Since payments for MPs were introduced early in the 20th century, the rhetoric used to justify them has changed markedly. Initially, writes Nicholas Dickinson, on a blog originally posted by Democratic Audit, any remuneration was almost always construed in terms of broadening democratic representation. Related to a landmark 1971 report, however, MPs increasingly began to be depicted as political professionals. This change in framing allowed salaries to increase, but at the cost of lasting public ambivalence.
Party whips are well-known for their role as enforcers in the Westminster Parliament, but in a new blog Andrew Defty, University of Lincoln, discusses a less well-known part of their role: offering pastoral care to MPs.
In addition to their floor debates, a crucial role of legislatures is to scrutinise government law-making and policy implementation. The House of Commons looks at legislation via bill committees, and its select committees cover each of the Whitehall departments to scrutinise implementation. As part of the 2018 Audit of UK Democracy, Patrick Dunleavy and the Democratic Audit team consider how well current processes maintain parliamentary knowledge and scrutiny of the central state in the UK and England.
Drawing on interviews conducted with British politicians, Dame Jane Roberts explains the different impacts of leaving political office. In a blog originally posted on LSE British Politics and Policy, she writes that the process is often made unnecessarily harsh, something that may be preventing some politicians from standing down altogether, with implications for representative democracy.