Party whips are well-known for their role as enforcers in the Westminster Parliament, but a new blog by Andrew Defty, University of Lincoln, discusses a less well-known part of their role: offering pastoral care to MPs.
This spring, the Parliaments and Legislatures SG held the first essay competition open to all undergraduate students. This essay competition was open, where students were asked to write about a parliament, legislature, or a specific matter concerning legislative studies.
The members of the judging panel were Michael Rush (Exeter), Lynn Gardner (House of Commons) and Richard Whitaker (Leicester). They judged the essays on four criteria (originality, rigour, strength of analysis and quality of presentation/style). The essays were anonymised and so the panel did not know which university each essay represented.
We are very pleased to announce that the winning essay was by UCL University student Sam Holcroft (nominated by Meg Russell), for the essay on “How much control should political parties have over their members in parliament? And how much do they have in practice?”. Sam will receive a prize of £150. You can read his essay here.
The runner-up was Matthew Robinson (Surrey University, nominated by Louise Thompson) for an essay on “Does the Liaison Committee scrutinise the Prime Minister more effectively than MPs at Prime Minister’s Question Time?”. You can read his essay here.
Thank you to all that took part in the competition. We very much hope to continue the competition in future years to help promote our knowledge of parliaments and legislatures and encourage people to learn more about them.