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Welfare policy under New LabourViews from inside Westminster$
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Hugh Bochel

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347909

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347909.001.0001

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A declining force? Parliament under Blair

A declining force? Parliament under Blair

(p.49) Three A declining force? Parliament under Blair
Welfare policy under New Labour

Hugh Bochel

Andrew Defty

Policy Press

This chapter provides a parliamentary context for the study of Members of Parliament's (MPs) attitudes. It examines the role and functions of Parliament, and the manner in which the Blair government sought to reform Parliament as part of its programme of modernisation and constitutional reform. In doing so, this chapter addresses the sustained debate about the perceived decline of Parliament, and focuses in detail on the fate of Labour's welfare legislation within Parliament. This chapter concludes that Labour governments since 1997 have faced considerable opposition among Labour MPs, including on its social policy agenda. The extent of rebellion on welfare legislation suggests that many Labour MPs are not only interested in welfare, but have also been sufficiently exercised to set aside party loyalty to express their disquiet at the government's welfare reform agenda.

Keywords:   Labour Party, political parties, UK, social welfare, legislation, Parliament

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