The Constitution Unit


Boris Johnson and Parliament

21 January 2021, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Boris Johnson

In partnership with The UK in a Changing Europe three seasoned Conservative parliamentarians and the director of the Constitution Unit will look back at Boris Johnson’s relationship with parliament, reflecting on the highs and lows, expectations and reality, and lessons for the future.

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Edd Rowe

Prime ministers often have a rocky relationship with parliament. But, from the unlawful prorogation of 2019 to the controversies over parliament’s role during the COVID-19 pandemic, Boris Johnson’s relationship with parliament has been more tumultuous than most. Despite a comfortable Commons majority of 80 since December 2019, large backbench rebellions have sometimes threatened Johnson's ability to win parliamentary votes. Meanwhile tensions with the Lords (not least over the Internal Market Bill) have been significant. These problems arguably go beyond the usual hurly-burly of politics, raising fundamental questions about the respective roles of parliament and the executive in our constitution.

About the Speakers

Dame Cheryl Gillan

Conservative MP for Chesham and Amersham and vice-chair of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee and a former Cabinet minister

Mark Harper

Conservative MP for Forest of Dean and former Chief Whip and Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform

Lord Young of Cookham

Conservative Life peer and formerly Chief Whip and Leader of the House of Commons

Professor Meg Russell FBA

Senior Fellow of UK in a Changing Europe and Director of the Constitution Unit

Chair: Professor Anand Menon

Director, UK in a Changing Europe