Central government

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on central government. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

12.11.2014Ministers in the Coalition Government: 2010 - present
Ministerial office holders since the 2010 General Election.
16.09.2014Coalitions at Westminster
This standard note looks at coalition governments at Westminster, in the light of the first peacetime coalition government since 1931, formed after the May 2010 general election. It examines incidents where cabinet collective responsibility did not apply.
23.05.2014Queen's Speech 2014
This Standard Note gathers together announcements from ministers and speculation from commentators on the issues that might be included in the forthcoming Queen's Speech.
20.03.2014FoI and Ministerial vetoes
The Lord Chancellor, Jack Straw, issued the first ministerial veto in relation to a FoI request on 23 February 2009 for the contents of the legal advice on military action against Iraq. Two subsequent vetoes were issued protecting communications on devolution issues and a fourth on. A fourth veto was issued on 8 May 2012 blocking the release of the NHS Transitional Risk Register and a fifth in July 2012 blocking extracts from Cabinet minutes on the military action against Iraq in 2003. The most recent, the sixth, was on 16 October 2012, relating to the release of correspondence from Prince Charles to Government departments. This Standard Note traces the history of the veto within FoI legislation and summarises comparative examples abroad.
25.02.2014Regional cabinet meetings
A list of Cabinet meetings held away from Downing Street

Research Papers

13.10.2014House of Commons sitting of the UK Youth Parliament - November 2014
This special briefing paper has been produced to help Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) prepare for the House of Commons sitting of the UK Youth Parliament which takes place on 14 November.
27.08.2013Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill
The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 17 July 2013. This briefing has been prepared to inform the Second Reading debate on the Bill which is scheduled to take place on 3 September 2013.
14.06.2011Public Bodies Bill [HL]
The Public Bodies [HL] Bill is largely enabling legislation. It would allow ministers, by order, to abolish, merge or transfer the functions of the public bodies listed in the appropriate schedules to the Act. It is the main legislative vehicle for taking forward the Government's review of public bodies, the results of which were published in October 2010.
15.06.2009The Departmental Select Committee System
On 25 June 1979 the House of Commons agreed to establish a new system of departmental select committees to scrutinise the expenditure, administration and policy of government departments. This paper briefly sets out the historical background to the departmental select committees system before charting their development over the last 30 years, considering evaluations made of the system and recent proposals for reform.
16.05.2008Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill [HL] 2007-08
Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill (HL) 2007-08. (Bill 103 of 2007-08). House of Commons Library Research Paper 08/46.

Select Committee Reports

15.02.2012Role and functions of departmental Chief Scientific Advisers.
Science and Technology Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
13.09.2011The performance of the Ministry of Defence 2009-10.
Government response. Defence Select Committee; Ministry of Defence report [Commons]
19.07.2011Ministry of Defence main estimates 2011-12.
Defence Select Committee report [Commons]
18.07.2011Home Office - work of the Permanent Secretary.
Home Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
14.07.2011Role of the FCO in UK government.
Government response. Foreign and Commonwealth Office report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House welcomes the publication of the renewed Compact, between the Government and the voluntary sector; notes that it outlines the principles of good partnership working between ...
That this House recognises the importance of work experience placements for young people, but believes that those undertaking work experience should not be offered jobs which would ...
That this House notes the continuing cost to the public purse of hon. Members tabling substantial numbers of written questions; understands the principle behind limiting the number ...
That this House notes that the Departmentfor Work and Pensions spent 115 million on management conferences and external meetings between 2000 and 2010; further notes that most departments ...
That this House recognises that there needs to be an urgent and fundamental reform of the relationship between central and local government; commends the work of the Local Government ...

Lords Library Notes

17.01.2011Debate on 20 January: Constitutional and Parliamentary Effect of Coalition Government
This Library Note aims to provide background reading for the debate on 20 January 2011: "To call attention to the constitutional and parliamentary effect of Coalition Government".


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses