METHODS BY WHICH THE EXECUTIVE IS HELD TO ACCOUNT BY PARLIAMENT - Coggle…
METHODS BY WHICH THE EXECUTIVE IS HELD TO ACCOUNT BY PARLIAMENT
MQs - Ministerial Questions, on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. All cabinet ministers take it in turns to answer questions about their department. Each cabinet minister takes questions about once every 3 weeks.
URGENT QUESTIONS - Backbench Conservative or any opposition MP, apply to the speaker to ask an urgent question. If granted by the speaker, the relevant minister has to come to the Commons and answer the question.
PMQs - on a Wednesday, 12-12:30, can be questioned on anything. If PM isn't available, someone else has to e.g. Dominic Raab when Boris Johnson was ill in hospital. Doesn't receive the questions in advance. Can be asked by any MP not part of the executive. The leader of the official opposition gets 3 questions. The Speaker (chair) chooses MPs in a representative way to ask questions.
QUESTION TIME - Parliamentary time, including PM's Question Time, in which backbenchers and opposition frontbenchers ask oral questions to govt ministers.
PM is also questioned by the Liaison Committee of the Commons twice a year.
DEBATE ON MINISTERIAL STATEMENT - ministers will come to the Commons to create a statement about something, which creates a debate. Minister puts forward the govt view, and then a shadow minister who puts forward the opposition view. Free for all on questions/points.
MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE IN THE GOVT - the opposition staples a vote of no confidence. Debate about whether the Commons has confidence or not, vote. E.G. James Callaghan in 1979, Margaret Thatcher tabled a vote of no confidence, and Callaghan lost by one vote. Nobody could form a govt, Thatcher had a minority. Following a vote of no confidence the govt has to resign. There was a general election.
OPPOSITION DAY DEBATES - the opposition parties in proportion to their number of seats in the Commons get the opportunity to choose a debate topic. 20 parliamentary days in a year where the opposition decides the debate question. Important form of accountability.
Can lead to govt defeat, military action in Syria 2013, Brexit proposals 2017-19 but these are the exception not the rule.
There are debates on bills, govt debates and debates on an urgent question.
The leader of the opposition has special privileges, notably to speak in debates and to take the main role at PMQs. Takes part in ceremonial state occasions and usually meets visiting dignitaries and heads of state.
The role of the opposition includes: forcing the govt to explain and justify its policies and decisions, highlighting the shortcoming of the way the govt is running the country, presenting alternative proposals to those of the govt if appropriate, and making itself ready to be an alternative govt if the current govt is defeated at the next general election.
Opposition is the parties, MPs and peers who aren't members of the governing party or parties, and
opposition is the largest party in the Commons that isn't in government.
On supply days, of which there are normally more than 20 per year, the opposition may debate any issue it wishes and even hold a vote. In 2009, the opposition defeated the govt on the issue of whether Nepalese Gurkha soldiers should have the right of residence in the UK.
Ad hoc - one off to examine that particular bill.
In proportion to the party balance in the Commons. MPs put their name forward. Membership is likely to be influenced by the whips.
A group of approximately 40 MPs examines bills in detail and produces a report, including suggested amendments. The govt can choose to accept none, some or all of the amendments.
PARLIAMENTARY REBELLION - a division in which MPs vote against their party whip.
PAC - it scrutinises value for money - the economy, efficiency and effective - of public spending and holds the govt to account for the delivery of public services.
Its chair is always a member of the main opposition party. The chair has great prestige, and a greater salary than other MPs. The chair and members are elected by all MPs, so aren't controlled by party leaders.
The most important select committees sit in the House of Commons - the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the departmental select committees, of which there are usually 19.
Its members always tend to act independently, on the whole ignoring their party allegiance. This means the govt has no advantage on the committee, even though it has a majority of members on it.
A permanent committee of backbench MPs responsible for scrutinising the work of a govt, notably of a particular govt department.
Its reports are often unanimous in their conclusions, so it stands above party politics.
It has a high profile in the media. Many of its important hearings are broadcast as news items.
KEY PAC INVESTIGATIONS:
2016, into Google's tax affairs - Google's payment of back tax of £130 million for ten years was considered far too low. HMRC should investigate ways of better regulating the tax affairs of multinational companies and making them more transparent.
2015, into the effectiveness of cancer care by the NHS - highly critical of variations in cancer treatment in diff regions and for diff age groups. Criticised low cure rates and increased waiting times for treatment. Publicity prompted the govt to review cancer treatment.
2021 - published a report on govt procurement and supply of PPE, recommended that the Department of Health and Social Care improves its approach to managing and distributing stocks.