Tag Archive for House of Commons

Ministerial accountability

Lord Norton

Former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke has been appointed Shadow Business Secretary.  He will be the opposite number to Lord Mandelson.  However, he will not be facing Lord Mandelson as they sit in different chambers.  Lord Mandelson answers directly to peers and can be called to appear by committees in the Commons. Conversely, ministers in the Commons…

Should we have fewer politicians?

Lord Norton

Both Houses of Parliament are, by international standards, exceptionally large; indeed, we have the largest Parliament in the democratic world.  David Cameron, in an interview with The Financial Times, has suggested that the number of seats in the House of Commons be reduced by sixty. When I chaired the Commission to Strengthen Parliament, established by…

Split-screen coverage?

Lord Norton

On the Parliament Channel, coverage of the House of Commons takes precedence over the House of Lords.  I understand why the Commons takes precedence, but a friend, Ken Batty, has raised with me the question of why there needs to be a hierarchy.  Why cannot coverage be split-screen, enabling viewers to see and choose between the…

42 days detention

Lord Norton

The House of Commons has voted for the provision to enable terrorist suspects to be held for up to 42 days without charge.   Though its majority was reduced, the Government nonetheless achieved a majority to get it through.  Opinion polls show a majority of the public supporting the provision.  One poll also shows that more people think…

Not quite that rebellious…

Lord Norton

In relation to the executive, the House of Lords is certainly more independent than the House of Commons.  At the level of the individual member, though, peers are not necessarily as rebellious as Lord Tyler’s earlier post may suggest. The experience and expertise of the membership has greatest impact in the exercise of the persuasive, rather than…