The group organised a re-launch reception in the Palace of Westminster on the 25 November 2014, with guest speaker Angela Eagle MP (pictured below). With new convenors for the group and plenty of activity planned and implemented, we wanted to mark the re-launch of the group and, as a result, place the study of Parliament at the centre of political research.
The reception gave a chance to disseminate the work and expertise of the group’s members. At a time when Parliament is the object of so much criticism and discussion, the importance of groups such as the PSA Specialist Group on Parliaments and Legislatures becomes particularly acute. Just as important is the collaboration between practitioners and academics to develop better and more relevant research on Parliament.
Over 50 people registered for the event, which was attended by a mix of academics and practitioners. Some members came from as far away as Cardiff and even Czech Republic! The reception also included guests from the PSA Executive and editorial teams from key journals of the discipline. Angela Eagle’s speech emphasised the importance of groups such as ours to help understand Parliament and develop a better understanding of the institution by the general public. Eagle highlighted in particular the importance of research at a time when considerable constitutional reform is being discussed.
The reception had a great atmosphere and we are thankful to all those who attended. It gave the opportunity for members to meet each other, which was particularly valued by our new members. The event also enabled effective networking between practitioners and academics, with several Clerks attending the event amongst other practitioners.
We would like to say a special thank you to Naomi Saint and to Parliament’s Outreach Service and Universities programme for all of their assistance and support with this event.