This 2006 collection of essays and commentaries is a follow-up to Members Only? Parliament in the Public Eye, the May 2005 report of the Hansard Society Commission on the Communication of Parliamentary Democracy, chaired by David Puttnam. The 2006 report reviewed developments since publication of the original report and identified what remained to be done.
The follow-up report aimed to promote discussion of the Commission’s report and highlight the need to continue to pursue its recommendations.
David Puttnam - the Chair of the original Commission - introduced the collection, highlighting the changes that had taken place since publication of the Commission’s report, and what he would like to see happen next.
Clare Ettinghausen considered the Commission’s findings in relation to the administration of Parliament, and the way in which this impacts on communications. Patricia Hodgson discussed the ways in which a co-ordinated strategy would improve parliamentary communication, while Virginia Gibbons looked at the role of the media. Jackie Ashley contributed her own overview of changes since the Commission reported.
Each of these essays is followed by a comment from a leading practitioner with intimate knowledge of the issues involved: Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Leader of the House of Commons; Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons; John Pullinger, House of Commons Librarian; and Greg Hurst, political correspondent of The Times and Honorary Secretary of the Parliamentary Press Gallery.
At the end of the collection, an audit analysed progress on each of the Commission’s 39 recommendations.
Banner image: ‘Bokeh Parliament’, by Luiz Filipe Carneiro Machado.
Enjoy reading this? Please consider sharing it
Coming on top of the controversial introduction of the concept of ‘retained EU law’ in the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the provisions for an implementation / transition period in the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement pose challenges for UK law that the promised Withdrawal Agreement Bill will need to address, including through amendments to the 2018 Act.
Data from the 2019 Audit of Political Engagement and Twitter show that, among people who use social media for politics, Labour is over-represented relative to Conservatives, and Remainers relative to Leavers – but, in the European elections run-up, content from the Brexit Party is shared more than content from the ‘Remain’ parties combined.
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.
In our April 2019 submission to the House of Commons Liaison Committee inquiry into the select committee system, we made wide-ranging recommendations including a review of the select committee core tasks, and a restructuring of the system to provide for improved scrutiny of delegated legislation and legislative standards and to accommodate post-Brexit needs.
The Brexit ‘flextension’ has five implications for Parliament, some of which require action speedily now that parliamentarians have returned from the Easter recess.