Parliamentary politics


Member of Parliament Frank Field in today's Daily Telegraph has a very interesting view of what has changed in British parliamentary practice thanks to Tony Blair's reform of the House of Lords. This is another case where Blair's 1999 reform of the House of Lords has reduced his power as prime minister in the House of Commons. It used to be stated that a prime minister with a robust majority has almost dictatorial power at getting legislation through the Commons. That clearly isn't true any more. It's unclear whether Blair anticipated that, but the Marquis of Salisbury (then Lord Cranborne), with whom Blair negotiated the reform, did. Here are my earlier thoughts on the subject.