15th July 2009
Buzek Elected President of European Parliament
European Parliamentarians have elected Polish MEP Jerzy Buzek from the EPP political grouping as their President for the first two-and-a-half-years of the Parliamentary session, voting in Strasbourg. The 59 year old is a former Prime Minister (1997-2001) and has been an MEP since 2004. Buzek took 555 of the votes to Eva-Britt Svensson’s 89. The election to the post was a formality, carved out through agreement between the main parties - the Socialists will hold the Presidency for the latter half of the session. Buzek said “it is both an enormous challenge and a great honour”. UK MEP Timothy Kirkhope of the new European Conservative and Reformist Party said that Mr Buzek appears to be "someone who will value the freedoms which this House wishes to have; the freedoms of expression, the freedoms also of looking ahead, of change and reform in Europe, and that this House must change and reform with it….You are someone who can embrace the changes which Europe needs now". Speaking on behalf of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group, Nigel Farage congratulated Mr Buzek, yet condemned the process of electing the new President as a "stitch-up" between the main parties.
6th July 2009
Announcing Three New Books on Interest Groups and Lobbying
Edited by Dr. Conor Mcgrath (independent scholar), and published by The Edwin Mellen Press in June/July 2009:
- Interest Groups and Lobbying in the United States, and Comparative Perspectives (click here for more information and to order)
From the Foreword: “The originality of this project stands out: it is to take readers into a wider range of lobbying locations than any other work to date. . . It will be a standard, international text on lobbying and interest groups for years to come.” - Kevin Moloney, Bournemouth University.
- Interest Groups and Lobbying in Europe (click here for more information and to order)
From a Peer Review: “. . . introduces the reader to the hitherto under-researched area of interest group politics in Eastern Europe as well as providing several excellent studies of the EU and major Western European nations.” - Ian Somerville. University of Ulster
- Interest Groups and Lobbying in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia (click here for more information and to order)
From a Peer Review: “. . . the most innovative [work] in that other currently available texts contain very little information, let alone empirical research and analysis, on the nations and regions included here.” - Ian Somerville, University of Ulster
SPECIAL OFFER FOR PRACTITIONERS: The three books can be purchased at less than half price.
The publisher is offering a highly discounted individual rate of £34.95 (the list price is £79.95) per book.
Download the order form below and find out more details about the publications, contributors and information about the topics covered in each volume.
If you have any problems downloading the PDF document please e-mail phil@PubAffairs.org to be sent a copy directly.
6th July 2009
Insight Public Affairs - The Next Generation: Parliamentary Candidates to Watch
The novelist who was published at 22 and a millionaire at 25; the son of a billionaire entrepreneur; the former GMTV presenter; and the “British Obama” – all prospective parliamentary candidates profiled by Insight Public Affairs in their latest publication: The Next Generation: Parliamentary Candidates to Watch. The book takes an in-depth look at the top parliamentary candidates to find out what makes them tick and their main political interests. In profiling the leading PPCs, we have carefully selected the individuals who will be the rising stars of the next Parliament, based not just on the likely numerical swing required to win election - but also the esteem in which they’re held within their own parties and the wider world of politics. In addition to 30 in-depth candidate profiles - the so-called ‘ones to watch’ - some of the leading experts in Westminster, from political pundits, to journalists and candidates have offered their expert analysis of the big trends influencing the election, sharing their views across a series of issues including polling analysis, local campaigning and fundraising.
26th June 2009
Select Committee Calls Progress Meeting on Lobbying Industry Regulation
The Public Administration Select Committee has scheduled a one-off session on Lobbying to take place on Thursday 2nd July. Entitled ‘Lobbying: Six Months On’, the Committee will be looking at what progress has been made since the publication of the Committee report. APPC, PRCA and CIPR Government Affairs Group representatives have been called to appear - along with the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency, Unlock Democracy and Friends of the Earth. Angela Smith MP, Minister for the Third Sector, will also appear before the Committee. The Cabinet Office has yet still failed to respond to the Committee’s report, which it should have provided in March.
25th June 2009
Tory MPs Dole Back Second Home Cash
Conservative Members of Parliament will be making new allowances repayments following the party’s Scrutiny Panel investigations into ‘reasonable’ expenses claims over the second home allowance. 41 MPs are to make new repayments which total over £125,000. 9 Conservative MPs have also agreed to forgo all or part of their second homes allowance in the future,which has been estimated to be worth more than £100,000. Speaking about the role of the Scrutiny Panel, David Cameron said “Unlike Labour and the Lib Dems, we have not just contented ourselves by accepting the tired old justification that something is “within the rules”. Instead, we have gone beyond the letter of the rules, examined claims in detail and sought to agree, together, claims which while we believe them to have been properly made, could be regarded as disproportionate” and noting that “This is just one step - of many - that needs to be taken to restore both some trust and some faith in the political system”. The findings of the Scrutiny Panel are available to download here
25th June 2009
New Chair of UK Sustainable Development Commission Appointed
Will Day has been appointed to take over from Jonathan Porritt as Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, which is the independent adviser to the Government on economic, environmental and social impacts. He will take over the role on 27 July. Will Day is the former chief executive of Care International UK, a former chairman of BBC Children In Need and external advisor to the BBC Corporate Social Responsibility Board. Day said of his appointment “I take this on at a time of growing public and political understanding of the immense social and environmental pressures that are building up around the world and that affect us all. These realities will require thoughtful and decisive action by government at all levels, business and our wider society”.
23rd June 2009
Bercow Elected Speaker
John Bercow, Conservative MP for Buckingham, has been elected Speaker of the House of Commons. In the third and final round of voting, Mr Bercow took 322 of the 593 votes cast. Sir George Young finished second with 271 votes. Following the second round of voting, Ann Widdecombe had been elminated whilst Margaret Beckett, Alan Haselhurst and Sir Alan Beith MP all withdrew. In the first round of the election, 597 MPs cast their ballot as follows: John Bercow MP (179 votes), Sir George Young MP (112 votes), Margaret Beckett MP (74 votes), Alan Haselhurst MP (66 votes), Sir Alan Beith MP (55 votes), Ann Widdecombe MP (44 votes), Parmjit Dhanda MP (26 votes), Richard Shepherd MP (15 votes), Sir Patrick Cormack MP (13 votes), Sir Michael Lord MP (9 votes). Dhanda, Shepherd, Cormack and Lord were eliminated after the first ballot.
11th June 2009
Widdecombe seeks Speaker Role
Ann Widdecombe has thrown her hat into the ring by announcing she will stand to be the next as Speaker of the House of Commons to replace Michael Martin on 22 June. The MP for Maidstone and The Weald told the BBC that the role "will certainly be an enormous challenge, because we do have to get the reputation of parliament restored in time for the next election. It's not something which can be postponed until afterwards''. Widdecombe is still due to retire at the next General Election. Hustings for all declared candidates - including bookies favourite John Bercow - take place on Monday 15 June.
9th June 2009
Commission President Willing a Second Term
Jose Manuel Barroso, current European Commission President, has publically stated his willingness to take on a second term as head of the EU's institution which would last from November this year until 2014. The former Portuguese Premier said that the current Czech EU Presidency had asked him directly to put his hat in the ring. Barroso has the support of the majority of major EU Member States - from his own centre right to centre left. All Commissioners, including the President, face scrutiny and approval from the newly elected MEPs.
9th June 2009
London Mayor Condemns Trade Union Tube Strike Action
On the eve of the planned 48-hour tube strike by the RMT (the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) in defence of jobs and pay, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has said "It is utterly demented of the RMT leadership to proceed with this strike when two thirds of their members did not vote for it and when real progress had been made in the negotiations. I urge the RMT leadership to get back to the negotiating table. If they continue with this capricious and cynical action, they should be in no doubt that we at Transport for London will not be beaten, and nor will the travelling public...My message to the RMT leadership is that they know there is a good offer on the table. This strike is a disservice to London and a disservice to the vast majority of hard working staff on London Underground". Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy said last night: 'We utterly condemn the RMT leadership's outrageous decision to continue to call for strike action, despite us providing assurances that we are doing everything possible to avoid compulsory redundancies and putting forward an improved two-year, above inflation pay offer....However, the RMT's leadership has shown yet again that no matter how fair an offer is made, they would rather strike than talk...Their attitude is a slap in the face to all hardworking Londoners and businesses struggling through a deep recession".
Commenting on RMT leadership's proposed strike action when it was announced towards the end of May, London Underground Chief Operating Officer, Howard Collins, said "No responsible union should be asking hard-pressed farepayers and taxpayers to fund jobs that are no longer needed...The RMT leadership has failed to engage in any meaningful talks on pay, instead submitting a wildly unrealistic claim - demanding a five per cent pay rise for fewer hours in the middle of a recession...No responsible union should be asking hard-pressed farepayers and taxpayers to fund jobs that are no longer needed and vastly inflated pay demands"