Author Archives: Andrew Defty

What happened to the Easter Act, 1928?

As students, schoolchildren and their teachers are acutely aware, Easter this year was ‘late’. Unlike Britain’s other major religious holiday, Christmas, the date of Easter is not fixed. Easter Sunday (Easter Day) can fall on any Sunday from March 22nd … Continue reading

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“To advise, warn and deliver”: Ken Clarke on the proper role of the civil service

The Conservative MP, Ken Clarke, is one of the most experienced MPs currently sitting in the House of Commons. His Ministerial career has spanned the Thatcher, Major and Cameron years, and has seen him occupy many of the seats around the Cabinet table, … Continue reading

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What is the Chancellor’s Autumn statement?

This week the Chancellor of the Exchequer will deliver his Autumn Statement. It forms part of three set-piece debates which punctuate the parliamentary year, alongside the debate on the Queen’s Speech and the Budget. It is striking that two of those, the Autumn … Continue reading

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Irrelevant questions undermine the value of PMQs

This post first appeared on the blog of the Parliaments and Legislatures study group of the UK Political Studies Association. The weekly Prime Minister’s Questions is undoubtedly an important mechanism for holding the government to account. The requirement that the … Continue reading

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Ed Balls and a defence of sledging at PMQs

Prime Minister’s Questions is one of the most extraordinary Parliamentary spectacles at Westminster, if not the world. Every week, while Parliament is sitting, the Prime Minister must come to Parliament and subject themselves to thirty minutes, (in recent times quite … Continue reading

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