Lord Norton

Losing members of the House

Lord Norton

The size of the House of Lords has been exercising observers and peers for some time.  The membership has grown substantially, or rather the active membership has done so.  The current membership is not that much different to what it was in 1948, but the active membership is something in the order of seven to eight times larger. …

Triggering an early election…

Lord Norton

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 has important implications for British politics.  What is remarkable is how few politicians and commentators appear to know its provisions, particularly in respect of when an early election can take place.  Some still seem to think that the Prime Minister can ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament and call an election.  The…

Dear parliamentarian…

Lord Norton

In a previous post I have drawn attention to the decline in the volume of written correspondence flowing into the Palace of Westminster.  I have now received the data for 2014.  One can see from the following table the clear trend. The figures for 2005 onwards are (with the percentage going to the Lords in parenthesis): 2005 …

Different practices

Lord Norton

When the first vote took place on 16 January on an amendment to the Assisted Dying Bill, the result was announced as 107 for the amendment and 180 against.  However, this was later corrected when it was found that one peer had voted in both lobbies.  In the Lords, if a peer votes in both…

The Assisted Dying Bill

Lord Norton

Some people query the value of Private Members’ Bills on the grounds that relatively few make it to the statute book.  My view is that they are extremely valuable for raising issues, getting them debated and, in so doing, testing the arguments for and against.  Some of the issues covered by Private Members’ Bills attract far…