Author Archives: Andrew Defty

Lord Carrington – NATO Secretary-General 1984-1988

Some years ago I wrote the entry on Lord Carrington for a planned encyclopaedia on  NATO which never went to press. Lord Carrington’s death this week at the age of 99 provides an opportune moment to publish the entry in full here. Carrington, Lord … Continue reading

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Why Labour’s defeat on the Windrush motion was a victory for Parliament

This post first appeared on the blog of the Political Studies Association Specialist Group on Parliaments. It was a follow-up to my earlier post about Labour’s use of an obscure piece of parliamentary procedure to force the government to release it’s Brexit … Continue reading

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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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