Review of the London Fire Brigade: Findings and reaction

In November 2022, an independent cultural review of the London Fire Brigade raised several concerns about the service. This included the finding that it was “institutionally misogynist and racist”. Responding, London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe apologised for the harm caused and set out several measures aimed at addressing the core problems. This article gives an overview of the findings and sets out the reaction to the review from various groups and individuals.

Review of the London Fire Brigade: Findings and reaction

Reform of the railways: Recent developments

In 2021, the government announced plans to reform the railways in Great Britain, with many of the proposed changes set out in the ‘Williams-Shapps plan for rail’. In the 2022 Queen’s Speech, the government said that it would legislate for them. However, in October 2022 the government announced that it would delay this primary legislation until the next parliamentary session due to a lack of time but said that non-legislative reforms would go ahead.

Reform of the railways: Recent developments

Human rights in India

International governments and non-governmental organisations have raised concerns about the human rights situation in India. Recent allegations have been disputed by the Indian government, which has reiterated its commitment to human rights. This article focuses on some of the concerns raised, including in relation to Kashmir, and outlines the UK government’s response.

Human rights in India
  • In Focus

    Police and crime commissioners: Powers and functions

    Since 2012, directly elected politicians called police and crime commissioners (PCCs) have been responsible for the non-operational aspects of policing in most forces in England and Wales. In July 2020, the government announced a two-part review of the PCC model. This article provides background information on the responsibilities held by PCCs and summarises the findings of the government’s review.

  • In Focus

    Protests in Iran: Death of Mahsa Amini

    In recent weeks, Iran has seen widespread protests following allegations that the country’s morality police caused the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini. This briefing looks at how the protests have developed and the reaction of the Iranian authorities. It also considers how the international community, including the UK, has responded.

  • Current Affairs Digest

    Current Affairs Digest: Home Affairs (October 2022)

    In November 2022, the focus of the sporting world will turn to Qatar and the upcoming football world cup. While many fans are looking forward to the tournament, some victims of domestic abuse will be concerned about being subjected to increased levels of violence. This article examines research which has shown a link between football and domestic abuse, with several studies specifically focusing on the impact of international tournaments.

  • In Focus

    Net zero and behaviour change

    The government has set a target for the UK to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Various groups and individuals have argued that behaviour change is essential to meeting this goal. The government has announced some policies aimed at progressing this; however, there has been criticism that its actions do not go far enough.

  • 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

    Educational attainment gap: Regional disparities

    Following the release of this year’s GCSE and A-level results, some commentators have raised concerns that the educational attainment gap between the north and south of England has widened. This issue is the focus of an upcoming question for short debate in the House of Lords. In preparation for the debate, this briefing looks at recent commentary on the issue and provides an overview of this year’s results.

  • Research Briefing

    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.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • 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”.

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