria

1 September 2013 10:39
UN inspectors inspect corpses in a hospital outside Damscus. Photo: YouTube/AFP/Getty Images

There’ll be no second parliamentary vote on Syria, George Osborne stressed this morning. There had been speculation that following President Obama’s decision to go to Congress before using military force,… Continue reading

294 Comments

John Bercow reinvents being Speaker of the House of Commons

9 August 2013 16:39
John Bercow has been laying out his ideas for parliamentary reform. (VESA MOILANEN/AFP/GettyImages)

If only he’d read the job description a little bit more closely, we might have avoided all these rows. Unfortunately for John Bercow, the man who loves the sound of… Continue reading

32 Comments

Sarah Wollaston: Tories are ‘pandering to election strategists’ on plain packaging

12 July 2013 15:10
Sarah Wollaston

Sarah Wollaston is angry. Again. This time it’s about plain packaging on cigarettes. She told the World at One that the decision to stall introducing plain packaging was ‘pandering to… Continue reading

60 Comments

IPSA brings MPs into disrepute once again, without saving a penny or solving the problem

2 July 2013 12:03
IPSA wants to raise the salaries of MPs, but is it the right thing to do? Photo: Getty Images.

IPSA’s proposed increase in MPs’ salary is another example of how it continues to undermine the standing of parliament whilst haemorrhaging taxpayers’ money on unnecessary backroom bureaucracy. The weekend newspapers… Continue reading

16 Comments

Yeo steps aside: how Parliament could improve its reputation with a simple rule change

10 June 2013 22:44
The Houses Of Parliament General Views

As Fraser reported earlier, Tim Yeo has stepped aside from the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee chairmanship following the Sunday Times’ sting this weekend. What’s astonishing is not his… Continue reading

28 Comments

Reform human rights to save human rights

3 April 2013 17:31
General View Of The Old Bailey

The European Convention of Human Rights is developed and interpreted as times change; but is there a democratic imbalance when only lawyers and judges can do this? Particularly where the… Continue reading

15 Comments

Allegations of cunning play over final passage of Justice and Security bill

27 March 2013 18:05
London 2012 - Famous Landmarks Of Iconic London

There have been angry mutterings from the backbenches today about the passage of the Justice and Security Bill last night, with allegations of cunning play by the whips. It appears… Continue reading

1 Comment

Tory loyalists strike back

12 March 2013 20:10
Sarah Wollaston

Lynton Crosby spoke to Tory MPs this evening about the imporance of party discipline. With the Chief Whip in the chair, meetings of the Tory parliamentary party are normally fairly… Continue reading

24 Comments

Exclusive: Clegg ignored a sexual harassment complaint about a SECOND Lib Dem

27 February 2013 16:24
Sex party

In this week’s Spectator, Julie Bindel explores the culture of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ in Parliament. Her piece, “Carry on Westminster”, makes a number of revelations about the way parliamentarians behave towards… Continue reading

1 Comment