Category Archives: British Parliament

First Thoughts On The Brexit Vote

Theresa May made history today when MPs rejected her Brexit deal by a vote of 202 to 432, making it the worst government defeat in modern British history (previously, that record was held by Ramsay MacDonald’s minority Labour government, which … Continue reading

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Was Speaker Bercow Right To Bend The Rules?

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, made headlines last week when he allowed a backbench MP to table an amendment to the Government’s business motion setting out the terms for the rest of the debate on the … Continue reading

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Confidence And Party Leadership

It’s been a rough few days for Theresa May. Things seemed to be looking up for her after the Cabinet agreed to support her Brexit strategy following a marathon meeting at Chequers, but her triumph was short lived. Within seventy-two … Continue reading

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The House Of Lords Is Finally Shrinking…Hooray!

Theresa May’s decision to create thirteen new peers has provoked some caustic commentary in the British press. Even the conservative Daily Telegraph couldn’t resist running a snarky piece predicting that the House could grow to 1,000 members by 2031. There’s just one problem: … Continue reading

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Brexit, The House of Lords, And The Salisbury-Addison Convention

After a tumultuous twenty days of scrutiny, the House of Lords finally passed the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill last week. It now returns to the House of Commons, where MPs will have to decide whether to accept or reject the … Continue reading

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A Quick Guide To The British Peerage

The news that the Queen has made Prince Harry Duke of Sussex has led numerous American media outlets to try to explain the peerage to their audiences. Alas, their reporters often seem to struggle with the subject, so I thought … Continue reading

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Can John Bercow Survive As Speaker?

Commons Speaker John Bercow’s reputation grows more and more tattered with each passing day. First, there were the accusations of bullying from two of his former private secretaries, one of whom was allegedly treated so badly that she developed post-traumatic … Continue reading

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The Mirror’s Article About Peers’ Expenses Has A Problem

A recent article in the Daily Mirror claims that members of the House of Lords are effectively bilking the taxpayer. The paper highlighted seventeen peers who have received over £400,000 in expenses between them despite failing to speak, sit on a committee … Continue reading

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Some Notions About Motions

The Daily Telegraph’s Gordon Rayner included a real howler in his article about the DUP’s rebellion in the Commons last week: “Because the motions have been tabled by the Opposition they are not legally binding…” Rayner was referring to the … Continue reading

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Voting Down The Queen’s Speech

With the Conservatives still short of a deal that will guarantee their majority, there is a real chance that Theresa May’s government could be defeated on the Queen’s Speech. A reader named Nathan recently wrote to ask if any examples … Continue reading

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