A report from the UK Governance Project, of which Professor David Howarth has acted as one of the commissioners, has just been published.

Professor Howarth, who is Professor of Law and Policy and a former Head of Department, collaborated on the report with several other public figures, including Dominic Grieve KC and Dame Margaret Hodge DBE MP.

The report contains 11 sets of recommendations, which have been grouped into four themes:

  • Restoring high ethical standards in public life
  • Enhancing the role of parliament
  • Repairing the relationship between the Government and the Civil Service
  • Protecting democracy

Of the report, Professor Howarth said,

"The brief was to make proposals that would help to restore integrity and capability to Britain's system of government. But, like all design briefs, it came with a series of constraints ... Proposals needed to be inexpensive and implementable by simple, non-controversial means ... Any reforms must also be non-partisan, to the extent that they should be politically palatable to any government that cared about standards in public life ... Lastly, proposals must not reduce the effectiveness of government by circumscribing the power of the Prime Minister so much that it interferes with the proper conduct of business ... Taken alone, none of these reforms is transformational, but their cumulative effect would be set our system of government on a very different course from the one it is currently following, which is creating dangerous levels of public distrust in political institutions, and they might help to set the conditions for more system-wide reforms."

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