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Options for an English Parliament *POSTPONED*
Mon 22 May 2017, 13:00 – 14:30 BST
Ever since the devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were established some have suggested that England should also have a parliament of its own. Widely seen as a fringe idea in the past, in recent years the proposal has started to gather greater political support. Yet there is no single blueprint for what an English Parliament would actually look like, with proponents suggesting a variety of different schemes. At this seminar some alternative visions will be explored. John Redwood will discuss his proposal for a 'dual mandate' English Parliament composed of MPs representing English constituencies, whilst Scilla Cullen from the Campaign for an English Parliament will argue in favour of a separately elected institution. John Denham has meanwhile argued that Labour should take England and English identity more seriously, suggesting that some form of an English Parliament is now an 'essential Labour movement demand'.
John Redwood has been the Conservative MP for Wokingham since 1987. He was a minister under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, including as Secretary of State for Wales from 1993 to 1995. In 1999 his book, The Death of Britain?, argued that Labour's devolution policy was likely to lead to the breakup of the UK. Subsequently he has launched a 'Speak for England' campaign and argued for the establishment of an English Parliament at Westminster, composed of existing MPs representing English constituencies.
Scilla Cullen has been a member of the Campaign for an English Parliament since 1999, Director for 14 years and patron. She has served as the Campaign's Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary and is now Membership Secretary. Scilla holds a science degree and retired as a Government Inspector in biomedical matters. She served 17 years in Her Majesty’s reserve forces, is married with one son, and has never been a member of any political party.
Professor John Denham is the Director of the Centre for English Identity and Politics at the University of Winchester. Formerly the Labour MP for Southampton Itchen from 1992 to 2015, he served as a minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, including as Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. He is also a former Chair of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee. Since entering academia his work has focused on English national identities.