News

Disorder in the Commons over prorogation

The traditional ceremony to prorogue Parliament took place in the House of Lords just after 1.30 am on September 10. It was preceded by unruly scenes in the Commons. A number of opposition MPs held up placards with the word ‘Silenced’ on them.

Annual change at the Independent Schools Association

At the beginning of September each year, a new Chair takes office at the Independent Schools Association (ISA), an organisation which has grown rapidly in the last few years and now has nearly 530 members, most of them small, community-based schools, very different from the big, expensive institu

Is the Commons Speaker always unopposed at elections?

It is repeatedly said that the political parties never put up candidates against a Speaker standing for re-election. This has only been the case in recent years, as Alistair Lexden pointed out in a letter published in The Times on September 10.

Debunking Chamberlain myths

Bruce Anderson, for many years a well-known political commentator, now writes a column about drink for The Spectator magazine. On 31 August he repeated the familiar criticisms of Neville Chamberlain.

‘Never do a Peel’ warning still haunts party today

It was under the heading above that an article by Alistair Lexden, commissioned by The Times after 21 MPs had lost the Tory whip, appeared in print on September 5. The piece was cut slightly for publication. The full text follows.

Follow Churchill

On 2 September, an editorial in the London Evening Standard urged Members of Parliament threatened with deselection over Brexit to make their case vigorously in their constituencies.

Another sensational prorogation

Boris Johnson’s dramatic request to The Queen on 28 August to prorogue Parliament will be the subject of endless debate among commentators, constitutional experts and historians for years to come.

Publications over fifty years

Apart from his school magazine which he edited, Alistair Lexden first appeared in print in 1969—with an edited  memoir of Hugh Holmes, Conservative Attorney-General for Ireland in the 1880s, and a book review in The Belfast Telegraph. Other publications followed over the ensuing fifty years.

Is Parliament in danger of misusing its powers in the Brexit crisis?

In an article in The Times on August 23, Professor Robert Tombs, historian and well-known ardent Brexiteer, accused opponents of a no deal Brexit  in the Commons of “plotting some sort of parliamentary coup against a government trying to carry out a policy approved by the electorate”.

Airey Neave and Ulster 1975-79

March this year brought the fortieth anniversary of Airey Neave’s murder. It was marked by the publication of a biography by Patrick Bishop, which I reviewed for Parliament’s House Magazine and, at slightly greater length, for the ConservativeHome website.