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

  • AQA: Component The structure and role of Parliament: scrutiny of the executive

Background: what you need to know

This article analyses the vote on Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda migration bill, held on 12 December 2023. The bill is the government’s attempt to get around the Supreme Court ruling that Rwanda is not a safe destination for asylum seekers. It has aroused extraordinary controversy, with right-wing Conservative MPs arguing that it is not tough enough and ‘One Nation’ MPs worried because it disapplies aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The government won the vote by a majority of 44 after right-wing MPs abstained rather than voting against it. This was achieved after intense negotiations between Sunak and the rebels. It does not mean that the bill’s passage has been secured in the long term. Opponents have threatened to block the legislation unless it has been tightened up when it comes back to the Commons for the third reading in the new year. Even if the bill passes the Commons, it is likely to be held up in the Lords and may not become law before the general election.

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

Rishi Sunak secures win in Rwanda asylum vote

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 2

  • ‘Parliament is ineffective in holding the executive to account.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement. [25 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 2

  • Evaluate the view that Parliament is ineffective in holding the executive to account. 

    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: Remember that Parliament can hold the executive to account, not only in debates and votes in the House of Commons but through other methods such as ministerial questions and select committees.

    A relevant Component 1 topic is 2.2: Established political parties. This topic includes study of the ideas and policies of the Conservative party. Internal Conservative party differences are explored further in this article: Sunak’s Rwanda fight is really a battle for control of the Conservatives

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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