How does Parliament govern itself? Who controls the business and procedures in both Houses? Which individuals and bodies provide leadership, and how are their powers distributed? Do MPs and Peers have sufficient resources to perform their legislative and scrutiny functions?
The long-delayed rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster has taken two large steps forward with the publication of key legislation and a public consultation on plans for the House of Commons’ temporary accommodation. However, concerns and confusion remain around the roles of both the government and the public in the R&R programme.
The roles occupied by members of The Independent Group - particularly on select committees, where they retain a number of important posts and command two and a half times as many seats as the Liberal Democrats – could give them more influence than their small, non-party status might normally be expected to accord them.
With House of Commons business motions attracting unusual interest and controversy, former Clerk Simon Patrick sets out what they are and how they work.
In 2018, Jersey saw the launch and then abandonment of what could have been a unique official attempt to define formally the role of the jurisdiction’s parliamentarians.
For its ‘fake news’ inquiry the House of Commons DCMS Committee has reportedly acquired papers related to a US court case involving Facebook. Andrew Kennon, former Commons Clerk of Committees, says the incident shows how the House’s powers to obtain evidence do work, but that it might also weaken the case for Parliament’s necessary powers in the long term.
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