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Parliament

David Cameron  (Photo: WPA Poole/Getty)

An NHS stale-mate and squirms for John Bercow, in today’s PMQs

22 October 2014 13:11

Today’s PMQs was an NHS stale-mate. David Cameron went after Labour on the NHS in Wales, demanding that Labour agree to an OECD inquiry into the NHS there, while Ed… Continue reading

3 Comments
IRAQ-UNREST

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

19 August 2014 16:10

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

75 Comments
Pubs And Clubs in England and Wales Prepare For New Licensing Laws

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

11 August 2014 13:26

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

49 Comments
DNA Testing

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

29 July 2014 16:19

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

23 Comments
Big Ben and the The Houses of Parliament

A full separation of powers could reinvigorate parliament

26 July 2014 13:22

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
Adam Boulton is not retiring. (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

Boulton and Co

26 June 2014 15:45

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
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
Image: Getty

MP recall is a populist gesture that cheapens our democracy

5 June 2014 10:58

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, the new Commons Defence Select Committee chairman. Image: Getty

Rory Stewart elected Chairman of the Defence Select Committee

14 May 2014 15:53

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
Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 16.26.14

When is a party not a celebration?

15 April 2014 12:12

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 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
20140406-151756.jpg

Why Maria Miller should not have resigned

10 April 2014 12:39

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
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
Keith Vaz, Getty Images

Vaz and Ellis Pt. II

6 February 2014 15:03

Mr S has been keeping a beady eye on the Home Affairs Select Committee, after tensions between Chairman Vaz and Tory committeeman Michael Ellis boiled over at the end of… Continue reading

10 Comments
London Landmarks At Night

Parliament itself shouldn’t drag MPs down

24 January 2014 14:56

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
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
Members Of The New Coalition Cabinet Arrive For Their First Cabinet Meeting

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

5 November 2013 18:57

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
Jack Straw Is Recalled To Give Evidence At the Iraq Inquiry

Farewell Jack Straw

25 October 2013 23:14

It is a shame that we will be losing Jack Straw at the next election. He has just announced his attention to stand down from a seat he has occupied… Continue reading

107 Comments
National Security Council Meet To Discuss The Response To Chemical Weapons Use In Syria

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

4 September 2013 18:28

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

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

1 September 2013 10:39

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 has been laying out his ideas for parliamentary reform. (VESA MOILANEN/AFP/GettyImages)

John Bercow reinvents being Speaker of the House of Commons

9 August 2013 16:39

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

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

12 July 2013 15:10

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 wants to raise the salaries of MPs, but is it the right thing to do? Photo: Getty Images.

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

2 July 2013 12:03

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
Members Of The New Coalition Cabinet Arrive For Their First Cabinet Meeting

Do MPs deserve a pay rise?

1 July 2013 11:09

A small group of MPs have put their heads above the parapet in a brave and commendable fashion by demanding that they and their colleagues should not receive large pay… Continue reading

31 Comments
tug

MPs pulling strings

12 June 2013 17:01

The SNP was out in force at the annual Macmillan Lords Vs Commons tug-of-war in Westminster last night. Pete Wishart, the rocker turned MP, turned up to support fellow traveller… Continue reading

1 Comment