Chapter

A declining force? Parliament under Blair

Hugh Bochel and Andrew Defty

in Welfare policy under New Labour

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9781861347909
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304227 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861347909.003.0003
A declining force? Parliament under Blair

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This chapter provides a parliamentary context for the study of Members of Parliament's (MPs) attitudes. It examines the role and functions of Parliament, and the manner in which the Blair government sought to reform Parliament as part of its programme of modernisation and constitutional reform. In doing so, this chapter addresses the sustained debate about the perceived decline of Parliament, and focuses in detail on the fate of Labour's welfare legislation within Parliament. This chapter concludes that Labour governments since 1997 have faced considerable opposition among Labour MPs, including on its social policy agenda. The extent of rebellion on welfare legislation suggests that many Labour MPs are not only interested in welfare, but have also been sufficiently exercised to set aside party loyalty to express their disquiet at the government's welfare reform agenda.

Keywords: Labour Party; political parties; UK; social welfare; legislation; Parliament

Chapter.  10167 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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