RSS feed
Mark D'Arcy, Parliamentary correspondent

Mark D'Arcy Parliamentary correspondent

This is where you can come for my take on what goes on in the chambers and committee rooms around Westminster

Week ahead

The Parliamentary week will open with what promises to be a major helping of euro-angst in the Commons, as the prime minister reports back from the latest EU summit.

The EU Commission's demand for extra money from Britain is bound to come up - and against the background of the Rochester by-election, the result should be some pretty robust exchanges.

And that will be followed by what promises to be a very interesting debate on the detailed powers voters should have to sack their MPs - an issue many see as crucial to restoring confidence in politics. Meanwhile, in the Lords, the government has a fight on its hands defending the proposals to curtail judicial review in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

Here's my rundown of the week ahead:

Monday

Read full article Week ahead

A sackable offence?

Will it rebuild trust or force MPs to keep their heads down? Next week the Commons debates the detail of a proposed system of "Recall" for members of parliament, allowing voters to sack their elected representatives between elections.

Not surprisingly, honourable members are taking a lively interest - this could be the way their careers end. Two different systems are on offer, with important philosophical differences between them.

Read full article A sackable offence?

An honourable mention

Everyone, Andy Warhol said, is supposed to be famous for 15 minutes. And I've just had mine.

There I was, in a humdrum committee room, watching the behind-the-scenes movers and shakers of the Commons talking about whether the Clerk of the Commons' role should be split, and a new chief executive created, when my Twitter feed suddenly came to life.

Read full article An honourable mention

Three Asquiths - and maybe a Benn?

HH Asquith

Yesterday's by-election for a hereditary peer, to fill the seat of the late Lord Methuen has put a third descendent of the Liberal Prime Minister H H Asquith into the Upper House.

The Earl of Oxford and Asquith, elected yesterday with 155 votes out of the 283 cast*, inherits the peerage created for the family patriarch after he lost his Commons seat in 1924.

Read full article Three Asquiths - and maybe a Benn?

Week ahead

After a week of referendum and by-election aftershocks, it's a bit more like business as usual in Parliament - with the postponed debate on the Recall Bill the main highlight.

In the Lords, Labour are sharpening the knives for Lord Freud, the under-fire Work and Pensions Minister, who is due to answer questions on Tuesday and Thursday.

Read full article Week ahead

How today will unfold

It's the second coming of the EU Referendum Bill today - so here's how I expect the morning to unfold.

Tory MPs have been entertained with bacon butties in No 10, to fortify them for the debate ahead.

Read full article How today will unfold

Unfixed term

A small bet: if there's a majority government after the next election, be it Labour or Conservative, the ensuing Queen's Speech will include the Fixed Term Parliaments (Repeal) Bill.

The current guarantee of a five year parliament was a key part of the Con-Lib Dem Coalition deal, ensuring David Cameron couldn't throw over Nick Clegg the minute he saw a polling advantage, but both big parties dislike a measure which could prove highly inconvenient to them.

Read full article Unfixed term

Week ahead

Expect a heavy constitutional week. I've blogged separately on the cornucopia of devolutionary delights awaiting us when Parliament returns - and one of the consequences of the referendum aftershocks seems likely to be the postponement of the MPs Recall Bill which was due for a second reading debate on Tuesday.

But even without the big battles expected over recall, there's plenty of interesting and unusual action - with the Archbishop of Canterbury introducing Church legislation on women bishops in the Lords; and the second reading debate for the reincarnated EU Referendum Bill - with former minister Bob Neill piloting the Conservative-backed private member's bill for a public vote in 2017.

Read full article Week ahead

Can Carswell kipper the Commons?

The King of Clacton is now the Keir Hardie of the 'kippers.

Douglas Carswell will re-join the House of Commons next week, and add to its small band of one person parties (alongside Dr Caroline Lucas for the Greens, Naomi Long for the Alliance Party and George Galloway for Respect).

Read full article Can Carswell kipper the Commons?

Devolution dished up

I'm having my anorak dry-cleaned specially. There's a whole lot of devolution going on when Parliament reconvenes next week.

Driven by the Scottish referendum and its continuing aftershocks, there is suddenly a huge amount of energy pervading what would once have been dismissed as rather arcane constitutional questions - and the electoral, not to mention constitutional, consequences of striking the wrong note could be huge.

Read full article Devolution dished up

More Correspondents

  • Nick Robinson, Political editor Nick Robinson Political editor

    The latest on what’s going on in and around politics


  • James Landale James Landale Deputy political editor

    Who is saying what to whom at Westminster and why it matters


  • Andrew Neil, Presenter, The Daily Politics and Sunday Politics Andrew Neil Daily and Sunday Politics

    People and policies that make Westminster tick


About Mark

Mark has been a correspondent for Today in Parliament since 2002, and also presents BBC Parliament's political book review show, Book Talk.

His career has included stints at LWT's Weekend World and the Leicester Mercury. He has also produced and occasionally presented Radio 4's The Westminster Hour.

As well as being a politics nerd, he is a cricket fanatic, amateur cook and Bruce Springsteen fan.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.