Meg Russell

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    Legislation at Westminster: how parliament matters more than people think

Legislation at Westminster: how parliament matters more than people think

The Westminster parliament is famous throughout the world, but often presented as relatively non-influential when it comes to making the law. Meg Russell and Daniel Gover’s new book Legislation at Westminster is the most detailed study of the British legislative process for over 40 years, and challenges these assumptions. Here the authors summarise their findings on how different groups […]

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    Managing the new parliament: some challenges for Theresa May’s minority government

Managing the new parliament: some challenges for Theresa May’s minority government

The unexpected election result leaves the Conservatives seeking to establish a minority government, with support from the Democratic Unionist Party’s ten MPs. With fewer than half the seats in the House of Commons, and barely more than half when adding the DUP, Theresa May’s new government will face many additional challenges in parliament. Meg Russell explores some of the […]

Is David Cameron actually seeking to destroy the Lords?

Last weeks’s new peerage appointments attracted almost universal criticism for further adding to the inexorable growth in size of the House of Lords under David Cameron. But could the gradual erosion of the Lords’ reputation actually benefit the government by weakening parliament? Might it even be a deliberate plan? And – given that the Prime Minister holds all the […]

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    The Speaker election row tells us two important things about parliament

The Speaker election row tells us two important things about parliament

On 26 March, its final sitting day, the House of Commons rejected government proposals to reform how the Speaker is elected at the start of the new parliament. Here, Meg Russell reflects on what this teaches us about parliament, suggesting it holds two lessons. First, that the 2010 House of Commons was more resistant than its predecessors to government […]

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    Enough is enough: Time to regulate prime ministerial appointments to the Lords

Enough is enough: Time to regulate prime ministerial appointments to the Lords

The Constitution Unit has published a new report arguing that the time has come to regulate prime ministerial appointments to the House of Lords – to prevent the chamber’s size escalating further, and prevent government manipulating its membership. The report argues that, despite large-scale Lords reform being awaited, this step is urgent ahead of the general election in May […]

David Cameron’s Syria defeat was unexpected, but Prime Ministers are regularly forced to bow to Parliament’s will

David Cameron’s defeat last night in the Commons on his motion on military intervention in Syria has been met with shock, and correctly seen as a very visible assertion of parliamentary power. Dr Meg Russell of the Constitution Unit at UCL argues that although such confrontations are unusual, it would be wrong to assume that parliamentary checks on government ambitions are the […]

August 30th, 2013|Meg Russell|0 Comments|

Take a closer look at the House of Lords: it may not be quite what you think

The House of Lords is reputed as an antiquated chamber of old white men wearing strange robes. Meg Russell dispels common misconceptions, showing how the Lords is quite diverse relative to the Commons and better reflects the country’s vote distribution. It is also politically assertive, thanks to the 1999 reform that removed hereditary members, and no longer conservative in nature. […]