COMMONS

Dame Margaret Beckett questioned on expressions of opinion of the House

30 October 2018

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee will take evidence from former Leader of the House, Rt Hon Dame Margaret Beckett MP, on the expressions of opinion of the House of Commons, known as ‘resolutions’.

Resolutions of the House of Commons

The status of resolutions of the House of Commons has recently attracted public attention following the Government's decision to abstain from voting on Opposition motions calling for significant policy change. For instance, in October 2017, Government Members, under a three-line whip, abstained from voting on an Opposition motion calling for the roll out of Universal Credit to be paused, which resulted in the motion being agreed to, 299 votes to 0. The Speaker noted that "It is for Ministers in the Government to decide how to respond to the clearly expressed view of the House."

As part of its inquiry into the Role of Parliament in the UK Constitution, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee takes evidence on the purpose, significance and effectiveness of resolutions of the House through time. The Committee recently took evidence on the subject from senior clerks, including Clerk of the House Sir David Natzler, and constitutional academics. In this session, the Committee continues its inquiry by hearing from former Leader of the House, Rt Hon Dame Margaret Beckett MP, who has also held positions as Secretary of State for government departments.

Witness

Tuesday 30 October, Palace of Westminster, Committee Room 8

At 9.45am

  • Rt Hon Dame Margaret Beckett MP, Former Leader of The House of Commons 1998-2001

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright

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