Mark and Ruth look at the growing fashion for re-writing Bills mid-air as they pass through Parliament, adding on all sorts of policy bells and whistles at the last minute.
At the start of the 21st century, MPs faced increasing demands on their time and skills, both at Westminster and in the constituency, and higher public and regulatory expectations and levels of scrutiny. In this 2000 report, expert contributors reviewed the practicalities of an MP's life and made proposals for reform.
In his introduction to the report, Greg Power, the then-Director of the Hansard Society's Parliament and Government Programme, said:
"The workload of the MP is greater at the beginning of the 21st century than at any time in the hisotry of the House of Commons. Public expectations of our elected representatives have also grown. Yet this increased pressure has not been matched by concomitant improvements to facilities, hours or procedures. In order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Parliament, and its Members, tangible reform is required. The alternative is a growing disparity between expectation and reality, which can only lead to a further erosion of support for Parliament."
In this innovative report, expert contributors reviewed the practicalities of an MP's life - including working and sitting hours, procedures, training, staffing and stress - and put forward practical reform proposals.
Reinventing the member of Parliament: A rational approach to the MP's work Anne Campbell MP
Learning to be a Member of Parliament: The induction process Michael Rush and Philip Giddings
Party politics vs. people politics: Balancing Westminster and constituency Greg Power
Stress and the Politician Dr Ashley Weinberg
Caught in the middle: Training MPs in dispute resolution Bernadette Coleman, Stephen Coleman, Ernesto Spinelli and Freddie Strasser
*NB: The quality of the electronic version of this report, available to download top right, is poor**
Delegated legislation is the most common form of legislation in the United Kingdom. It is the legislation of everyday life, impacting millions of citizens daily. But the terminology and procedures that surround it are complex and often confusing. This explainer unpacks delegated legislation - the terminology and Parliament's role in scrutinising it - to reveal more about how delegated legislation really works.
What a week! Suella Braverman's sacking from Government was immediately eclipsed by the appointment of former Prime Minister David Cameron as the new Foreign Secretary. Mark and Ruth explore the many questions this raises, not least for scrutiny of foreign affairs by MPs.
The Prime Minister’s decision to cancel the next stage of HS2 has given rise to criticism that once again the Government has ridden roughshod over Parliament. Just over 1,300 hours of legislative time have been spent on four HS2-related Bills over nine Sessions in the last decade. Why has it taken so long and what now happens to that legislation?
When parliamentarians reassemble at Westminster on 7 November for the start of the new Session, all eyes will be on the legislative programme to be announced in the King’s Speech. Speculation about the likely date of the next general election is rife at Westminster, but until the date is settled there are a lot of parliamentary issues still to be tackled. We’ve picked out a few things to look out for on the political horizon.