This article analyses the 36 new peerages announced by the Prime Minister on 31 July 2020. It provides statistics on the background, gender and party affiliation of the new peers. The article also compares the number and gender balance of peers created by Boris Johnson with those of the former Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May.

  • In Focus

    In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Department for Education has said it expects to see an increase in the number of apprentices being made redundant. The Government has laid regulations which would allow apprentices who are made redundant to continue to receive funding to complete their apprenticeship through an alternative provider.

  • In Focus

    Following the coronavirus lockdown, the number of passengers on the transport system declined significantly. In some sectors government financial support has been provided to make up the shortfall in lost fare revenue. This article summarises statistics on transport use and the economic support provided by the Government, ahead of an oral question on that subject in the House of Lords.

  • In Focus

    The Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 make arrangements for how eviction court cases, which were temporarily suspended during the coronavirus pandemic, will proceed when the suspension is lifted on 21 September 2020. On 23 September 2020, the House of Lords is due to debate a motion to annul the rules.

  • In Focus

    This article summarises the conclusions of three House of Lords committee reports on the powers of Parliament to scrutinise treaties. In the context of Brexit, there have been calls for Parliament’s powers of scrutiny of treaties and trade agreements to be strengthened. The committee reports are due to be debated in the House of Lords on 7 September 2020.

  • In Focus

    This article provides information on the UK’s balance of trade with Russia. In 2019, the UK had a trade deficit with Russia of almost £4 billion. The article provides a breakdown of the UK’s trade in goods and services with Russia in 2019, and it summarises how economic relations have been affected by the foreign relations between the two countries in recent years.

  • In Focus

    This article provides statistics on applications and enrolments to nursing degrees in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Nursing enrolments have declined following changes to the bursary scheme for nursing students in 2017. The ability of universities to offer courses in the autumn of 2020 has also been impacted by coronavirus. The article summarises Government policy intended to encourage nursing student recruitment.

  • In Focus

    Coronavirus is believed to have originated in a ‘wet market’ selling wild animals in the city of Wuhan in China. This has provoked debate about the relationship between unsanitary conditions in some markets and the spread of diseases from animals to humans. The article summarises international efforts to regulate live animal markets, particularly those in Asia and Africa.

  • In Focus

    In response to the coronavirus lockdown the Government temporarily amended the procedure for women to obtain drugs to have early medical abortions at home, rather than at a clinic or hospital. The article summarises the legislative changes and the debate surrounding early medical abortion.

  • In Focus

    This article summarises the scrutiny of the Coronavirus Act 2020 in the House of Lords. The Act was emergency legislation passed by Parliament in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The Act provided the Government with a range of powers to tackle the disease, including: the closure of schools and nurseries; powers to detain those suspected of having the virus; and restrictions on public gatherings.