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Governing EnglandEnglish Identity and Institutions in a Changing United Kingdom$
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Michael Kenny, Iain McLean, and Akash Paun

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266465

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266465.001.0001

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Labour and the Governance of England

Labour and the Governance of England

Chapter:
(p.137) 7 Labour and the Governance of England
Source:
Governing England
Author(s):

John Denham

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266465.003.0007

The 1997–2010 Labour Government introduced wide-ranging constitutional reforms, creating new democratically elected bodies and rights for UK citizens. However, the governance of England was left largely unchanged. With the exception of the Greater London Authority, no new democratic bodies were created for England, nor were any significant powers granted to local government. An extensive system of regional administration was created but then swiftly swept away by the incoming Coalition Government in 2010. England became the only part of the union whose domestic policy was determined by the UK Government. This chapter argues that this outcome was rooted in Labour’s traditions of political thought: its assumption of a unitary state, its centralist instincts, its distrust of local government and its reluctance to consider England’s identity and constitutional position within the union. It finds some evidence Labour is now taking the English Question more seriously, but old attitudes retain significant weight.

Keywords:   England, constitutional reforms, local government, England’s identity, regional administration, Labour, unitary state

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