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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

38 Comments

Why Maria Miller should not have resigned

10 April 2014 12:39
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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

Stop blaming judges, Ms May, and repeal the Human Rights Act

18 February 2013 9:12
Theresa May has clashed again with the judiciary over the deportation of foreign criminals. Image: Getty

The latest session in May versus Judges over foreign criminals’ right to family life (Article 8 of the European Convention) is running as prescribed. Theresa May used the Sunday papers to demand that judges follow… Continue reading

31 Comments

Why should MPs stay put in the Palace of Westminster?

29 December 2012 17:11
Houses of Parliament

Tristram Hunt paints a bleak picture of the state the Palace of Westminster is in for Spectator readers this week as he draws parallels between the crumbling parliament building in… Continue reading

51 Comments

Aide to Europe minister calls for Parliament to beef up its engagement with EU

3 December 2012 14:38
Tobias Ellwood's paper argues that Westminster politicians are poor at engaging with Brussels. Picture: Getty

Another day, another paper by a Tory MP about Britain’s relationship with Europe. Except the latest paper, by Tobias Ellwood for think tank Open Europe, is actually not so much… Continue reading

38 Comments

In defence of the CofE’s House of Laity

22 November 2012 11:52
Justin Welby returns to his seat after addressing the General Synod of the Church of England, which includes the House of Laity. Image: Getty

Even friends of an Established church like myself – though I’m a Catholic – should think twice about the wisdom of the idea after the naked political interference in the… Continue reading

40 Comments

How easy would it be to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights?

22 November 2012 10:04
Which arm of state should exercise power? Parliament or the courts? Image: Getty

As James says, the prisoner votes row will return to parliament before lunch today. The government is expected to offer the Commons three choices: The retention of the blanket ban,… Continue reading

126 Comments

Where does power lie? Or where should power lie?

19 November 2012 17:05
The execution of Charles I, an event that underpins the radicalism of Douglas Carswell's book, The End of Politics. Image: Getty

Iain Martin has written a cracking piece for the Telegraph entitled: ‘The coming battle with the EU is about sovereignty.’ Iain recommends a new play, 55 Days, which tells the… Continue reading

46 Comments

David Cameron must rule out votes for prisoners at PMQs

24 October 2012 11:16
David Cameron will need to address rumours of a draft bill on votes for at least some prisoners today. Picture: Getty

The issue of prisoner votes has turned into a question of trust between David Cameron and his backbenchers. Most Tory MPs well remember that the Prime Minister’s initial intention was… Continue reading

23 Comments

Keep our MPs in the Commons bear pit

26 August 2012 12:46
The bear pit of our democracy. Photo:  PA Wire.

The idea of closing the House of Commons for five years will, I suspect, be popular with those who see in this a chance to move the MPs to a… Continue reading

66 Comments