Lord Norton

How not to respond to a committee report

Lord Norton

On Tuesday, the House debated a report from the Constitution Committee of the Lords on The office of Lord Chancellor. It was a reasoned report, making a number of recommendations.  In the debate, peers commended various of the proposals advanced by the committee.  However, what was remarkable was the unanimity among backbench speakers as to…

Moving out?

Lord Norton

The Final Report from Deloitte on The Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme Independent Options Appraisal was published at 1.00 p.m. today.  It was preceded by a presentation to MPs and peers.  The meeting was not entirely harmonious.  Part of the reason for this was highly parochial: some of the Power point slides were virtually…

Women peers and leadership

Lord Norton

The House appoints tomorrow the members of four ad hoc committees established for this session  – on the Equality Act 2010 (looking at the impact on people with disabilities), Sexual Violence in Conflict, Social Mobility, and the Built Environment.  What is notable is that each is being chaired by a female peer – Baroness Deech (cross-bencher), Baroness Nicholson of…

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…