Keeping Track of the EEC – Commons Committees and Europe in the 1970s and 1980s

Dr Philip Aylett builds on his previous contributions to this blog-site to provide historical insight into the role played by Commons Committees as the UK participated in the European Economic Community during the 1970s and 1980s.

The role of select committees in Parliament’s response to the UK’s accession to the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973 has received little attention. Yet inquiries by such committees played a substantial part in the House of Commons’ scrutiny of European issues during the 1970s. This blog looks at the work of these committees, and suggests some wider implications.

Existing Commons select committees showed interest in the EEC right from the start of UK membership. One example was a sub-committee of the Expenditure Committee, chaired by William Rodgers (Labour), which visited Brussels within two months of accession to take formal evidence on regional development issues.  Two Commissioners, one the former Labour Cabinet Minister George Thomson, gave evidence. The Guardian described the evidence session as “an unprecedented extension of British Parliamentary practice to the new circumstances of Britain in Europe”’.

Around the time of accession, Lords and Commons both set up select committees to examine how Parliament could keep track of the flow of European Community documents, and influence UK ministers in their work in the Council of Ministers. The Commons committee was chaired by Sir John Foster (Conservative), and it recommended the establishment of the Select Committee on European Secondary Legislation, duly appointed from the Spring of 1974 (the word ‘Secondary’ – slightly misleading as almost all EEC legislation was covered – was later dropped from the title). Its main function was as a ‘sifting’ body, to consider draft proposals for secondary legislation and other documents, and to report its opinion as to whether such proposals or other documents raised ‘questions of legal or political importance’, and therefore merited further consideration by the House.

From the start, the European Legislation Committee dealt with hundreds of instruments annually, rapidly and efficiently reducing an initially serious backlog of documents to manageable proportions. However, the Committee was not just the House’s canary in the mine of European legislation.

In a previous blog (April 2018) I described the growth from the late 1960s of investigatory select committee activity in the Commons, a development that has been unjustly neglected by most commentators. The case for extending select committee inquiry techniques, especially the taking of oral and written evidence, to scrutiny of important but often highly technical EEC documents, was seen by some at the time as a particularly strong one.  So it is hardly surprising that the European Legislation Committee went well beyond its limited sifting remit. Working in fairly traditional select committee mode during the middle and later 1970s, the Committee gathered a considerable body of evidence, both oral and written, on the policy implications of European legislation.

These inquiries at the first stage of scrutiny were in addition to the second stage of formal debates on legally or politically important documents which took place on the floor of the House and (later in addition) standing committee in response to the recommendations of the legislation committee.   During the 1970s, a variety of criticisms were levelled at these second stage formal debates – they were often late in the day, cursory and rushed, meaning that important technical and legal matters were not seen as having been considered properly.

The first year or so of the European legislation committee’s work coincided with the run-up to the June 1975 referendum on EEC membership, and this no doubt lent some of its evidence even greater significance.  Doubts over the transparency and accountability of the EEC budget were explored in a session in February 1975 with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Joel Barnett. The Committee Chairman John Davies expressed concern that there was little clarity on ‘the actual outturn of expenditure against budgeted amounts’. This, he said, ‘seems to us to imply a degree of laxity which we are not accustomed to in our own national budgetary affairs.’

In the same month, the Committee took evidence from the Treasury Minister, Robert Sheldon on the embryonic European Monetary Cooperation Fund, whose aim was to ensure the proper functioning of the progressive narrowing of the fluctuation margins between Community currencies (the so called “Currency Snake”). John Davies noted that: ‘the EMFC was instituted as a very limited operation with very limited resources  … [but this] might indicate a trend towards the reinforcement of the Fund which would be of great significance to the future of the Community institutions.’ Thus gently and quietly did the Committee begin to probe the area of monetary policy which would eventually produce the Euro. Other major European issues on which the Committee took evidence in the mid-1970s included tax rate harmonisation and decision-making in Brussels on the key area of agriculture.

The work of the European legislation committee of the mid-1970s was quantitively impressive as well as broad in its policy scope. In little over a year, beginning in February 1975, the Committee heard oral evidence on 25 occasions from Ministers. According to the Committee ‘In addition, a great deal of written information has been obtained—much of it from outside bodies, with whom the Committee have made good progress in establishing regular contact’. The growing volume of backbench scrutiny activity may or may not have had a direct influence on the actions of Ministers in Brussels and Strasbourg; but it did provide a number of opportunities for MPs to analyse the effects of EEC policies and legislation and test Ministers’ grasp of the issues. In one respect, though, the European Committee did not match other select committees; it did not attempt to produce lengthy agreed reports about the merits of policy matters, because the limited time available did not allow it to come to consensus on some of the most contentious subjects.

Scrutiny of European documents had some wider political repercussions, causing cabinets of both parties some anxiety. For instance,  Edward Heath’s cabinet voiced concern in January 1974 at proposals by the Select Committee for six days to be provided in each session for debates on Community matters. The cabinet conclusions record worries that ‘anti-Marketeers’ could be provided in this way with ‘unnecessary opportunities for making difficulties’ (page 1).  In January 1975 the conclusions of a meeting of Harold Wilson’s Labour cabinet record that ‘difficulties were still arising on debates on [EEC] documents’ recommended by the committee. It was argued in cabinet that ‘the problem arose partly because some members were using the new situation to extend Parliamentary involvement into an area previously the preserve of the Executive’, in this case agricultural prices (page 1).

The European Legislation Committee continued to take substantial amounts of oral and written evidence as the 1970s wore on. In a January 1977 oral evidence session, the ‘anti-Market’ Neil Marten MP (Conservative) pressed Dr David Owen, then Minister of State at the Foreign Office, on the question of the Passport Union between EEC countries. Marten demanded that the Government agree to a debate in the House on this issue, stating that the ‘question of a passport and having EEC stamped on it is a strongly emotional matter with a great number of people? I just quote the eight and a half million who voted “No” in the Referendum.’ In the same session there were questions about the additional burden which would allegedly be placed on Community budgets by the accession of countries such as Greece which were not as well developed economically, or as stable politically, as the current members.  To support this industrious programme of work, the 1970s European Legislation Committee was, by the standards of the time, very well resourced, being assisted by the late years of the decade by four seconded civil servants and by Mr Speaker’s Second Counsel, as well as the clerk and other staff.

The far-reaching Commons Procedure Committee of 1978 was satisfied with the initial scrutiny of EEC documents by the Select Committee, which had ‘worked well in practice’.  However, it was confirmed the general impression that when the House or the standing committees examined those recommended by the Select Committee for further consideration at the second stage the situation was ‘less satisfactory’. To remedy this lack of detailed accountability, the European Legislation Committee Chairman, Sir John Eden (Conservative) had proposed that the Committee should be enlarged into a Committee on European Affairs with power to consider the merits of European legislation. In effect this would have formalised and amplified the Committee’s existing evidence-taking practice. But the Commons Procedure Committee, which in the same report recommended the establishment of the new departmental committees, concluded that because ‘European legislation is closely bound up with United Kingdom legislation and the work of UK government departments … we would therefore prefer any consideration of the merits of such legislation by select committees to be entrusted to the new departmentally related committees’.

But this aspiration remained unfulfilled. Most of the post-1979 Commons departmental committees appear, in their first decade at least, to have largely ignored the invitation to tackle European Community issues. The second (1989) edition of Gavin Drewry’s comprehensive survey of the operation of the departmental committees contains little about European matters; his index mentions the European Economic Community just 15 times.

The European Legislation Committee and its successor the European Scrutiny Committee continued to take oral evidence well into the 21st century. But after 1980 the investigatory work of the European Committee does not seem to have been on the same scale as in the early years. Meanwhile the shortcomings of the formal debates on the floor of the House and in standing committee seem to have persisted. By 1989, Lynda Chalker, the Minister for Europe,  was acknowledging in the Commons that there was ‘genuine concern in the House about the need to make the process of parliamentary scrutiny [of EEC legislation] more timely and effective’, a worry at least partly deepened by changes to decision-making in Europe,  and in particular restrictions to the role of Ministers after the introduction of the Single Market (Col. 1161).  The European Scrutiny Committee of the 1980s was said by one Member to be ‘admirable but circumscribed’; the impression is that it did not push the boundaries of its order of reference like its 1970s predecessors.

The evidence discussed here shows that, although their approach was sometimes incomplete and incoherent and their impact on ministerial decision-making uncertain, select committees of the 1970s were often enthusiastic and active in addressing the most important European Community matters,  but it also suggests that the initial level of committee scrutiny of ‘Europe’ was not sustained in the following decade. In particular, the departmental committees did not in general appear to show much interest in European topics in the 1980s, leaving the ‘circumscribed’ European Scrutiny Committee and limited standing committee and floor of the House debates to carry on that work.

Further research into the 1970s and 1980s and later epochs in the life of the European Scrutiny Committee could assess its effectiveness and explore the reasons for the House’s apparent failure to build on the initial momentum of European scrutiny.  It would also be interesting to ask what effect the shortcomings of Commons committee scrutiny had in the long term on parliamentary, and perhaps public, attitudes to the European institutions.

Dr Philip Aylett has been Clerk of a number of House of Commons committees, including the European Scrutiny Committee. His research interests include the history of Commons select committees, especially between 1960 and 1990, and he recently published articles on the subject in Parliamentary History and Parliamentary Affairs.  

Latest news from the PSA Parliaments Group

Welcome to our latest newsletter!

Dear members,

In this month’s newsletter, we have the following announcements/information:

  1. Panels at PSA Annual Conference
  2. Changes to the Team
  3. ESRC PhD studentship opportunity – Parliament and Education
  4. Essay Competition: Judging Panel Announced
  5. Call for Papers: Parliaments and Security Conference
  6. Ethnography of Parliaments Panel at EASA
  7. Job Alert: Lecturer in the Politics of Gender, Sexuality and Identity
  8. National Assembly for Wales: Academic Fellowship Scheme now open
  9. Hansard Resource
  10. Recently on our blog

If you have any notices/messages you would like us to circulate to the group, please let us know.

Best wishes,
Marc (@marcgeddes), Louise (@LouiseVThompson), Gavin (@GavinHart10) and Seán (@S_Haughey)

1. Panels at PSA Annual Conference

We are pleased to have seven panels running at the PSA annual conference, which have been scheduled for Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th April. They cover the following topics:

  • Parliamentary Questions: Adversarialism and Constituency Links
  • Perspectives on Transparency
  • Comparing Parliamentary Perspectives in the UK
  • Parliamentary Roles
  • Do MPs care about their publics?
  • Scrutiny and Legislation
  • The Changing Face of Parliament

Full details of the panels can be seen on our website.

If you are presenting a paper on one of our panels, or chairing a panel, please make sure that you register for the conference through Ex Ordo by Monday 17th February.

Please note that in addition to our conference panels, we will be organising a get together for members of our group for Monday 6 April – details to be confirmed!

2. Changes to the team

You might have noticed that we’ve had a change in our communications recently. Our Communications Officer, Dr Alex Meakin, has taken a break from the role for maternity leave and Dr Gavin Hart has taken it on since January.

We want to say a HUGE thank you to Alex for all her hard work towards as Communications Officer. She has made the role a massive success, with our Twitter account now having more than 2,200 followers and our website getting on average more than 1,500 views per month. But most important of all: welcome to the world little Dina!

In January, Dr Gavin Hart (Huddersfield) has taken on the role. We’ve had a very smooth hand over and we are looking forward to having Gavin on our team!

3. ESRC PhD studentship opportunity – Parliament and Education

Applications are invited to an ESRC PhD Studentship for a project entitled Inclusivity and Engagement: children and the democratic process, to be supervised by Professor Leston-Bandeira, Co-Director of the Centre for Democratic Engagement, University of Leeds. This is a Collaborative PhD, which means we will work with an external partner, the Education and Engagement Service at the UK Parliament, with whom we will work very closely on the definition and implementation of the project. These highly prestigious, collaborative ESRC studentships are awarded by the White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership, a leading PhD training consortium of seven universities. More information about the project and on how to apply can be found here: https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/654-esrc-wrdtp-collaborative-studentship-inclusivity-and-engagement-children-and-the-democratic-process

Please circulate this opportunity to your best students (undergraduate or Masters, as this can be taken as 1+3 or as a +3 model). Deadline for applications: 13 March 2020.

Any queries, please get in touch with Professor Leston-Bandeira at: C.Leston-Bandeira@leeds.ac.uk

4. Essay Competition: Judging Panel Announced

We are very grateful to Professor Robert Hazell for agreeing to chair this year’s essay competition. Alongside him on the panel this year will be Adam Evans (UK Parliament) and Louise Thompson (University of Manchester).

If you have been marking parliamentary studies essays over the last few weeks, please consider submitting an entry to our competition. Essays must be no more than 3500 words and can focus on any legislature.  More details can be found here.

5. Call for Papers: Parliaments and Security Conference

The Centre for Security Research at the University of Edinburgh will host a one-day workshop on parliaments and security. While parliaments’ roles in security have often been neglected in practice and in scholarship, the importance of parliaments in security has received significant attention in recent years.  This workshop will take stock of the current understanding of parliaments and security, showcase cutting-edge work in this area, and set an agenda for future research.  The conference invites papers reflecting on this broad theme from multiple perspectives and across a diverse range of specific topics.
Papers should have some focus on parliaments and security, widely defined.  Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • parliamentary powers and parliamentary-executive relations in security policy;
  • the dynamics of party politics in parliaments’ roles in security issues;
  • how parliaments and their constituent actors define organize, institutionalise, and manage security matters;
  • parliaments’ relationships to ‘external’ actors including courts, security and intelligence bureaucratic actors, public opinion and pressure groups, media, and foreign actors in the realm of security;
  • and critical and ethical responses to parliamentary policy developments.

If interested in contributing to this conference, please send a (working) title, an abstract and a short bio to ceser@ed.ac.uk by 15 February 2020.  We will notify acceptance by the end of March. We may be available to offer a limited contribution to travel expenses, depending on need and demand.

Juliet Kaarbo & Andrew Neal
Co-Directors, Centre for Security Research

6. Ethnography of Parliament Panel at EASA

Please click here for an extended Call for Papers for the 16th European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) conference next July called ‘Ethnography of Parliament’.

If you have any questions, please contact the organisers directly.

7. Job Alert: Lecturer in the Politics of Gender, Sexuality and Identity

The Department of Politics and Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool seek to appoint a Joint Lecturer in the Politics of Gender, Sexuality and Identity. Applicants whose research interests intersect parliaments, gender, sexuality and identity are welcome. More information about the post is available here: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BYD749/lecturer-grade-7. Our group’s Treasurer, Sean Haughey (sean.haughey@liverpool.ac.uk), is happy to answer any informal queries about the post. Deadline 16th February 2020.

Added note from the PSA Parliaments Group: we want to also encourage parliamentary scholars to consider this position in order to strengthen the interplay between gender, politics and parliamentary studies.

8. National Assembly for Wales: Academic Fellowship Scheme now open

Mae’r broses ymgeisio bellach ar agor ar gyfer Cynllun Cymrodoriaeth Academaidd y Cynulliad: Mae’r alwad am geisiadau bellach ar agor.

The National Assembly for Wales is looking for academics to work with them as a Fellow sometime during 2020. The call for applications is now open. 

Key dates 

  • Deadline for applicants to submit application: Monday 2 March 2020
  • Informal interviews with applicants: mid-March 2020
  • Fellowship induction day: 22 April 2020
  • Start date: May 2020 onwards, to be discussed and agreed with successful applicants

Who can apply?
The Fellowship scheme is open to university researchers who have a PhD and who are employed at a higher education institution in Wales or elsewhere in the UK.

How is the scheme funded?
It is expected that Fellows will normally be funded through their own institutions, either through existing research impact funding or through an agreed allocation of their own research time.   There may be scope for the Assembly to provide small amounts of match-funding in exceptional circumstances.

As before there are two routes to apply:

  • Directed call – submit a bid to research in response to a pre-identified priority project.
  • Open call – Propose a research project of your choosing.

Further information about the National Assembly’s previous fellows and their outcomes and publications resulting from their work at the Assembly can be seen here.

9. Hansard Resource

Hansard at Huddersfield is a new search tool for the record of parliamentary language in the UK parliament. We hope that many readers will already have tried it out, but if you haven’t, please do! It can be found at hansard.hud.ac.uk and requires no login.

We are delighted to announce that our new function, the keywords search, is up and working (but let us know if there are bugs we haven’t noticed!). It allows you to compare two periods in the data of parliamentary language either by preset periods (wars, decades and parliaments) or by self-defined periods. The result is a bubble chart of the key differences in vocabulary between the two data sets. An example below shows the keywords distinguishing the period just before the EU referendum with the period since. You can then click on the keywords and pull up their context.

In other news, we are now in a position to regularly update the data, so you will find that currently the data is complete up to 23rd January 2020. We will update approximately once a month from now on.

Please let us know how you are using the site – particularly if any of the searches are used in published or in-house documents or reports. Follow us on Twitter (@HansardHuds) for updates.

Lesley Jeffries, Principal Investigator, Hansard at Huddersfield.
hansard@hud.ac.uk

10. Recently on the blog

Thanks again for the great contributions made to our blog by group members and from our wider network of scholars and policy-makers. Some of our recent blogs include:

If you are interested in publishing a blog, please get in touch with our Communications Officer Gavin Hart (g.hart@hud.ac.uk) for a chat about how to get involved.

 

Running parliamentary institutions: dilemmas of leadership, governance and identity

Mark Bennister, Ben Yong and Diana Stirbu discuss the lack of a shared parliamentary identity in Westminster, considering the implications for institutional governance and reform.

 “I’ve been very clear that I don’t think parliament is a building, I think it’s a collection of elected representatives… (former Conservative leader candidate Rory Stewart MP, August 2019).

“There is no ‘voice of Parliament’ that can be collectively orchestrated. Parliament is a place where the parties do permanent battle, and this fundamental reality trumps attempts to build up Parliament itself … those accounts which say that Parliament should do this or that to make itself more effective fail to understand that there is no ‘Parliament’, in a collective sense, at all. (Tony Wright 2004)

MPs and Peers are unclear in explaining what Parliament is, and by extension whether or not it has any collective institutional identity. The Westminster Parliament may indeed have no singular voice or an individual who speaks for the institution. However, beneath the political battles and the expression of Parliament as a site of contest, there is an organisation to be governed and managed. To run what amounts to a small village at Westminster requires administrative structures with lines of communication and accountability.

The challenge of organisational governance, whereby the political and administrative aspects must work together, has been highlighted in Westminster by various crises: the expenses scandal, appointment of a new clerk of the House, the restoration and renewal programme, and the bullying and harassment of staff. Such perceived crises for the Westminster Parliament have brought governance arrangements in the Commons to the fore.

Yet internal reform in Westminster occurs at a glacial pace. Often it requires the consent of the political masters who act as veto players meaning that workplace improvement, commonplace elsewhere, remain slow to adapt. The leadership and governance arrangements of Houses of Parliament are historically a complex set of overlapping and contradictory arrangements with little coherent structure. The devolved legislatures, by contrast, were able to build governance arrangements, largely from scratch, on establishment 20 years ago, slightly less encumbered by historical restrictions of physical space and political convention. And the management lines and role of the Presiding Officer are much clearer in the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales.

It is difficult to separate leadership from governance, but in the case of parliaments, leadership involves individuals or groups speaking on behalf of others in the parliament (backbenchers, parties, committees and so on), while governance relates to the administrative and bureaucratic arrangements that exist to ensure that resources are allocated and the institution functions on a daily basis. Yet leadership and governance often interact within structured arrangements.

Geddes and Meakin’s interpretive approach opens up avenues of study, whereby we seek to understand the meaning and actions of individuals within the institution to explain change. Our research will take a similar approach in seeking to look beneath the formal structural arrangements to understand the challenges of running parliaments. Here we present 3 dilemmas for actors in Westminster.

  1. The dilemma of governance

Parliament contains both political and administrative leadership, with both communities involved in running Parliament but, without a shared institutional purpose. For instance, the Commons and Lords Commissions contain multiple actors with often conflicting agendas; each act as the strategic governance body, but delegate downwards. Partisan, personal, bureaucratic interests are represented on the Commissions. The Commons and Lords Speakers chair the Commissions, but others are accountable for decisions (Tom Brake MP answers Commission questions on the floor of the House). Moreover, the House Commissions have a weak history of governance and strategy, because decisions of the cross-party Commissions require consensus—which is not easy to achieve.

  1. The dilemma of leadership

There are multiple contestable sites and claim-making individuals in Parliament. Many individuals present themselves as leaders in the Commons on the basis of position (Speaker), seniority (Father of the House), election (select committee chairs), political (Chief Whips), Executive (Leader of the House). The Director-General and Clerk of the House share the most senior administrative position. In the Lords, four actors are key in a much flatter, self-regulating forum. The Clerk of Parliaments is the senior administrator, while the procedural and political dimensions are divided between the Lords Speaker, the Leader of the House, and the Senior Deputy Speaker (Chairman of Committees).

The Commons Speaker has a strong claim to speak for the House as he has a threefold role as procedural lead, administrative chair of the Commission and an external face exercised via his office. The impact of Speaker Bercow on the Commons demonstrates perhaps that a less institutional approach to analysing parliaments is necessary. Bercow challenged convention and altered perceptions and shows how critical actors can drive or block change. It remains to be seen whether Sir Lindsay Hoyle will adopt a substantively different approach.

  1. The dilemma of identity

Parliament (Commons and Lords), presents a dilemma of institutional leadership: are legislatures simply products of the elected representatives or collective entities? The collective and corporate nature of the UK Parliament has been neglected by the elected representatives as Judge and Leston-Bandeira say ‘claim-makers do not primarily stand for, or make positive claims on behalf of, the institution itself.’ Parliament, therefore struggles with its identity as a holistic institution. Meanwhile, the administrative governance of the House Service has been strengthened (following the 2014 House of Commons Governance Committee report, set up in response to the 2014 clerk appointment crisis, the Director General Review of Governance was published. which is now being implemented). And yet, it has struggled to make the case for restoring the Palace of Westminster and renewing engagement with the public, largely because the political masters have been reluctant to adhere to any collective need and identity.

Can (or should) dilemmas be solved?

Of course Westminster is hamstrung by haphazard historical development. The Westminster Parliament is a building (more accurately an estate), but also (as per Rory Stewart’s quote above) an ‘aggregation of members’. It is a set of formal and informal proceedings, in which overtly political and necessarily non-political activities are conducted by (temporary) politicians and (permanent) officials in often overlapping communities. In short, the Westminster Parliament is no ordinary public institution.

So, we aim to understand how the leadership and governance arrangements have emerged in Westminster and the devolved legislatures. We seek to map these arrangements to identify hierarchical and management lines between political and administrative arms. However, we are also interested in what the actors think of their roles and positions themselves. Parliaments are naturally messy and contradictory institutions. They are the products of particular structural, historical and contextual factors. Dilemmas or tensions in who speaks for, manages, leads and governs may be apparent at present. We seek not to present an idealised view on how parliaments could or should be better or more effectively run, but rather seek an improved understanding of why leadership and governance is so complex, contradictory and often challenges the development of a shared institutional identity.

Mark Bennister is Reader in politics at the University of Lincoln

Ben Yong is Associate Professor in Public Law and Human Rights at the University of Durham

Diana Stirbu is Professor of governance and public policy at London Metropolitan University

 

 

 

PSA Annual International Conference 2020: Parliamentary Panels

PSA Parliaments will be contributing a great selection of panels at the PSA 2020 conference, serving to highlight the diverse nature of the research taking place across our network. The theme of the event will be ‘reimagining politics’ as the PSA reaches its 70th year. This provides a great opportunity to showcase some cutting edge scholarship on a range of themes that are central to the understanding of parliaments and legislatures as they evolve in response to contemporary challenges. In total, we have seven panels running at the annual conference, which have been scheduled for Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th April. They cover the following topics:

  • Parliamentary Questions: Adversarialism and Constituency Links
  • Perspectives on Transparency
  • Comparing Parliamentary Perspectives in the UK
  • Parliamentary Roles
  • Do MPs care about their publics?
  • Scrutiny and Legislation
  • The Changing Face of Parliament

Full details of the panels can be seen on our website. If you are presenting a paper on one of our panels, or chairing a panel, please make sure that you register for the conference through Ex Ordo by Monday 17th February.

Monday 6th April

0900 – 1020: Parliamentary Questions: Adversarialism and Constituency Links

Chair: Margaret Arnott

  • Can’t answer? Won’t answer? An Analysis of Equivocal Responses by Theresa May in Prime Minister’s Questions (Peter Bull and Will Strawson)
  • Constituency questions and proximity to election (Mark Shephard and Daniel Braby)
  • Questions to the PM vs. Questions by the PM: An Examination of the State and Nature of ‘Punch and Judy’ Politics during PMQs (Mark Shephard and Daniel Braby)
  • “Oh no you won’t!”: The Language of Parliamentary Disorder in the House of Commons 2018-2019 (Sylvia Shaw)

 

1050 – 1210: Perspectives on Transparency

Chair: Sarah Childs

  • Can we Watch Parliament? Monitory and Counter democracy at Westminster (Ben Worthy and Stefani Langehennig)
  • Still a Revolving Door? The Political Employment History of Registered Lobbyists in Canada (Paul EJ Thomas and R. Paul Wilson)
  • Remuneration for Representation: Legislative Pay in Comparative and Long-Term Perspective (Nick Dickenson)
  • Can money buy access? (Sophie Moxon)

 

1310 – 1430: Comparing Parliamentary Perspectives in the UK

Chair: Paul Thomas

  • Standing up for the nations and regions? Patterns of sub-state territorial representation in the UK House of Commons, 1992-2017 (Jack Sheldon)
  • Representative Democracy and Legitimacy: Inter-parliamentary Relations in the Devolved UK (Margaret Arnott)
  • Back from Cardiff: How Electoral Incentives Shape the Representational Styles of Assembly Members (David C W Parker and Michaela McDowell)
  • Evaluating Knowledge Exchange across the UK’s Legislatures (Danielle Beswick and Marc Geddes)

 

1500 – 1620: Parliamentary Roles

Chair: Jack Sheldon

  • Parliamentary Roles and Parliamentary Careers in the UK House of Commons: A Latent Class Analysis, 1979-2019 (Stephen Holden Bates, Mark Goodwin, Steve McKay and Wang Leung Ting)
  • Rethinking Opposition Roles: What Opposition Roles do Green Representatives Perform in the UK’s Legislatures? (Louise Thompson and Mitya Pearson)
  • Cohesion through participation: Rethinking party discipline in Westminster democracies (Paul E J Thomas)
  • Why different parliamentary roles? The influence of the career path with the example of parliamentary control of the budget (Anthony Weber)

 

Tuesday 7th April

 0900 – 1020: Do MPs care about their publics?

Chair: Ben Worthy

  • The Logic of Parliamentary Action: Brexit, Early Day Motions, and Bolstering the Personal Vote (David C W Parker and Ian Caltabiano)
  • Constituency focus and attitudes to MPs in the UK: how media deserts break the link (Lawrence McKay)
  • Is all Politics Local? When do MPs Speaks about Constituency Interest (Wang Leung Ting)
  • Do parliamentary e-petitions matter to Members of Parliament? (Felicity Matthews)

 

1050 – 1210: Scrutiny and Legislation

Chair: Aileen Walker

  • Locating post-legislative scrutiny (Tom Caygill)
  • Using an upper chamber to manage coalitions: The use of legislative amendments for ‘keeping tabs in the House of Lords 2010-15 (Andrew Jones)
  • What happens to Government legislation in the Scottish Parliament: 1999-2019 (Steven MacGregor)
  • What drives scrutiny efforts in the European Parliament? (Mihail Chiru and Alban Versailles)
  • How does organised and informal induction shape the roles of newly elected Members of Parliament in Canada and the UK? (Louise Cockram)

 

1310 – 1430: The Changing Face of Parliament

Chair: Danielle Beswick

  • Select committee public engagement (Aileen Walker, Cristina Leston-Bandeira, Catherine Bochel, Naomi Jurczak)
  • A labour of love, sadness, anger, excitement..? Emotional labour, job satisfaction and burnout among councillors and Members of Parliament in the UK (James Weinberg)
  • Has “Politik als Beruf” become more stressful? The (changing) workload of German MPs 1949–2017 (Karsten Mause)
  • Building a Diversity Sensitive Parliament (Sarah Childs)