Collective Responsibility Has Been Suspended Before

Dave and Nick have taken the politically extraordinary step to “set aside” collective responsibility over the boundary reform vote. The move will allow LibDem ministers to rebel against the government without having to resign. This has raised all sorts of constitutional discussion among politicos, but it’s not the first time this has happened.

erskine

Previous governments have suspended collective responsibility before in slightly differing ways, for example the 1930s National Government over tariff reform, Harold Wilson over Europe in 1975, and Tony Blair’s failure to sack Claire Short over Iraq. With this hardly being an issue of conscience, however, it is hard to argue against the claim that our – albeit uncodified – constitutional commitment to collective responsibility is being severely eroded under the Coalition. What would Erskine May say…


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