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House of Commons

Photo: Getty Images.

John Bercow’s problem with PMQs

17 April 2014 17:27

John Bercow doesn’t like Prime Minister’s Questions. He’s told the BBC in an interview that it is ‘so bad’—in other words, rowdy—that a bunch of female MPs no longer attend.… Continue reading

76 Comments
Keith Vaz is all things to all men. (ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

Keith Vaz on the smarm offensive

14 April 2014 15:52

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
Angry shouty politicians — the hallmarks of Prime Minister's Questions.

PMQs needs reforming but it shouldn’t be toned down

11 February 2014 21:57

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
Photo: Getty Images.

John Bercow is his own worst enemy

14 November 2013 18:20

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
Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons is a prestigious post, albeit with a few onerous duties thrown in.

Who wants to be Deputy Speaker?

14 October 2013 13:27

A new Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons will be elected on Wednesday. Eleanor Laing is said to be the favourite; but Mr S has been reading the runes… Continue reading

5 Comments
UN inspectors inspect corpses in a hospital outside Damscus. Photo: YouTube/AFP/Getty Images

On Syria, parliament has voted to have no policy at all.

30 August 2013 11:29

A muddle and a cock-up. For all the talk of parliament reasserting itself, last night’s vote on Syria showed a parliament that voted, twice, to oppose actions it actually supports.… Continue reading

60 Comments
'Turning 10 minutes of a John Prescott speech into intelligible English in under an hour takes some nerve'. Picture: Getty

Big Fairies and M&S suits: a Hansard reporter reveals all

17 January 2013 12:48

It’s all very well everyone having fun at the expense of the hapless Hansard reporter who sent a note to a Scottish MP querying whether he’d called the SNP ‘big… Continue reading

11 Comments
MPs discuss their own struggles with mental health in a Commons debate. Picture: Getty.

Govt to support Barwell’s mental health bill

7 September 2012 9:33

‘This isn’t staged, I promise,’ Gavin Barwell joked as an MP bounded up to our table in the Portcullis House atrium to demand why the Croydon Central MP hadn’t been… Continue reading

13 Comments
Parliamentary Tug of War

Where arms dealers meet do-gooders

13 June 2012 13:00

Yesterday saw the annual Commons vs. Lords Tug of War, in aid of Macmillan and sponsored by BAE. Battle was joined at Westminster College Gardens, behind the cloisters of Westminster… Continue reading

2 Comments

Three Cheers for the House of Lords

12 October 2011 0:01

As a general rule complaints that the opposition are too beastly for words should not be taken too seriously. They reflect a sense of entitlement on the part of the… Continue reading

5 Comments

Fox defies the hounds

10 October 2011 17:43

To the joy of the Tory benches, Liam Fox has just come out swinging in the House of Commons. In his initial statement, Fox apologised to the House for allowing… Continue reading

14 Comments

Downing Street’s boundary review problem

14 September 2011 18:04

I understand that Number 10 will lean on Cabinet ministers not to object to what the boundary review does to their seats. This is an intriguing development because at least… Continue reading

24 Comments

Managing the boundary changes

12 September 2011 13:13

MPs are queuing down the corridor on the first floor of Portcullis House as they try to get hold of a copy of the proposed boundary changes which have just… Continue reading

11 Comments

Brown’s version of events

13 July 2011 18:52

Gordon Brown’s speech in the House of Commons just now was remarkable. It was completely deluded, one of the most one-sided versions of history you’re ever likely to hear. Abetted… Continue reading

109 Comments

Cameron on the back foot

13 July 2011 11:02

This has been another difficult morning for David Cameron. He’s now taking flak for having said he would take part in the BSkyB debate this afternoon and then deciding not… Continue reading

29 Comments

Parliament prepares to take on Murdoch

13 July 2011 9:00

Politicians are swarming all over the phone hacking scandal today, in even greater number than during the past week. If it isn’t the main topic at PMQs at noon, then… Continue reading

23 Comments

Attention turns to the police

12 July 2011 14:19

Today, the spotlight in the phone hacking scandal is shifting onto the police — who have an awful lot of questions to answer. Indeed, I suspect at the end of… Continue reading

37 Comments

Hunt flounders in very choppy water

11 July 2011 18:14

Jeremy Hunt’s statement today confirmed that News Corps’ takeover bid for BSkyB was being referred to the Competition Commission. But the questions afterwards were dominated by Labour questions about Andy… Continue reading

43 Comments

Ofcom to rule on Murdoch’s purchase of BSkyB

8 July 2011 18:18

If News Corporation was not trying to buy the whole of BSkyB, there’s a good chance that phone hacking would not still be in the news today: that decision was… Continue reading

37 Comments

Whipping up a storm

29 June 2011 15:58

The mini Tory rebellion last night, 15 Tory MPs voted to allow couples to transfer their personal tax allowance, has further strained relations between the whips office and some backbenchers.… Continue reading

11 Comments

World battles narcolepsy as wonky Miliband opens up

29 June 2011 15:03

Superwonk Ed was back today. For the third week running he tried to nobble Cameron at PMQs by taxing him on some miniscule detail of policy. ‘Of the 163 statutory… Continue reading

33 Comments

A reshuffle of the whips office?

25 June 2011 12:25

It is tempting to treat the whole circus animal affair in the Commons this week as just a big joke, the Palace of Westminster turned into the Palace of Varieties.… Continue reading

13 Comments

Pritchard lays into Cameron’s lack of backbone

23 June 2011 18:18

Mark Pritchard, the MP who tabled the animal welfare bill that has just been passed with ease, gave this speech earlier today. It’s an explosive insight into Downing Street’s often… Continue reading

40 Comments

Even Ed knew he’d lost

8 June 2011 15:00

Cameron made history today. He gave the Speaker a genuine reason to call PMQs to a halt. Usually Mr Bercow pops up two or three times to shout down shouters… Continue reading

27 Comments

Clegg’s ermine troubles

31 May 2011 9:09

Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, that much we know. But thanks to the wonders of modern science, we can now poll them on it. Today’s Times carries a survey of… Continue reading

15 Comments