Code of Conduct: Why We Need to Fix Parliament – and How to Do It (Hardback)
  • Code of Conduct: Why We Need to Fix Parliament – and How to Do It (Hardback)
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Code of Conduct: Why We Need to Fix Parliament – and How to Do It (Hardback)

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£14.99
Hardback 240 Pages
Published: 17/08/2023
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Waterstones Says

The Labour MP, Chair of the Committees on Standards and Privileges and author of The Glamour Boys presents an insider's view of Westminster and discusses what politicians need to do to regain public trust.

From leading MP Chris Bryant, a clear and biting guide to one of the biggest issues in parliament today: politicians breaking the rules and expecting to get away with it.

The extraordinary turmoil we have seen in British politics in the last few years has set records. We have had the fastest turnover of prime ministers in our history and more MPs suspended from the House than ever.

Rules have been flouted repeatedly, sometimes in plain sight. The government seems unable to escape the brush of sleaze. And just when we think it's all going to calm down a bit, another scandal breaks. As Chair of the Committees on Standards and Privileges, Chris Bryant has had a front-row seat for the battle over standards in parliament.

Cronyism, nepotism, conflicts of interest, misconduct and lying: politicians are engaging in these activities more frequently and more publicly than ever before. The result?

The work of honest and accountable MPs is tarnished. Public trust is worn thin. And when nearly two thirds of voters think that MPs are out for themselves, democracy is in trouble. It is time for a better brand of politics. Taking us inside the Pugin-carpeted corridors of Westminster, from the prime minister's office to the Strangers' Bar, Code of Conduct examines every angle of parliamentary conduct and suggests how parliament might - at last - get its house in order.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781526663597
Number of pages: 240
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

So is this “the worst parliament in history”? An answer in the affirmative comes from the Labour MP Sir Chris Bryant. He delivers a lively, forensic, engrossing, sometimes entertaining, often disturbing and always unflinching interrogation of what’s gone wrong with our legislature. Sir Chris is the chairman of the committees on standards and privileges, and his previous works include a masterly biography of parliament. So he knows his way around its pinnacles and sewers. He also has firsthand experience of how grotesquely some fellow MPs can behave - ANDREW RAWNSLEY, OBSERVER

An important book that could lead to much-needed change . . . His analysis is spot-on . . . Bryant is empathic and likeable. So many MPs are career politicians and struggle to relate to the rest of us – or can’t be bothered to. Bryant has done lots of jobs and has lived an incredibly varied life . . . Bryant’s book does not simply expose the shortcomings of parliament; it’s a manifesto for reform. It lays our everything he thinks must change . . . The more he shows his humility, the more I’m convinced he’s the right person for the job - SIMON HATTENSTONE, GUARDIAN

Blisteringly topical . . . We still need ideas on how to clear up sleaze in general. And few placed are better placed to offer some than the man who’s written this book, Sir Chris Bryant . . . Bryant is admirably self-aware . . . And for another, he’s very readable. He has a fine fund of historic anecdotes: for example, the one about the 18th-century MP who, as punishment for forgery, was put in the pillory and pelted with “eggs, ordure and dead cats”. He has amusing stories from his own life in politics. And he can be dryly witty - MICHAEL DEACON, TELEGRAPH

A manifesto for a better politics . . . Bryant’s account of what is rotten in the state of politics is neither lofty nor overmoralising, but remains gently steadfast in the belief that parliament in general and this one in particular has lost its way. Code of Conduct is an attempt to guide it back to something like the straight and narrow . . . Bryant brings with him more than two decades’ experience as a parliamentarian, a nonpartisan approach that helps him look beyond the failings of individuals to the system itself, and a raft of often small but practical suggestions for cleaning out the stables - GABY HINSLIFF, GUARDIAN

A clean-up manual and rollicking parliamentary history - i-NEWS

How rotten is our democracy? Chris Bryant knows better than most what the answer should be to this . . . The book is mostly concerned with how standards have disintegrated significantly since [2001], especially in the past three years of Conservative psychodrama . . . What Bryant suggests is actually based on what happens in parliament, rather than a caricature - ISABEL HARDMAN, OBSERVER

A powerful examination of parliamentary conduct and the eroding of standards . . . Engaging, thoughtful, powerful and funny - KATHRYN STONE, PoliticsHome

A brave and important work book by a formidable parliamentarian. . . The proposals set out by Chris Bryant to clean up Parliament should be adopted by his party’s leader for its next manifesto . . . As chair of the Commons’ Committee of Standards and Privileges, Chris Bryant carries authority. And he has assembled his evidence with care and intellectual precision - PETER OBORNE, BYLINE TIMES

An author intimately acquainted with the workings of Westminster and its disciplinary system . . . Bryant’s position means the book is peppered with behind-the-scenes anecdotes – he is an engaging storyteller, both in person and on the page – and his conclusions carry considerable authority - INDEPENDENT

Nobody knows how parliament works – and how it doesn’t – better than Chris. It’s a delight watching him take a bulldozer to the crumbling edifice of parliamentary standards - JAMES O'BRIEN

Code of Conduct is a vital part of the fightback against post-truth populism and the damage it has done to our democracy in recent years. Well written, personal, insightful but also brutally factual, it should serve as a wake-up call to all of us – politicians and public alike – that we need major reform of our politics and our political institutions - ALASTAIR CAMPBELL

The first time I've ever read a book about parliament which was unputdownable - CAROL VORDERMAN

Code of Conduct is absolutely superb. Timely and brave – this is one of the most important books you will read this year - PETER STEFANOVIC

A terrific read. From outmoded customs that strangle the chamber, to committees with no teeth, Chris Bryant not only provides insights into what’s wrong with parliament but also suggests sensible solutions that might one day lead to a democracy fit for purpose - HUGH BONNEVILLE

Absolutely riveting. I read, I blink, I gasp. Chris Bryant has not only chaired the Standards Committee during its busiest period on record but also has unrivalled knowledge of the history of Parliament. There is no better guide to the extraordinary dereliction of duty of some of his fellow parliamentarians in these unusual times, nor to how we might restore function to the system and trust in the institution - REVEREND RICHARD COLES

Chris Bryant weaves a thoroughly entertaining yarn about what it’s like to work behind the scenes in the sausage factory of the British parliament. You may not agree with every word he says, but this book is a real eye-opener about the state of British politics today. Democracy is worth fighting for and Chris is doing precisely that - BILL BROWDER

Thoughtful, provocative and very timely, this is a book that needed to be written - and few are better qualified to do so than one of the most dedicated parliamentarians of our generation. Democracies get the representatives they deserve so we all have a responsibility to help raise the standing of our elected politicians. Code of Conduct will help us do so - ED BALLS

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“Well informed argument that left me more than a little concerned”

Really well written informed argument that sets out exactly what needs to change. Only thing I would say negatively is that as you read you realise just how broken the system is. Not sure how these and other well... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 9

“Code of Conduct”

Apart from voting, I never really paid too much attention to what was going on in That London by way of government and politics. That is, until the dreaded Covid, when I avidly watched the daily bulletins and quite... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 6

“How Parliament Works”

This is a concise guide to the working of Parliament and its procedures. It reveals the inner working of MPs and how they conduct themselves. Chris Bryant takes a broad view without attempting to score party political... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 5

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