Doctrine and decision: navigating Labour’s new constitutional position in the Lords

Robinson, Emily and Watts, Jake (2019) Doctrine and decision: navigating Labour’s new constitutional position in the Lords. The Political Quarterly. ISSN 0032-3179

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The 2015–17 Parliament was the first time in history that the Conservatives were in government with no easily assembled majority in the House of Lords. This has fundamentally altered the role that Labour is able to play in the Lords and, conversely, that peers are able to play in the Labour party. Yet the political significance of this situation has not yet been fully appreciated by a party which remains culturally antagonistic and constitutionally wary of the Lords. In this paper, we draw on interviews with Labour peers, particularly the late Baroness Hollis of Heigham, who have been able to use the essentially conservative powers of the Lords for social democratic ends. We suggest that the Labour party needs to incorporate the second chamber into both its practical and symbolic politics, and to find ways to use this new source of constitutional power without accommodating to it.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Labour Party, House of Lords, UK constitution, party politics, social democracy, Patricia Hollis
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN0101 Great Britain
Depositing User: Emily Robinson
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2019 14:49
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 18:16

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