Nicholas Allen

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    Theresa May asserts control in a revamped cabinet-committee system

Theresa May asserts control in a revamped cabinet-committee system

Since 1992, British governments have routinely published lists of cabinet committees. Nicholas Allen and Nora Siklodi argue that the latest list reveals much about the policy priorities and distribution of power in Theresa May’s government, and also provides a key insight into the new prime minister’s governing style.

The right to create cabinet committees is an important source of prime ministerial power: […]

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    ‘Post-truth’ politics: a debasement of standards in public life

‘Post-truth’ politics: a debasement of standards in public life

Verbal dexterity, inconsistency and ‘spin’ are part and parcel of normal politics but the exaggerations and distortions of the EU referendum campaign has led to concerns about ‘post-truth’ politics. Nicholas Allen and Sarah Birch write there is a need for someone to provide a moral lead, and argue the Committee for Standards in Public Life could play a valuable […]

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    Cameron’s post-election reshuffle: a historical perspective

Cameron’s post-election reshuffle: a historical perspective

Following his return to Downing Street at the head of a majority Conservative government, Cameron had no choice but to conduct another wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle. Elections represent obvious punctuations in government, and post-election reshuffles are a chance to inject fresh blood and new energy into Whitehall. In this article, Nicholas Allen looks at reshuffles from a historical perspective.
The rate of ministerial turnover in Britain is often […]

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    The Rochester by-election highlights a pervasive ‘anti-politics’ mood in the UK

The Rochester by-election highlights a pervasive ‘anti-politics’ mood in the UK

The result in the Rochester and Strood by-election makes clear that many are looking to Westminster and venting their dissatisfaction with what they perceive to be a distant, unresponsive and dishonest political class. The anger underpinning UKIP support is a product of the particular performance of the governing and opposition parties’ in the current economic climate as well as the perceived […]

The Rennard scandal highlights the reluctance of politicians to address murmurs of wrongdoing and the tendency for tribalism to affect their responses

Unlike most sex scandals, the allegations concerning Lord Rennard also raises questions about the integrity of our politics, in particular how politicians respond to rumours of impropriety and alleged abuses of authority, writes Nicholas Allen. Most political scandals involve sex, money or power. The saga of Lord Rennard and what might be called ‘Grope-gate’ has nothing to do with money, as […]

The representation of LibDems in the cabinet committee system evinces a greater role for the party in policy making across government than might have otherwise have been supposed

Measures of ‘positional power’ highlight some interesting features of both the balance of power between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and David Cameron’s style of leadership. Nicholas Allen‘s analysis shows that the Liberal Democrats, with 29.4 per cent of committee places and 31.1 per cent of the total weighted score, have a share of power that is clearly disproportionate to their contribution to […]