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House of Commons

14330

John Bercow loses his battle to appoint Carol Mills as Commons clerk

17 December 2014 12:24

John Bercow has lost his biggest attempt at a power grab after MPs recommended that the appointment process for the Commons clerk be terminated. The governance committee set up after… Continue reading

16 Comments
unnamed-13

Tory MPs have new nickname for Carswell and Reckless

2 December 2014 9:33

There is no love lost between UKIP defectors Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless and their old Tory colleagues. Catty Conservative MPs have for some reason nicknamed the Ukip twosome ‘Popeye… Continue reading

188 Comments
Penny Mordaunt at the Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year awards 2014.

Oo-err! Top five gags from Penny Mordaunt, minister for innuendo

30 November 2014 16:07

Tory MP Penny Mourdant has caused a stir in Sunday’s papers over her confession at our Parliamentarian of the Year awards that she said ‘cock’ in Parliament as a bet with her… Continue reading

25 Comments
may

Commons uproar: European arrest warrant debate in a ‘total mess’

10 November 2014 17:22

The government is in a total mess this afternoon. The whole house of Commons has turned on Theresa May and Chris Grayling for the way they have handled the vote… Continue reading

16 Comments
The Opening of Parliament in February 1912. Image: Getty

The Spectator at war: Standing on ceremony

6 November 2014 8:30

From The Spectator, 7 November 1914: On Wednesday next the King will open Parliament in state, the only alteration in the prescribed ceremonial being the temporary disuse of the glass… Continue reading

0 Comments
Ramallah, August 2014 (Photo: Abbas Momani, AFP)

Recognising a Palestinian ‘state’ in Parliament is not only pointless, it’s dangerous

13 October 2014 17:36

Today in Parliament, MPs are voting on a backbench motion (supported by a one-line whip from the Labour party) proposing that Britain recognises Palestine as a state. The motion attempts push a… Continue reading

497 Comments
FINLAND-BRITAIN-POLITICS

Revealed: the cross-party motion to stop Bercow in his tracks over clerk appointment

26 August 2014 11:38

With just a few days before the House of Commons returns for the autumn term, the revolt against John Bercow’s plan to appoint Carol Mills as Clerk of the House… Continue reading

22 Comments
John Bercow sits in the royal box on centre court before the start of the men's singles third round match between Serbia's Novak Djokovic play France's Gilles Simon on day five of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon. Image: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images

The ‘Buckingham Bonaparte’ is cornered

22 August 2014 8:41

With the interventions of former Speaker Betty Boothroyd, ex-ministers — including Jack Straw, Malcolm Rifkind and Margaret Beckett – and the Clerk of the Australian Senate, Rosemary Laing, it is becoming… Continue reading

37 Comments
Image: Getty

We get few answers from the Work and Pensions grudge match

23 June 2014 17:41

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
Operation Trojan Horse allegations

Labour fails to land any blows on Gove or May over Trojan Horse schools

9 June 2014 17:36

How to deal with Islamist extremism is one of the great issues of our time. What has gone on in these Birmingham schools is a reminder of how real a… Continue reading

63 Comments
Cheryl Gillan, Mike Fabricant, John Randall, Steve Baker, John Redwood and Peter Tapsell are some of the Tory HS2 rebels.

Briefing: the Tory HS2 rebels

29 April 2014 17:32

High Speed 2 moved another step closer to actually happening last night, as the Hybrid Bill passed its second reading and vote in the Commons. 41 MPs voted against the… Continue reading

6 Comments
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