Details of recent events held by the Hansard Society can be found below.
We audio record our events where possible, for a list of all of our recent events which can be listened to via mp3 download, please click here
6.45pm Portcullis House, Westminster
Chair: Dr. Andy Williamson (Director, Digital Democracy Programme, Hansard Society).
Speakers: Tom Harris MP; Jason Kitcat (Open Rights Group); Jenny Watson (Chair, Electoral Commission).
Listen to the speakers.
Listen to the audience contribution.
This Democracy Forum followed on from a number of high-profile procedural
difficulties with the voting mechanisms at the recent general election and we
thought it an opportune time to debate the efficacy of UK voting practices and the
possibilities for its modernisation.
Parliamentary reform: the Coalition Government's agenda after Wright
June 16, 6.30pm, Westminster.
Read the transcript of the keynote address
Listen to the keynote address
Listen to Sir George's response to audience questions
BBC Parliament and after that will be on BBC iPlayer.
Rt Hon Sir George Young Bt MP made his first keynote address since becoming Leader of the House and Lord of the Privy Seal to the Hansard Society in Westminster on June 16. He said that on Parliamentary reform he agreed in many ways with the Speaker of the House of Commons. He shared some personal observations about how the new Government is operating compared to a single party administration that he has been involved in. He said one of the most important factors will be the strength of the relationship between the two leaders of the party’s involved, saying that the access between the party’s was probably stronger that that between Blair and Brown, of the same party. He went on to comment on the hierarchy of Ministers and the relationships between them, in order to preserve the coalition, saying that decision making dynamic has changed, possibly to make decisions more durable as they require stronger consensus across parties. Sir George said it was producing a grown-up approach to politics that was also a reflection of the governments approach to Parliament.
Reform in a new Parliament - Reviving the Chamber, a lecture by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, June
Following on from the PSA/
Hansard Society Annual Lecture in November 2009 where Mr Speaker laid out his vision on
how to best engage the public with Parliament, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP gave a lecture in which he set out how and why the Chamber needs to be and can be revived. The speech, chaired by Hansard Society Chairman Peter Riddell, was followed by questions from a number of the audience members and Speaker Bercow's responses to them.
An event to discuss the Hansard Society & British Council's new pamphlet Has Devolution Delivered for Women? made some excellent contributions to the debate around women's involvement in politics, from both the panel speakers and members of the audience.
Listen to the introduction to the pamphlet and speakers
Listen to Wendy Alexander MSP
Listen to Dr. Fiona Mackay (University of Edinburgh)
Listen to Leslie Riddoch
See some photos
Photos & audience contribution audio will follow shortly. Read the full write up.
Since its inception the Hansard Society has made many influential recommendations for parliamentary reform. In the run up to the general election the Hansard Society asked the three main parties to lay out their party's plans for parliamentary reform, should that party form the new government. These lectures have been collected in a pamphlet, The Reform Challenge, along side speeches from the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP and the Lord Speaker, Baroness Hayman, to give an overview of their ideas for reform. In addition, Dr Ruth Fox, Director of the Parliament and Government programme, examines public confidence in Parliament and MPs, and proposes priority areas for reform. The lectures were chaired by Peter Riddell (Chair of the Hansard Society).
Click here to download The Reform Challenge.
Read and listen to the MPs' speeches.
Tuesday March 16 at 6.30pm, Houses of Parliament, Westminster.
- Professor Philip Cowley (academic and author of Revolts and Rebellions: Parliamentary Voting Under Blair)
- Chris Mullin MP (Labour MP for Sunderland South)
- Cllr Diane Park (independent PPC for Halifax)
- - Dr Richard Taylor MP (independent MP for Wyre Forest)
Chair: Virginia Gibbons (Head of Communications, Hansard Society)
Dr Richard Taylor MP & Chris Mullin MP
Cllr Diane Park & Professor Phillip Cowley
March 3, 6.30pm, Portcullis House, Westminster.
The 7th edition of our annual Audit of Political Engagement was launched on Wednesday March 3. The Audit this year has a
special focus on MPs and Parliament, raises a number of topical issues
in the context of MPs' expenses and the forthcoming general election,
and provides longer term reflections on the level of continuity and
change charted in the Audit findings over the course of this Parliament.
Download the Audit of Politicial Enagement
See the photos
Listen to the event:
Dr Ruth Fox presents the Audit's findings
Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
Shailesh Vara MP
The Lord Rennard MBE
Thursday 25 February, Portcullis House, Westminster
Speaker: Peter Riddell (Hansard Society
Introduction by Professor Steven Fielding (Joint editor of Parliamentary Affairs)
Chaired by Dr Ruth Fox (Director of Parliament & Government Programme, Hansard Society)
In 2009 the reputation of politicians and politics itself
reached rock bottom. Peter Riddell, Chair of the Hansard Society, gave
at the inaugural Parliamentary Affairs Annual lecture, examining the
role of politicians in a modern representative democracy.
Read the write up, download the full speech, see the photos and leave a comment.
on Tuesday February 9 the Hansard Society addressed issues of equality and women's rights
by asking the question ‘How many women does it take to make a difference?'. The
panel included Professor Sarah Childs (Professor of Politics and
Gender, University of Bristol),
MP, Harriet Harman MP (Minister for
Women & Equality) and Linda
Ambassador to the UN Commission on
the Status of Women). The speakers addressed the issue from a number of
perspectives and viewpoints creating a debate which was serious, rational, informative and inspiring. International data and
research was combined with candid insights into life in parliament and
See the photos on Flickr
Listen to the audio
Linda Tarr-Whelan & Harriet Harman MP
Nadine Dorries MP & Professor Sarah Childs
Tuesday January 5 Sir Ian Kennedy, Chair of the Independent
Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) gave a speech setting the
context for the proposed MPs' expenses scheme and how
it will be administered.
by Fiona Booth, Chief Executive at the Hansard Society.
Download the speech here
Read the press coverage here