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The slow erosion of self-regulation
David Hine and Gillian Peele

4 The House of Commons: the slow erosion of self-regulation Introduction This chapter examines the way the House of Commons regulates the conduct of its members. Until the cash-for-questions scandal of the early 1990s the regulation of parliamentary behaviour had been largely dependent upon MPs’ own code of honour, underpinned by a body of precedents and rules whose content was often unclear. It was very definitely a system of self-regulation which relied for its enforcement on the House itself, notably through the long-established Select Committee on Privileges

in The regulation of standards in British public life
Alexandra Kelso

3 Efficiency in the House of Commons 1900–97 Introduction The previous chapter revealed how the historical development of the Westminster parliament has bestowed a pre-eminent position on the executive inside the House of Commons. The historical institutionalist perspective highlights the norms and values of the executive as the dominant actor at Westminster, and how these norms and values contribute to a structured institutional context in which institutional change does, or does not, take place. Through their position as the dominant actors at Westminster

in Parliamentary reform at Westminster
Alexandra Kelso

5 Effectiveness in the House of Commons 1900–97 Introduction The institutional make-up of Westminster is characterised by the norm of strong government, and consequently places much value on ensuring that government can secure its business. Successive governments have been able to use their dominant position inside the House of Commons to exploit those norms and values in order to reform parliamentary procedure and ensure that legislation is approved expeditiously and that the chamber functions in a streamlined way. Governments have also used their institutional

in Parliamentary reform at Westminster
Alexandra Kelso

6 Effectiveness in the House of Commons since 1997 Introduction In the period after 1997, the debate surrounding the need to improve the effectiveness of the Commons select committee system assumed a new tone with the creation of the Modernisation Committee. Examination of the events surrounding the Committee’s attempt to reform the system provides a valuable opportunity to explore the attitudinal and contextual approaches noted in Chapter 2, and to probe further the explanatory utility of historical institutionalism. Norton (2000) outlined three conditions that

in Parliamentary reform at Westminster
Alexandra Kelso

4 Efficiency in the House of Commons since 1997 Introduction The previous chapter illustrated the interest of successive governments in securing efficient procedures in the House of Commons throughout the twentieth century.The Labour government elected in 1997 was committed to an expansive legislative programme after almost twenty years in opposition, and was keen to ensure that the most efficient mechanisms were in place to secure that programme. To achieve this, the government established a Modernisation Committee to implement the necessary changes. A

in Parliamentary reform at Westminster
Paul Seaward

Institutional memory and contemporary history Chapter 10 Institutional memory and contemporary history in the House of Commons, 1547–1640 Paul Seaward T    wo memories of the early modern House of Commons. The first is in 1601: at the end of his entry for the last day of the last parliament of Elizabeth I, just after he noted the subdued and cool response to the queen as she emerged from the House of Lords, the Elizabethan parliamentary diarist Hayward Townshend wrote that over the seats in the parliament house are certain holes, some two inches square, in

in Writing the history of parliament in Tudor and early Stuart England
G. B. Nourse
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Author: Alexandra Kelso

The Labour Party government elected in 1997 pledged to reform the Westminster parliament by modernising the House of Commons and removing the hereditary peers from the House of Lords. Events have consequently demonstrated the deep controversy that accompanies such attempts at institutional reconfiguration, and have highlighted the shifting fault-lines in executive-legislative relations in the UK, as well as the deep complexities surrounding British constitutional politics. The story of parliamentary reform is about the nature of the British political system, about how the government seeks to expand its control over parliament, and about how parliament discharges its duty to scrutinise the executive and hold it to account. This book charts the course of Westminster reform since 1997, but does so by placing it in the context of parliamentary reform pursued in the past, and thus adopts a historical perspective that lends it analytical value. It examines parliamentary reform through the lens of institutional theory, in order not only to describe reform but also to interpret and explain it. The book also draws on extensive interviews conducted with MPs and peers involved in the reform of parliament since 1997, thus offering an insight into how these political actors perceived the reform process in which they played a part. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the trajectory and outcome of the reform of parliament, along with an original interpretation of that reform and its implications.

Select committees and the quest for accountability
Author: Marc Geddes

Based on unprecedented access to the UK Parliament, this book challenges how we understand and think about accountability between government and Parliament. Using data from a three-month research placement, over 45 interviews and more, this book focuses on the everyday practices of MPs and officials to reveal how parliamentarians perform their scrutiny roles. Some MPs adopt the role of a specialist, while others the role of a lone wolf; some are there to try to defend their party while others want to learn about policy. Among these different styles, chairs of committees have to try to reconcile these interpretations and either act as committee-orientated catalysts or attempt to impose order as leadership-orientated chieftains. All of this pushes and pulls scrutiny in lots of competing directions, and tells us that accountability depends on individual beliefs, everyday practices, and the negotiation of dilemmas. In this way, MPs and officials create a drama or spectacle of accountability and use their performance on the parliamentary stage to hold government to account. This book offers the most up-to-date and detailed research on committee practices in the House of Commons, following a range of reforms since 2010. The findings add new dimensions to how we study and understand accountability through the book’s path-breaking empirical focus, theoretical lens, and methodological tools. It is an ideal book for anyone interested in how Parliament works.

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.60.1.3 Sir Charles MacCarthy (1768-1824), soldier and administrator Kup A. P. 09 1977 60 60 1 1 52 52 94 94 10.7227/BJRL.60.1.4 Richard Cromwell‘s House of Commons Nourse G. B. 09 1977 60 60 1 1 95 95 113 113 10.7227/BJRL.60.1.5 Mrs Piozzi‘s "Scotch Journey", 1789 Reynolds