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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

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.

It seems the kindly Sir Edward Leigh had quoted from this blog in a Commons debate on fixed term parliaments

You can listen to the moment here.

Blush, preen, gloat. Will life ever be the same again? Will I have to start dodging the paparazzi? Or will the Today in Parliament team soon pull me back to earth?

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

What is today's timetable?

Here's the timetable for today's sitting of Parliament:

In the Commons MPs start with prayers at 10.30am, followed by a short business statement from the Leader of the House, William Hague.

Read full article What is today's timetable?

Total recall

Just over a year ago, Parliament was recalled to approve UK military intervention in the civil war in Syria - and despite a progressive watering-down of the proposition put before MPs, to the point where it became a kind of paving motion, with a further vote to be held on actual use of force - the government was dealt an unprecedented rebuff.

"We get it," a rueful David Cameron told MPs, and Friday's sitting is the direct result; prime ministers now need the approval of Parliament in these circumstances - or at any rate the approval of the Commons.

Read full article Total recall

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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.

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