The Speaker and the same question: a view from the Victorian Commons

In today’s blog Dr Philip Salmon, editor of the 1832-1945 House of Commons project, explores some of the historical background behind recent Parliamentary rulings relating to Brexit. The rules governing UK parliamentary procedure, not surprisingly, don’t often get much public attention. However, some of the recent decisions by Speaker Bercow serve as an important reminder that the practices of the past can have an important … Continue reading The Speaker and the same question: a view from the Victorian Commons

‘The House divided’: the creation of a second division lobby for the Commons in 1836

The huge publicity given to recent parliamentary votes on Brexit has put the over-crowded division lobbies of the House of Commons in the spotlight as never before and prompted the introduction of proxy voting on a trial basis. While MPs now vote in two division lobbies, this has only been the case since 1836, as Dr. Kathryn Rix, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons, … Continue reading ‘The House divided’: the creation of a second division lobby for the Commons in 1836

A Speaker-Elect Makes a Quick Escape from the Parliamentary Turmoil caused by England’s Precipitous Exit from Europe

In light of the recent controversy surrounding the current Speaker of the House of Commons and his position on Brexit, Dr Linda Clark, Editor of the House of Commons 1422-1504 Section discusses how Agincourt veteran, Sir John Popham narrowly escaped assuming the daunting task of Speaker nearing the turbulent end of the Hundred Years’ War… A chronicler laconically remarked of 1449 that ‘This yere the … Continue reading A Speaker-Elect Makes a Quick Escape from the Parliamentary Turmoil caused by England’s Precipitous Exit from Europe

No deal: Pride’s Purge and retreat from settlement

As MPs prepare to vote over whether or not to accept the Brexit deal negotiated by Theresa May, we have the second post in the series on the tumultuous events of 1648-1649, as parliamentarians disputed with each other over a treaty which might end the civil wars.  Dr Vivienne Larminie of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section moves on from 15 November to 6 December … Continue reading No deal: Pride’s Purge and retreat from settlement

Irish Disputes at Westminster

To launch our new James I to Restoration blog, and also mark St Patrick’s Day, Dr Patrick Little of the Commons 1640-1660 Section discusses the controversial presence of Irish MPs at Westminster in the 1650s… With Irish political and constitutional issues routinely hitting the headlines – not least because of implications of Brexit for the border and the fact that the Democratic Unionists hold the … Continue reading Irish Disputes at Westminster

Voices from our oral history project: Sir Teddy Taylor

Last month we were sad to hear the news of campaigning backbencher Sir Teddy Taylor’s death. In this blog we look back on his life with extracts from our oral history project  interview with him in January 2012… Sir Teddy Taylor was one of the first former MPs to be interviewed for our oral history project. Following his death last month, obituaries remembered him as … Continue reading Voices from our oral history project: Sir Teddy Taylor

The Prime Minister in the House of Lords: Gladstone and the Irish Church bill, 1869

For the past month the government’s Brexit bill has been back and forth both Houses of Parliament, re-awakening old debates on the roles of the Commons and Lords. Here our Director, Dr Paul Seaward, discusses a similar controversial bill 150 years ago… Theresa May’s remarkable appearance in the House of Lords on 20 February, at the beginning of the debate on the bill triggering the … Continue reading The Prime Minister in the House of Lords: Gladstone and the Irish Church bill, 1869