A year ago today, the country was put into lockdown. The aim was to hold back the COVID pandemic and to prevent it from spreading through the population beyond the inevitable. This was, said the Prime Minister, the biggest ever peacetime challenge to … [Read more...] about Is the constitution able to learn from mistakes?
The Johnson Government and its MPs have little in common with the former Conservative Party. Worryingly, from a civil service perspective, it has much more in common with the Scottish National Party. The SNP came to power in Scotland having had … [Read more...] about The Conservatives and the SNP: more in common than meets the eye?
The British constitution was, as recently as in the 1960s, ‘almost universally regarded as well-nigh perfect.’ Since then, however, it has been ‘substantially transformed’ from ‘order’ to ‘mess.’ So according to the late Anthony King, in his The … [Read more...] about Britain is not a well governed country
The New Year Honours list provides us with just one example of the various and wide-ranging forms of patronage at the disposal of the UK government. This post explores the potential for its abuse. According to its critics, the current government … [Read more...] about Cronyism, Covid and the Constitution
One passage in particular from the 2019 Conservative General Election manifesto has generated considerable discussion among constitutional observers. It comprised the promise that, if elected, a Conservative government would set up a Constitution, … [Read more...] about The Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission: death by independent review
A change of regime in Washington is always likely to produce international repositioning. The sharp shift in tone and content now anticipated has already made an impact in the United Kingdom (UK), as elsewhere. After the result of the United States … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson and Donald Trump: constitutional common ground?
A review in light of recent events Public bodies have been much in the spotlight in the last few months. Courting controversy and concern is nothing new for the many organisations which conduct public functions at varying degrees of remove from … [Read more...] about Public bodies and the constitution
This conversation with Martin Stanley accompanies his recent blog on the subject of the questions faced by the incoming Cabinet Secretary. Martin Stanley was a Senior Civil Servant in the Business Department and Cabinet Office. He then became … [Read more...] about The Civil Service and the constitution: in conversation with Martin Stanley
Four constitutional questions that the new Cabinet Secretary must answer Simon Case, the new Cabinet Secretary, faces four significant constitutional questions. His responses will have repercussions for years to come. First, he must … [Read more...] about Constitutional questions facing the new Cabinet Secretary
Recent controversies surrounding Dominic Cummings, the most senior aide to the Prime Minister, have once again drawn attention to the constitutional role played by special advisers. Vernon Bogdanor, professor at King's College London, has been … [Read more...] about Special advisers: in conversation with Vernon Bogdanor
In his second daily press briefing on Tuesday, the Prime Minister stated ‘We must act like any wartime government.’ Few would dispute the exceptional nature of the challenges we now face, or that extraordinary responses are required. The … [Read more...] about ‘Wartime Government’: The Constitutional Dimension