• In Focus

    Emergency healthcare in crisis: Public Services Committee report

    In September 2022, the House of Lords Public Services Committee found that “emergency access to healthcare is in crisis”. The committee outlined an action plan which it said set out how the government could address some immediate challenges in the short term and begin developing a new model for emergency health services which are fit for purpose in the long term.

  • Research Briefing

    Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill: HL Bill 122 of 2022–23

    The Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill would prohibit the sale, offering for sale, or advertisement in England and Northern Ireland of low-welfare animal activities which take place abroad. The activity types covered would be set out in regulations, but would include those where animals are subject to unnecessary suffering or are kept in confinement.

  • Research Briefing

    Public Advocate Bill [HL]: HL Bill 25 of 2022–23

    This private member’s bill seeks to establish a public advocate who would advise representatives of the deceased after major incidents, and who would establish a panel similar to the Hillsborough Independent Panel if a majority of representatives of the deceased requested it.

  • In Focus

    Liaison Committee: Citizenship and civic engagement

    During the 2017–19 session, the House of Lords appointed a committee to examine citizenship and civic engagement in the UK. In 2022, the House of Lords Liaison Committee held a follow-up to this inquiry, considering issues including citizenship education in schools, the ‘life in the UK’ test, and whether the government’s policies in this area are coordinated effectively. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate its report on 17 April 2023.

  • In Focus

    Pride in the UK: From its roots to today

    On 1 July 1972 the UK’s first Pride march was held in London. This date was chosen as the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of the riots, or uprising, at the Stonewall Inn in 1969, where LGBT+ patrons had been targeted by the New York Police Department. Liberation organisations were inspired to action, and Pride marches have since become annual events throughout the UK and around the world. This LGBT+ history month, this article explores 50 years of Pride.

  • Research Briefing

    Education (Non-religious Philosophical Convictions) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 29 of 2022–23

    The Education (Non-religious Philosophical Convictions) Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill sponsored by Baroness Burt of Solihull (Liberal Democrat). It would introduce an explicit requirement for schools in England to include non-religious worldviews such as humanism in religious education (RE). The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the bill at second reading on 3 February 2023.

  • In Focus

    Commission on Young Lives: National plan for vulnerable young people

    The Commission on Young Lives was an independent group formed to design a new national system to prevent crisis in vulnerable young people and to boost their life chances and educational prospects. The commission published a report in November 2022 which made recommendations to government, local authorities, police and others to tackle the “deep-rooted” problems facing vulnerable youths. The commission’s “centrepiece recommendation” was for a “sure start plus for teenagers” network of intervention and support.

  • In Focus

    Arrival of the Empire Windrush: Celebrating the 75th anniversary

    National Windrush Day on 22 June 2023 will mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the passengers of the Empire Windrush to the UK. The day celebrates the contribution and achievements of the Windrush generation and their descendants. This briefing provides background information for a debate in the House of Lords on the government’s plans to mark this celebration.

  • In Focus

    International Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

    Friday 27 January 2023 is International Holocaust Memorial Day, marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland on the same day in 1945. On this annual day of commemoration, the United Nations urges every member state to honour the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism, and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

  • In Focus

    Arts Council England: Funding and regional distribution

    The government announced plans in February 2022 to redistribute Arts Council England (ACE) funding across regions in England to “level up” access to the arts. ACE published its latest funding allocations for 2023–26 in November 2022. It said 21.8% more investment would be given to regions outside of London when compared to 2018/19. Some arts organisations and parliamentarians have raised concerns about ACE’s funding distribution and the impact on leading cultural institutions.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • In Focus

    Meeting housing demand: Built Environment Committee report

    In January 2022, the House of Lords Built Environment Committee published the report ‘Meeting housing demand’, which argued that the government should remove the “administrative and other blockers” that prevent increased housing supply. Ahead of a House of Lords debate on the report on 8 November 2022, this article summarises the report, the government’s response and recent developments in housing and planning reform policy.

  • Research Briefing

    Public Order Bill: HL Bill 61 of 2022–23

    This government bill would introduce powers to address protestors that cause serious disruption. This includes new criminal offences such as those relating to: locking on; tunnelling; obstructing major transport works; interfering with key national infrastructure; and interfering with the access to, or provision of, abortion services. The bill would also introduce serious disruption prevention orders, as well as give the secretary of state the power to bring civil proceedings against those causing serious disruption as a result of protest-related activities. The bill has proven controversial, with some arguing that it could threaten the right to protest. The government states that the bill would plug what it argues are gaps in existing legislation to better protect the public from serious disruption caused by protestors.

  • In Focus

    National plan for music education

    The government has published an updated plan for music education. It emphasises aspects such as early years music; cooperation between schools and other organisations, for example music hubs; and providing a variety of ways to progress in music. Commentators have welcomed the plan but called for more funding. Some observers have also argued that the structure of testing in schools from age 14 skews the curriculum against music.

  • In Focus

    Ugandan Asians: 50 years since their expulsion from Uganda

    On 4 August 1972, Ugandan President Idi Amin gave his country’s Asian population 90 days in which to leave the country. Almost 40,000 Ugandan Asians would come to the UK over the months that followed to start new lives, leaving behind homes and businesses in the country of their birth. A national commemorative event will take place in London on 18 September 2022, 50 years after the first evacuation flight landed at Stansted airport.