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Weekly Parliamentary Preview

The Right Ethos’ Guide to the week ahead in Parliament  – Week commencing: Friday 12th July 2019


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The big announcement

While we’ve known the result for some time (and,despite Hunt’s claim that there will be a surprise, there will be no surprise), the official announcement comes this week. Boris Johnson will be the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The timetable, very generally is that the announcement will be made at lunchtime-ish on Tuesday. The big question is what percentage of votes he gets. He has been hoping or a whapping share, giving him a big Conservative mandate. If Hunt has eaten into that, it will make life a lot tricker. If Jeremy gets anything above 40% it’s bad news for the new PM before he’s even taken the role.

He won’t become PM immediately. Instead, Theresa May will take her final PMQs on Wednesday at 12 and then she’ll pop down the rod and hand her resignation to the Queen.  As she leaves Her Majesty’s front room, she may well pass Mr Johnson in the waiting room, presumably reading an out of date Grazia or Men’s Health or something. And so it will be that on Wednesday afternoon, Boris Johnson will become the 68th (roughly) Prime Minister. The 20th from Eton.

What happens next is less clear. Jeremy Corbyn has said he’ll table a vote of no confidence immediately. Now the timing here is everything here. He can’t table the motion until Johnson is actually in position.  Which could, possibly, be after the close of play on Wednesday.  If he gets the moton in on time, the vote will take place on Thursday, if not, the vote will take place when Parliament returns in September.

That said, I don’t think this vote’s timing is all that important. I don’t think there are enough (any?) Conservative or DUP MPs who will vote against this new Prime Minister at this stage. They’ll want to give him time to see what he can do. Also, it’s generally accepted that an election before Brexit is settled will see the Brexit Party pull too many votes from the Conservative Party and the results could be catastrophic for the party.

Now, stretching forward, there could be another confidence vote in the face of no deal. That really could win, but it is very unlikely that there could be an election before the October 31st deadline. Which all plays into what seems to be the Johnson plan. Offer some kind of reduced Withdrawal Agreement, with alternative arrangements, not the backstop, to the EU and if they say no, go ahead with no deal. Once that’s done, call an election having negated the Brexit Party and, he’ll hope, riding a bump in the polls for actually having done the thing.

Hungry for a taste of Prime Minister Johnson? He may well choose to address the House of Commons on Thursday, the last sitting day, to lay out some plans. Of course, he may not, too.


The Week Ahead.

****Health warning: There is nothing happening this week in Parliament. Nothing. Feel free to read this section, but I would strongly advise against operating heavy machinery afterwards as this timetable may well cause drowsiness.****


Monday –  Nothing really happening. A technical Bill about business rates that will make very little impact on most people’s business rates.

Tuesday – Ummm… well…. yeah. Nothing. A bit of debate about body image and mental health, but with no motion or legislation around, people who need the help that only the government and Parliament can provide won’t find their situation changes.

Of course, the big news today is that the winner (but, who could it be?) of the Conservative leadership contest will be announced at 11.30 / 12ish.

Wednesday –  If you want a sign of the times, let me tell you this: Theresa May’s team have been urging Conservative MPs to attend her final PMQs. As in, they think they might not have bothered otherwise. Sigh.

I can’t even type the pointless goings-on in the Commons.

After that, it’s a change of the PM at Buckingham Palace. Rumours that Theresa May is going down with Alice are unconfirmed.

“Do you think the Queen knows all about me?”

“Sure to, dear, but it’s time for tea,” Said Boris, the new Prime Minister

Thursday–  Nothing happening. Unless we get a statement from the new PM, which would actually be exciting.

Friday – And that’s your lot, Parliament fans. MPs and Baronesses and Lords and journalists and everyone else is off for the glorious British Summer. Of course, the new Prime Minister will be active. He’ll want to get things in place and get his feet under the desk and Number 10.


About The Right Ethos

The Right Ethos was set up after our founder, Jonathan Dearth, had worked in the campaigning sector for 13 years, for campaigning organisations including Amnesty International, Shelter, Liberty and the World Development Movement. It was set up as a response to multi-sector recruitment consultancies moving in on the charity sector, and in particular not recognising that people who work for campaigning organisations are motivated by justice and long term change.