What’s going on at the Foreign Office?

Baroness Murphy

When Baroness Warsi suddenly resigned last week from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) it was patently clear that her reasons were not as advertised by herself. Ministerial resignations like this, with no warning and no previously expressed public concern about policy, are nearly always a symptom of bad relationships between ministers or a quiet…

Just Deserts?

Lord Tyler

Over the weekend, a number of Conservative and Labour parliamentarians, from both ends of the building, were moaning and groaning about the arrival of 22 new Peers. Some were complaining that Conservative Party donors were included; some were querying whether Liberal Democrat activists were sufficiently august; some were griping that there were insufficient numbers of…

An Alternative World?

Lord Tyler

The so-called “Silly Season” seems endless in Westminster.  The sad death last month of my Liberal Democrat colleague Lord (Robert) Methuen – alongside whom I often shared the furthest backbench corner seat and enjoyed his erudite company – has sparked the most ludicrous farce. Let me explain.  An official green four-page notice, announcing the resulting…

Reform of the Italian Senate

Baroness Murphy

Regular bog followers will know that in summer recess I am usually in Tuscany, Italy, where everyone will be delighted to know that the weather is worse than in the UK, the worst summer here since 1960.  (Good for the olives though). But following the dramas of Italian politics is as addictive as ever, not…

Attending Cabinet

Lord Norton

The House last night voted by 177 votes to 29 in support of a motion by Baroness Boothroyd that welcomed Baroness Stowell as Leader of the House, but regretted the decision of the PM to diminish the standing of the House by not making her a full member of Cabinet and requesting him to reconsider…