Skip to site navigation

VIDEOS: The House of Lords: Westminster Bicameralism Revived - Dr Meg Russell & Mark D'Arcy (Respondent)

19 November 2013

The House of Lords: Westminster Bicameralism Revived - Dr Meg Russell

The House of Lords: Westminster Bicameralism Revived - Mark D'Arcy (Respondent)

The House of Lords has frequently reached the news in recent years, but almost always in the context of its possible reform, rather than the existing chamber's role in the policy process. Meg Russell's new book, published in July, seeks to redress the gap in understanding, based on detailed research about the chamber's evolving membership, party groups, committees and treatment of legislation. The book argues that the years since 1999 (when Tony Blair's government removed most hereditary peers) have seen a 'revival' of bicameralism in the UK, with the Lords playing an increasingly active and influential role. Even before the arrival of coalition in 2010, the Lords had given the third party significant negotiating power, making British parliamentary politics far more plural than was suggested by the old 'Westminster model'. Since the arrival of the coalition, the independent 'Crossbenchers' have taken on a pivotal, but little-known, position. These changes have obvious consequences for how we are governed, and have also changed the tone of debates about Lords reform.

At this seminar Meg Russell will set out some of the key arguments and findings of her book, with a response from seasoned Westminster-watcher Mark D'Arcy of the BBC, followed by a wider discussion.

Meg Russell is a Reader in British and Comparative Politics, and Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit at UCL. She is largely responsible for the Unit's research work on parliament, and has a particular interest in bicameralism and the British House of Lords. She has also written on political party organisation, candidate selection and women's representation in politics.

Respondent Mark D'Arcy is a parliamentary correspondent for the BBC. Mark has been a correspondent for Today in Parliament since 2002, and also presents BBC Parliament's political book review show, Book Talk.

Join the Debate

Blog

News

“A good place to work?” What Commons staff think of House governance

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:00:46 +0000

Barry K Winetrobe examines one aspect of the current committee inquiry into House of Commons governance following the Clerk appointment fiasco. Evidence submitted by House staff reveals much which may be unsettling for House managers and MPs, but is ultimately good for the House itself. ‘We seek to ensure that the House of Commons is […]

Read more...

English votes on English laws: much ado about nothing?

Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:00:34 +0000

Robert Hazell writes that if English votes for English laws were introduced, the impact would most likely be limited. He highlights that there are relatively few English laws, and that few votes in the past would have had different outcomes if EVEL had been in place. The sound and fury generated by the debate on […]

Read more...

Are quotas for judicial appointments lawful under EU law?

Fri, 14 Nov 2014 10:00:37 +0000

A recent report laid out recommendations for improving diversity in the judiciary, including a quota system for women and BAME candidates. Kate Malleson and Colm O’Cinneide explore the legality of such measures under EU law, and specifically whether the quotas could be brought in under EU employment law or EU gender equality law. In April 2014 Sadiq Khan, Shadow Secretary of […]

Read more...
Mailing List

Connect with us

RSSFlickr

Footer menu