Who will be the stars of the new Parliament? - Parliament Matters podcast, Episode 40

7 Jul 2024

With a 50% new intake and 40% female representation, the latest parliamentary group promises exciting new talent. Renowned journalist and 'Tomorrow’s MPs' watcher Michael Crick shares his insights on the standout figures to watch in the coming years.

The general election results will reshape the parliamentary dynamics. How will this affect the Government and Opposition parties? Can the rules governing the rights and responsibilities of Opposition, designed for an era of two-party dominance, survive much longer in our multi-party system?

Key cabinet positions have been filled, with further junior ministerial appointments on the way. Notably, Sir Patrick Vallance and James Timpson have been appointed to the House of Lords to serve as Minister for Science and Minster for Prisons respectively. But how easy is it for external appointees to navigate not just a new Government department but also the experience of being a new member of the House of Lords?

With the loss of many key figures, how will the Conservative Party structure its top team to shadow the Government temporarily, pending the leadership contest?

And thousands of students nationwide participated in the Hansard Society’s Mock Elections programme. Which party emerged victorious in the schools' poll, and what do the results reveal about young people's political interests and engagement?


Michael Crick

Michael Crick is a journalist, broadcaster and author. Since June 2022 he has curated a Twitter account - Tomorrow's MPs - lifting the veil of secrecy that has hitherto hung over the selection of parliamentary candidates by monitoring candidate selections for the 2024 General Election. From 1982 until 1990 Michael was a member of the Channel 4 News team, before joining the BBC, where he worked for Newsnight for almost 20 years, including as its political editor between 2007 and 2011. He returned to Channel 4 as its political correspondent until retiring from the channel in 2019.

  • How will such a large number of new MPs acclimatise to their new role?

  • Will the large number of new MPs mean the Government has an easy ride when it comes to scrutiny in the first months of the Parliament?

  • Will adjustments be needed to parliamentary rules to accommodate the large number of new MPs?

  • Should the rules governing Opposition Days be amended to reflect the multi-party nature of the opposition?

  • Three new Deputy Speakers are needed: should the Liberal Democrats get one of them?

  • How quickly will the Government introduce its legislation after the King’s Speech?

  • Will the Government pick up some of the legislation of the previous Conservative administration that was lost during the legislative wash-up prior to dissolution?

  • Does the Prime Minister plan to appoint a Government of all the Talents?

    Is it easier for new Ministers to survive in the House of Lords than in the House of Commons?

  • How will the Conservative Party organise its shadow front bench pending the leadership contest?

  • Will the Prime Minister have to ruthlessly risk losing many MPs at the next election in order to get things done over the objections of constituency MPs?

  • Which party won the nationwide Mock Elections in schools?

Parliament Matters is supported by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

Parliament Matters is supported by a grant from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, a Quaker trust which engages in philanthropy and supports work on democratic accountability.

Hansard Society

Please note, this transcript is automatically generated. There are consequently minor errors and the text is not formatted according to our style guide. If you wish to reference or cite the transcript copy below, please first check against the audio version above. Timestamps are provided above each paragraph.

00:00:00:00 - 00:00:15:24 You're listening to Parliament Matters, a Hansard Society production supported by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. Learn more at 00:00:16:01 - 00:00:41:10 Welcome to Parliament Matters, the podcast about the institution at the heart of our democracy, Parliament itself. I'm Ruth Fox and I'm Mark D’Arcy. Coming up, it's 50% new. It's 40% female. Meet the new House of Commons of 2024. And who are going to be the stars in this vast new intake? MP watcher Michael Crick picks a few runners and riders, but places no bets. And matching up the ministers and the shadows. 00:00:41:12 - 00:00:49:11 All the leaders have choices to make about who will be in their top teams. 00:00:52:20 - 00:01:16:08 But first, Ruth, after a long, grueling, perhaps overlong and over grueling election campaign, the new House of Commons has finally taken shape. We all know it's got a massive Labour majority. We all know there's a massive new contingent of Liberal Democrats. We all know that the Conservatives while still being the official opposition, and that's a point we've discussed a couple of times, are a much reduced force in this new House of Commons. 00:01:16:08 - 00:01:34:07 There's a contingent of Greens, there's a contingent of reform MPs, there's a slightly bigger contingent of Plaid Cymru MPs, there's a much reduced contingent of SNP MPs and there's a startlingly large group of independents as well. So how is it all going to play out? What are your first impressions? Well, the first impression is just the scale of it. 00:01:34:07 - 00:01:57:10 It's 336, I think first time MPs, which is very, very large. I mean, bear in mind that the whole of the House of Commons is 650. It is an enormous number of new MPs who are, over the next coming weeks, just going to be finding their feet and trying to set things up. And their encounter with legislation and scrutiny and so on

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