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Rebuilding the bonds of trust and confidence? Labour’s constitutional reform programme

Curtice, John (2011) Rebuilding the bonds of trust and confidence? Labour’s constitutional reform programme. In: Reassessing New Labour: Market, State and Society under Blair. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. ISBN 1444351346

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Abstract

The New Labour governments of 1997–2010 arguably rewrote the British constitution to a greater extent than any previous administration had done since 1922, when most of the island of Ireland left the United Kingdom. Separately, elected devolved institutions were introduced in Scotland and Wales, and restored in Northern Ireland. London acquired a directly elected Mayor, as did a number of other towns and cities. New electoral systems were introduced both in elections to the new devolved bodies and in elections to the European Parliament. Government information and decision making were exposed to far greater public scrutiny via freedom of information legislation. Legislation passed by Parliament became subject to a degree of domestic judicial review following the passage of the Human Rights Act. Finally, political parties were made subject to far greater regulation, not least in respect of their financial affairs.