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Title: The working and impact of the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee in the 2010-15 Parliament
Author: Ellis, Eloise Elizabeth Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 9235
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Much of the development in constitutional reform that took place between 2010 and 2015 might be described as an accident of circumstance, particularly those in the early years that were widely regarded as a compromise intended to bind the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government together. It was this unique context of a Coalition Government in office, with a specific constitutional reform policy brief accorded to the Liberal Democrat leader as Deputy Prime Minister, that gave rise to the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee being established in 2010. The creation of this Committee, and the passage of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 shortly after providing a fixed five-year term for the working of the Committee, formed the genesis and basis for this PhD study. This particular Committee was, in the words of its Chair, a ‘bolt-on’; it was an ‘experiment’ with a finite lifespan. The conditions in which the PCRC emerged enabled it to carve out a unique position for itself, adopting a strategic and focused five-year plan. This thesis studies the PCRC not only for its working and impact in the evolving process of constitutional reform in the UK, but as a case study assessment of House of Commons Select Committees more widely. It considers the strengthened and more wide-reaching role that a Select Committee was able to perform during the 2010-15 Parliament, especially with respect to the development of public policy both in terms of scrutiny of Government action and proposals and the initiation of its own policy ideas and proposals. Conclusions are drawn about the aims, quality and effectiveness of the Committee’s work, particularly in influencing government and parliamentary thinking on constitutional affairs, and the legacy of the PCRC is examined. This in-depth case study of the work of the PCRC is the first of its kind to examine this unique Select Committee, and provides an original contribution to a scholarly understanding of the working and impact of the Select Committee system. It serves to identify best practice in working methods and innovations of a Select Committee, and suggests there is scope for some of these working practices to be adopted more widely, adding to the evolving structural reform that has taken place in recent years designed to improve the effectiveness of Select Committees at Westminster.
Supervisor: Blackburn, Robert W. ; Ewing, Keith David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available