Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee has produced a report into Russian interference in UK politics, but it cannot be published without government approval. In a blog originally posted by Democratic Audit Andrew Defty explains that Number 10’s failure to release the report before Parliament was dissolved is the latest in a series of government actions that have hindered effective parliamentary scrutiny of the intelligence and security services. Reform to ensure the committee has greater independence from executive obstruction should be considered in the next Parliament.
Emmeline Ledgerwood celebrates the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee and its work to strengthen Parliament’s scrutiny of science.
It is frequently claimed that the House of Commons’ select committees have grown in prominence since key reforms were implemented in 2010. In a blog originally posted by Democratic Audit Brian J. Gaines, Mark Goodwin, Stephen Holden Bates and Gisela Sin test this claim specifically in relation to press coverage. They find a pattern of increased newspaper attention after the reforms, but caution that these results show no consistent sustained increase, and also vary considerably depending on committee.
Dr Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the Liaison Committee, discusses its new report into how the system of select committees can operate more effectively, both in terms of their place within the House of Commons and their external impact, in a blog originally posted on The Constitution Unit. New ways of working and more powers are suggested, such as taking a ‘digital first’ approach to reports and formalising formalising further the arrangements for the Prime Minister to appear before the Liaison Committee.