Ballot Secrecy Bill [HL]: HL Bill 15 of 2022–23

On 15 July 2022, the Ballot Secrecy Bill [HL] is due to receive second reading in the House of Lords. This private member’s bill would amend section 60 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 to create new offences for individuals who accompany a voter to a polling booth or position themselves nearby with the intention of influencing a voter.

Ballot Secrecy Bill [HL]: HL Bill 15 of 2022–23

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2022

In both 2020 and 2021, the Commonwealth postponed its 26th Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) set to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has since announced the meeting will take place between 20 and 25 June 2022. Some organisations have called on Commonwealth leaders to use CHOGM to press Rwanda to respect and promote human rights.

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2022
  • In Focus

    The nursing workforce: Royal College of Nursing report

    A recent report by the Royal College of Nursing presented the findings of a survey of nursing and midwifery staff in the UK. It found that recent events, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK’s exit from the EU, had both highlighted and worsened long-term problems with workforce supply in health and social care. This article provides a summary of the report and of the UK government’s policy on increasing the number of nurses.

  • In Focus

    Net zero: The global energy sector

    In May 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published its energy roadmap which examined how the world can transition to a net zero energy system by 2050. It argued that although current climate pledges fall short of what is needed to meet this target, a viable pathway is still available. This article provides a summary of the IEA’s report and the UK government’s policy on net zero. It also considers the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the global energy sector.

  • In Focus

    Liaison Committee follow-up report: Tackling financial exclusion

    On 25 May 2022, the grand committee of the House of Lords is due to debate the House of Lords Liaison Committee’s report ‘Tackling financial exclusion: A country that works for everyone? Follow-up report’. This report examines the progress made by the government and key stakeholders in implementing the recommendations made in the original 2017 select committee report on financial exclusion. It found that “four years on, financial exclusion is still highly prevalent in the UK”.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Home affairs

    The Queen’s Speech is due to take place on 10 May 2022. The Government will use the speech to outline its plans for the new parliamentary session. This article considers what home affairs related announcements the Government might make, including plans for new legislation relating to counter-state threats and economic crime, and amendments to the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

  • In Focus

    Levelling up: plans for the South West of England

    Research has shown that the UK is one of the most geographically unequal countries in the developed world. Addressing these inequalities by ‘levelling up’ is a priority for the Government. This article examines inequalities in the south-west of England, the Government’s strategy to address them and the reaction to these plans.

  • In Focus

    The UK’s horticultural sector

    In recent years, concerns have been raised about the horticultural sector’s workforce, including its dependence on foreign seasonal workers and the existence of a skills gap. The sector’s role in protecting the environment has also been discussed. This article considers both these issues and the Government’s response.

  • In Focus

    Recreational drug use: what’s the harm?

    In recent years, some in law enforcement and Government have associated recreational drug use, particularly among the middle classes, with increasing violence. This article looks at the Government’s plans to tackle the problem, responses to the proposals and Dame Carol Black’s recent independent review of drugs.

  • In Focus

    Changes to the Highway Code: regret motion

    In December 2021, the Government published proposed changes to the Highway Code which it said would improve safety for vulnerable road users, particularly cyclists, pedestrians, and horse riders. On 27 January 2022, the House of Lords is due to debate a regret motion on the proposals. The motion expresses concern that the Government has failed to sufficiently educate the public about them.

  • Research Briefing

    Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill

    The bill would establish a system of binding arbitration to resolve outstanding commercial rent debt accrued during the coronavirus pandemic. This briefing considers: the background to the bill; what it would do; what happened during its passage through the House of Commons; and plans to debate it in the House of Lords.

  • In Focus

    Forcibly displaced people

    The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimated that at the end of 2020 more than 82.4 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide. This briefing considers the UNHCR’s findings and what action the UK Government has taken in relation to the issue of forcibly displaced people.

  • In Focus

    The Integrated Rail Plan

    On 16 December 2021, the House of Lords is scheduled to hold a short debate on a motion tabled by Lord Berkeley (Labour). He will ask the Government “how the Integrated Rail Plan will deliver the (1) capacity, and (2) regional connectivity, sought for the Northern Powerhouse area”. This article provides background information on the plan, a brief overview of the plan itself and a survey of the reaction it has received.

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