The year has got off to a good start. Two articles of mine are published this month as well as a book chapter. This morning, I received the January issue of Parliamentary Affairs, which carries my article on ‘The Fixed-term Parliaments Act and Votes of Confidence’. I had already received a copy of the January issue of Public Law, which includes my analysis of what happens if a Prime Minister dies. It is a subject in which academics have not shown much interest, but which has exercised the minds of successive Cabinet Secretaries.
This month also sees the print publication (it is already available electronically) of an edited volume on parliamentarians’ professional development, in which I have a chapter on the training of MPs in the United Kingdom. It used to be the case that MPs received no training, or indeed any guidance, but were expected to turn up on the first day of Parliament and take it from there. Some Members turned up never having set foot before in the Palace of Westminster. Though Members were often socialised into party activity, they had no knowledge of how the House of Commons operated. The situation has improved significantly over the past thirty years, with training and guidance sessions laid on by the parties and House authorities, but there is still some way to go.