Should the 2015-17 Parliament be remembered for anything more than Brexit? Alexandra Meakin looks at Select Committee work over the last two years.
The only two female members of the Intelligence and Security Committee are leaving the Commons at the general election, and the whole Committee will have to be re-formed after June. In a blog originally posted on the Democratic Audit blog, Andrew Defty says one of its reports has been rushed out before the election with the government’s redactions unchallenged, and a long-delayed inquiry into the UK intelligence services’ involvement in extraordinary rendition will now be pushed further back. Dominic Grieve is a promising chairman, but the ISC needs to get into shape quickly after the election.
Popular debates focus on the political class, usually its alleged careerism and self-interest. In a post originally posted on the LSE British Politics and Policy blog, and providing an update on his research on the personal side of politics, James Weinberg deconstructs the term “political class” and presents some of his findings on the personal values of those who make it up.
The ease with which Theresa May was able to secure an early dissolution last week has led to suggestions that the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 serves no useful purpose and should be scrapped. In a blog posted originally on the Constitution Unit blog, and drawing on wider evidence of how fixed-term parliaments legislations works in other countries, Robert Hazell, Professor of Government and the Constitution at the Constitution Unit, argues that there is a danger that it is being judged prematurely, on the basis of a single episode. Future circumstances in which a Prime Minister seeks a dissolution may be different, and in these cases the Fixed-term Parliaments Act may serve as more of a constraint.