• In Focus

    Windrush scandal and compensation scheme

    The Windrush generation refers to individuals who migrated to the UK from Commonwealth countries between 1948 and 1973. Despite legal entitlement to stay, many faced job losses, denial of services and removal. In 2018, the then government acknowledged their mistreatment and introduced measures including the creation of a compensation scheme for those affected. However, several reviews have raised concerns about the accessibility and effectiveness of the scheme to date.

  • In Focus

    Supporting Myanmar’s health system

    A military coup in Myanmar in February 2021 has led to widespread conflict and has had a severe impact on its health care system. Many health care workers have been involved in civil disobedience and protests against the coup, including boycotts. Organisations such as the WHO and Insecurity Insight have also reported on attacks on health care in the country. Since February 2021, the UK government has provided over £120mn in humanitarian and development assistance in Myanmar.

  • In Focus

    The UK economy in the 1960s

    This briefing is the second of a series on the post-war history of the UK economy focusing on the 1960s. GDP growth remained high and fluctuating, as it was in the 1950s, but over the course of the decade household income growth slowed and the profitability of UK industry declined.

  • In Focus

    Long-term plan for housing

    The government’s long-term plan for housing includes a range of policies it says are aimed at regeneration, inner-city densification and housing delivery across England. In December 2023, the government announced the next stage of its long-term plan, including revisions to the ‘National planning policy framework’ (NPPF). This briefing summarises government housing policies within the long-term plan and NPPF revisions, as well as recent criticism of the government’s plan from parliamentarians.

  • Research Briefing

    Media Bill: HL Bill 44 of 2023–24

    The Media Bill would update the legislative framework governing broadcasting and radio services across the UK. It would represent the first major update to broadcasting legislation since Parliament passed the Communications Act 2003 more than 20 years ago. Since then technological changes have facilitated a shift to more and more viewers watching television programmes on demand using smart devices and listeners opting to access radio services using devices such as smart speakers.

  • In Focus

    Poverty in the UK: Government policy

    There were approximately 11 million people in the UK in relative poverty (before housing costs) in 2021/22. Many people on low incomes receive cash benefits, such as universal credit, and other benefits such as free school meals. In its levelling up strategy the government set out measures to address poverty; these include increasing the number of high-paying jobs and improving access to good quality education and skills training.

  • In Focus

    Where are they now?: Changes to the legislative agenda in the 2022–23 session

    The Queen’s Speech at the start of the 2022–23 session included 20 bills. A further 13 bills were announced in the government’s background briefing to the speech, including five carry-over bills. Changes in government leadership then resulted in some changes to policy during the 2022–23 session. This briefing looks at how the government’s legislative agenda changed during the last session and how many of these bills have been carried over into the new session.

  • In Focus

    New licensing for pet primates

    Thousands of primates are being kept as pets in the UK. The government is legislating to introduce licensing and higher welfare standards to end primates being kept in low welfare domestic environments. This briefing looks at the issue and the legislation.

  • In Focus

    Questions to the foreign secretary: 13 February 2024

    Members of the House of Lords will ask Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton a series of oral questions on 13 February 2024. These include what discussions the government has had with partners on a strategy to reduce debt in the developing world; what the UK is doing to protect children in Gaza; what progress the government has made in implementing the AUKUS security partnership; and UK-US discussions on recognising a Palestinian state.

  • In Focus

    Who sits where in the House of Lords?

    Seating in the House of Lords is defined by precedence and tradition. Tudor laws laid the groundwork for the layout of the current chamber. However, changes to the makeup of the membership and roles in the House have affected how the chamber has been used over time. This briefing explains who sits where and why, then takes a closer look at the tradition of sitting on the steps of the throne.

  • In Focus

    Mental health, wellbeing and personal development in schools

    Schools are required to provide support for the mental health and wellbeing of pupils. Sex, relationships and citizenship education are also included in the national curriculum. This briefing considers the government’s policy on mental health in schools and the current requirements for personal, social, health and economic education. It also summarises recent scrutiny of exam pressure in schools and citizenship education by House of Lords committees.