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18:00 - 19:00 12 November 2013
The House of Lords: Westminster Bicameralism Revived
Council Room |
29-30 Tavistock Square | London | WC1H 9QU | United Kingdom
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential
Meg Russell, Reader in British and Comparative Politics, Constitution Unit, UCL, Reader in British and Comparative Politics, and Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit at UCL. She is largely responsible for the Unit's research work on parliament, and has a particular interest in bicameralism and the British House of Lords. She has also written on political party organisation, candidate selection and women's representation in politics.
Mark D'Arcy, is a parliamentary correspondent for the BBC. Mark has been a correspondent for Today in Parliament since 2002, and also presents BBC Parliament's political book review show, Book Talk.
The House of Lords has frequently reached the news in recent years, but almost always in the context of its possible reform, rather than the existing chamber's role in the policy process. Meg Russell's new book, seeks to redress the gap in understanding, based on detailed research about the chamber's evolving membership, party groups, committees and treatment of legislation. The book argues that the years since 1999 (when Tony Blair's government removed most hereditary peers) have seen a 'revival' of bicameralism in the UK, with the Lords playing an increasingly active and influential role. Even before the arrival of coalition in 2010, the Lords had given the 3rd party significant negotiating power, making British parliamentary politics far more plural than was suggested by the old 'Westminster model'. Since the arrival of the coalition, the independent 'Crossbenchers' have taken on a pivotal, but little-known, position. These changes have obvious consequences for how we are governed.
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