Joel Suss, Managing Editor of the British Politics and Policy blog, takes a look at the week in UK blogging.

Newark by-election results

The Conservatives held on to their seat in Newark with a comfortable majority after the by-election yesterday. On The Spectator‘s Coffee House blog, Sebastian Payne is confident that the vote signals UKIP will be hard-pressed to achieve a Westminster breakthrough in 2015. On Liberal Democrat Voice, Stephen Tall notes the atrocious night for the Lib Dems, who came sixth and lost their deposit, writing that time is running out to re-gain momentum.

The Queen’s speech

The last Queen’s speech of this Parliament was delivered this week and it contained some contentious proposals. Plans to allow the right for citizens to recall their MP, but only if parliament finds them to have committed serious wrongdoing, have been derided across the political spectrum. The proposal has been called ‘a pretence‘ and ‘a fudge‘ by Conservative and Labour voices respectively. On the Constitution Unit blog, Robert Hazell discusses the challenges around developing legislation that will permit MPs to be recalled.

The speech also announced the Infrastructure Bill, which would encourage fracking by reforming access rights, making it easier for shale gas companies to access reserves beneath people’s land. On the House of Commons Library blog, Ed White provides a great overview of the current laws regarding shale gas exploitation and the changes the government is considering. On Labour List, Joan Walley questions whether support for the fracking industry is a wise move.

Meanwhile on The Economist’s blog, Blighty writes that the Queen’s speech is a pointless ceremony. Worse, “[t]he cold, dead hand of tradition smothers new ways of running Westminster, making them unthinkable”.

Gove v May

Overshadowing the Queen’s speech was the spectacular feud between Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, and Theresay May, the Home Secretary. On the Politics site,  Alex Stevenson provides a good summary of what the row is about. George Eaton, writing on The Staggers blog, gives the round-one victory to May.

And finally…

Robert Young, one of the academics behind research used in the Treasury’s report regarding the costs of setting up an independent Scottish state, clarifies his findings on the costs of secession for the Future of UK and Scotland blog.

Writing for ResPublica, Christine Whitehead argues that we need to re-evaluate the Greenbelt in order to deliver more homes.


Note: Featured image credit: UK Parliament. Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

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