The government is working to reform our political and constitutional system to help restore people’s faith in politics and politicians.
We want to make politicians and public services more accountable by giving people the ability to recall their MP and devolving more power to local services and communities.
We also need to update some of the ways our constitution works, such as reforming the way people register to vote to make the electoral registration system more effective and efficient.
- change the rules of Royal Succession, including making it possible for female heirs to be first in line to throne over younger male heirs
- speed up the move from household electoral registration to Individual Electoral Registration by 2015
- consider a joint committee’s report on Parliamentary Privilege and create the power to recall MPs who are guilty of breaking the rules
- put the Mental Health (Discrimination) (No.2) Bill into action - helping to end discrimination based on mental illness
- make it easier for the public to see what meetings ministers have and make changes to the law through reforms of the lobbying system
We introduced fixed-term Parliaments of 5 years in September 2011. Fixed-term Parliaments mean that Prime Ministers no longer have the power to call a General Election when they want, so the party in power cannot choose a date that would give the party an advantage in elections, eg because opinion polls are in their favour.
The date of the next general election is expected to be 7 May 2015.
As part of our continuing work on constitutional and political reform, we’re also:
- working to increase voter registrations as much as possible
- pursuing an agreement with the 3 major parties on reforming how parties receive their funding
We have published details of ministerial meetings, how government obtains goods and services, along with a number of other items of public interest.
Bills and Legislation
The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011-12 fixes the length of Parliamentary terms to 5 years.
The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 speeds up changes to the way people register to vote in Great Britain, moving from a Household Registration system to Individual Electoral Registration.
The Succession to the Crown Bill 2012-13 changes the rules of succession to throne and regulations of royal marriage.
The Mental Health (Discrimination) (No.2) Bill removes existing barriers that discriminate against MPs, jurors and company directors suffering from mental illness.