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 starter activity                                        I must remember                                                 ...
Are MPs value for Aims              money?              To define the term ‘backbencher’           To identify the differ...
 Your task   What is meant by the term ‘backbencher’? Find    a good definition and write it down.
Backbenchers MPs who literally sit behind the ‘frontbench’  or leading spokespeople for their party Don’t hold ministeri...
 Your task   What are the key roles of an MP. List 5 from the    various sources you have found.
Be loyal to the Party   MPs expected to ‘toe the party line’ in debates &    votes   Attend party committees   Promote ...
Serve the Constituency   Regular surgeries   Promoting constituency interests   Attending political meetings & social f...
Serve the nation   Attend house regularly   Take part in debates   Serve on select & standing committees   Take part i...
Advance personal causes   Private Members’ Bills   Act as spokespersons for particular interests or    areas of their ex...
Conflicts of interest   Constituency needs may conflict with national    policy, e.g. closure of a local industry   Pers...
 Your task  There are three ways in which MPs claim to be  representative. Study and summarise the three main  theories o...
3 models of representation   Trustee model – (originates with C18th    politician, Edmund Burke) MPs have a duty to    co...
Problems with these models   Party whips undermine the trustee model    because MPs risk losing the whip if they act    a...
 Your task   Changing role of MPs.   How has the role of MPs has changed in recent    years.   5 minute research then ...
Limitations   MPs meet constituents, pressure groups, party    officials, members of the media etc.   Average constituen...
Reforms under New Labour   1994 Commons Committee on Standards in Public Life   1997, New Labour set up Modernisation Co...
 Plenary   Are MPs value for money? Write a judgement    paragraph giving detailed examples to illustrate    your argume...
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M ps role of an mp, general presentation

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M ps role of an mp, general presentation

  1. 1.  starter activity I must remember to put in my expenses claim for this blue rosette Your local MP is Michael Howard. He is paid a salary of over £60,000 a year and receives additional allowances for office staff, accommodation and travel expenses. Do you think MPs are value for money?
  2. 2. Are MPs value for Aims money? To define the term ‘backbencher’ To identify the different roles of an MP To examine how the responsibilities of MPs have changed in recent years
  3. 3.  Your task What is meant by the term ‘backbencher’? Find a good definition and write it down.
  4. 4. Backbenchers MPs who literally sit behind the ‘frontbench’ or leading spokespeople for their party Don’t hold ministerial posts Fulfil all conventional roles of an MPs, e.g represent constituents, can introduce Private Members’ Bills, sit on committees, take part in law-making and debates
  5. 5.  Your task What are the key roles of an MP. List 5 from the various sources you have found.
  6. 6. Be loyal to the Party MPs expected to ‘toe the party line’ in debates & votes Attend party committees Promote party policies However, increasing examples of backbench rebellions, e.g. Iraq, tuition fees, anti-terror legislation
  7. 7. Serve the Constituency Regular surgeries Promoting constituency interests Attending political meetings & social functions Receiving constituents who visit Westminster Handle grievances & ensure they are dealt with at appropriate level, e.g. by asking questions in House
  8. 8. Serve the nation Attend house regularly Take part in debates Serve on select & standing committees Take part in law-making process 1996 survey, 50% of MP’s time taken up with parliamentary opposed to constituency duties
  9. 9. Advance personal causes Private Members’ Bills Act as spokespersons for particular interests or areas of their expertise Lobbied by private companies
  10. 10. Conflicts of interest Constituency needs may conflict with national policy, e.g. closure of a local industry Personal interests may conflict with party policy, e.g. foreign policy issues such as Iraq War
  11. 11.  Your task There are three ways in which MPs claim to be representative. Study and summarise the three main theories of representation. Trustee Delegate MandateKey featuresLimitations
  12. 12. 3 models of representation Trustee model – (originates with C18th politician, Edmund Burke) MPs have a duty to consult with constituents but ultimately must act according to own consciences Delegate model – MPs act as mouthpiece for constituents irregardless of personal opinions Mandate model – MPs elected as party members with duty to fulfil policies in manifesto
  13. 13. Problems with these models Party whips undermine the trustee model because MPs risk losing the whip if they act according to individual conscience Delegate model makes MPs much more accountable, and liable to disappoint some members of constituency MPs following Mandate model often accused of ‘toadyism’ and being out of touch with country
  14. 14.  Your task Changing role of MPs. How has the role of MPs has changed in recent years. 5 minute research then brainstorm.
  15. 15. Limitations MPs meet constituents, pressure groups, party officials, members of the media etc. Average constituency covers 150 sq. miles, with 65,000 constituents; many long distances from Westminster Parliamentary sessions last longer, more bills Growth of select committees (involves 25% MPs) Growth of ‘professional’ MPs (A.King)
  16. 16. Reforms under New Labour 1994 Commons Committee on Standards in Public Life 1997, New Labour set up Modernisation Committee 2002, introduced by R.Cook, leader of HoC, for reductions in working hours from 11.30am to 7pm (instead of 2.30pm to 11 pm) PMQs merged into 1 half-hour session on Wednesdays (instead of 15 min. Tues & Thurs) Summer recess remained, but began and ended 2 weeks earlier in order to sit for 2 weeks before conference season Robin Cook
  17. 17.  Plenary Are MPs value for money? Write a judgement paragraph giving detailed examples to illustrate your argument.

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