Author Archives: Andrew Defty

Can the Independent Group of MPs survive?

One of the consequences of Britain’s protracted and disorganised attempt to leave the European Union has been the decision of a group of MPs, seven Labour and three Conservative, to leave their parties and establish a new Independent Group in … Continue reading

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How did the Government end up in contempt of Parliament?

This post first appeared on the blog of the Political Studies Association Parliaments Group on 10 December 2018. The Government has found itself in the unprecedented position of being in contempt of Parliament. The immediate cause of the contempt motion … Continue reading

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The seemingly inexorable rise of the special political adviser

This post first appeared on the Democratic Audit blog in December 2018. Every year since 2010, usually at around this time of year, the Government publishes a list of special advisers and their salaries. The latest data release, which took … Continue reading

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The pastoral role of the Party Whips

This post first appeared on the PSA Parliaments Group blog on 7 November 2018. In a recent interview in The Sunday Times, the Conservative MP, Andrew Griffiths, discussed the circumstances which led him to send a series of sexually explicit … Continue reading

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In praise of the PM’s Parliamentary Private Secretary

I have become transfixed by Prime Minister’s Questions, but not by the weekly joust between the PM and the Leader of the Opposition. I am fascinated, instead, by what is going on just over the Prime Minister’s right shoulder. The MP sitting just behind … Continue reading

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