Lord Norton

Avoiding the issue…

Lord Norton

During debate in the Lords yesterday, the Government attracted criticism, not least from me, for its failure to distinguish what Lord Sewel said at the despatch box in 1998 from what has developed as the Sewel convention.  I have written about the verbal gymnastics of the minister in a post on my own blog. What…

Retiring peers

Lord Norton

The House of Lords Reform Act 2014 – a Private Member’s measure introduced by Dan Byles MP – enabled peers for the first time to retire from the House.  (It also made provision for the expulsion of peers who commit serious criminal offences and removes those who fail to attend for a session.)  To date,…

A loss to the House

Lord Norton

2015 saw the death of a number of senior peers.  I have written about the losses in a post on my own blog.  One of the most notable was that of Lord Howe of Aberavon.  Geoffrey Howe was a leading Cabinet minister – Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of…

New creations

Lord Norton

A list of 45 new peerages was announced today.  You can see the full list here.  As it is a dissolution honours list, there is an emphasis on rewarding those who have undertaken political service.  It is usual to offer peerages to those who have held Cabinet office, not least those who have held one…

Civil servants and Parliament

Lord Norton

We know from survey data that many people do not know a great deal about Parliament.  The latest Hansard Society Audit of Political Engagement found that, although 41% of those questioned claimed to know a ‘fair amount’ about Parliament, just over half knew not very much or nothing at all.  There is a particular problem for…