Author Archives: Andrew Defty

Government transparency and the appointment of Parliamentary Private Secretaries

I have written in previous posts about the rise of the so-called payroll vote, those MPs holding government jobs who would need to resign their position if they wish to vote against the government. Although the number of paid Ministerial … Continue reading

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Mr O’Donovan’s annual survey of royal engagements

For the last 38 years a fixture of the festive season every bit as reliable as overcooked sprouts is the publication in The Times newspaper of a letter from Mr Tim O’Donovan, a retired insurance broker from Datchet in Berkshire, detailing the number of official engagements … Continue reading

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How an arcane piece of parliamentary procedure may force the government to release its Brexit impact assessment studies

An opposition day debate last Wednesday saw the Labour Party deploy an obscure piece of parliamentary procedure which may force the government into releasing its Brexit impact studies. By means of a little-known procedure called a motion for a return, … Continue reading

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Propping up the dignified elements of the constitution: the peculiarities of the Court Circular

Tucked away at the back of The Times newspaper, somewhere between the obituaries and the weather, is the Court Circular. The Court Circular is a record of the previous day’s royal engagements. It is a peculiar report consisting of a … Continue reading

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Public opinion and the future of the monarchy

It was announced this week that the Queen would not be laying a wreath at the Cenotaph at this year’s remembrance service, but would watch the ceremony alongside her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, from a balcony at the Foreign … Continue reading

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