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The politics of parliamentary procedure: an analysis of Queen's Speech debates in the House of Commons

The politics of parliamentary procedure: an analysis of Queen's Speech debates in the House of Commons
The politics of parliamentary procedure: an analysis of Queen's Speech debates in the House of Commons
In the UK Parliament, the State Opening and accompanying Queen’s Speech enable governments to set out their legislative plans and delineate their policy choices at the start of each parliamentary session. This article explores the procedural politics of the Queen’s Speech debates, and analyses atypical cases to demonstrate the institutional, constitutional and political utility of the process. It examines the defeated King’s Speech of 1924; the backbench dissent of the 1946 King’s Speech; the volatile Labour Queen’s Speeches of the 1970s; and finally the free vote on a government backbench amendment to the 2013 Queen’s Speech. In demonstrating the political use of parliamentary procedure, it maps a number of different modes of procedural utility for Queen’s Speech debates: to facilitate government; to frame policy debates; to contest policy choices; and to articulate both inter- and intra-party dissent. The article argues that, as a consequence of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011, Queen’s Speech debate procedures may become an increasingly important mechanism through which normally marginalised actors pursue their political goals.
westminster parliament, queen’s speech, parliamentary procedure, parliamentary debates, fixed term parliaments act 2011
1746-918X
1-22
Kelso, Alexandra
e9f198bb-27f8-412a-9360-aff01d578096
Kelso, Alexandra
e9f198bb-27f8-412a-9360-aff01d578096

Kelso, Alexandra (2017) The politics of parliamentary procedure: an analysis of Queen's Speech debates in the House of Commons. British Politics, 1-22. (doi:10.1057/bp.2015.49).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In the UK Parliament, the State Opening and accompanying Queen’s Speech enable governments to set out their legislative plans and delineate their policy choices at the start of each parliamentary session. This article explores the procedural politics of the Queen’s Speech debates, and analyses atypical cases to demonstrate the institutional, constitutional and political utility of the process. It examines the defeated King’s Speech of 1924; the backbench dissent of the 1946 King’s Speech; the volatile Labour Queen’s Speeches of the 1970s; and finally the free vote on a government backbench amendment to the 2013 Queen’s Speech. In demonstrating the political use of parliamentary procedure, it maps a number of different modes of procedural utility for Queen’s Speech debates: to facilitate government; to frame policy debates; to contest policy choices; and to articulate both inter- and intra-party dissent. The article argues that, as a consequence of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011, Queen’s Speech debate procedures may become an increasingly important mechanism through which normally marginalised actors pursue their political goals.

Text
QUEEN'S SPEECH PROCEDURES, BRITISH POLITICS 2015.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 23 November 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 June 2017
Keywords: westminster parliament, queen’s speech, parliamentary procedure, parliamentary debates, fixed term parliaments act 2011
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 385256
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/385256
ISSN: 1746-918X
PURE UUID: 709dce14-494a-4145-82c5-cf3d5c2e60f2

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Date deposited: 18 Jan 2016 14:03
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 07:28

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Author: Alexandra Kelso

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