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Specification:

  • AQA Component 1, Section 3.1.1.2: The structure and role of Parliament: the extent of Parliament’s influence on government decisions

  • Edexcel Component 2, Section 4.2: The relationship between the Executive and Parliament

Background: what you need to know

The article reports that the Sunak government has watered down plans to prosecute rough sleepers under the Criminal Justice Bill, which is currently going through Parliament. The proposals included provisions for homeless people to be criminalised if they are deemed a nuisance or even for having an excessive smell.

The government has climbed down in response to a threatened rebellion by a group of Conservative MPs. With its majority now reduced to 45, the government is wary of antagonising its own backbenchers, who might join with the opposition parties to inflict a defeat in the Commons.

Click the link below to read the article and then answer the questions:

Plans to criminalise UK rough sleepers dropped after backlash

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • ‘The UK executive lacks effective control over Parliament.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement. [25 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 2

  • Evaluate the argument that the UK executive is ineffective in controlling Parliament.

    In your answer you should draw on relevant knowledge and understanding of the study of Component 1: UK politics and core political ideas. You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    TIP: A relevant topic that could be linked to this question is electoral systems. The First Past the Post system can deliver unpredictable general election results, so that some governments have disproportionately large parliamentary majorities (Boris Johnson in 2019) whilst others end up with small majorities or even minority status (Theresa May in 2017). This can significantly affect their ability to contend with backbench rebellions.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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