Expert analysis by Dr Mark Bennister, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, Politics and Sociology, has been included in a recently published report by the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee. The report on the ‘Role and Powers of the Prime Minister’ was published on 24 June and refers to evidence gathered since 2011. Mark, an expert in British and comparative prime ministerial leadership, submitted written evidence in 2011 and gave oral evidence to the Committee on 27 March 2013. The final report makes several references to Mark’s evidence on prerogative powers, codification of powers, prime ministerial accountability, direct election and coalition government.
Mark said: “The Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report is to be welcomed and I am delighted the committee referred to my evidence in the final report. Without formal codification of the role and power of the Prime Minister, there has always existed a lively debate about what Prime Ministers do and whether they exercise much power without sufficient constraint.
“This report’s recommendation that the Prime Minister should be more accountable to Parliament is to be welcomed. On other areas the Committee has opened up several interesting areas for debate and discussion.”
Mark’s research covers comparative political leadership in particular prime ministerial leadership in Britain and Australia. He is the author of ‘Prime Ministers in Power: Political Leadership in Britain and Australia’ (Palgrave 2012). He is currently researching David Cameron’s leadership, aspects of political oratory in Britain and the US and methods of evaluating and comparing political leadership.