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“To support free speech, we will repeal section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2014, which seeks to coerce the press.” Presenting a proposal from the 2019 General Election manifesto of the Conservative Party in the UK, which prides itself on its defence of free speech. But is there something deeper at work here?

First, what is section 40? In the aftermath of the Leveson Inquiry into phone-hacking scandal of 2011, a programme of reform was set up to restore the public’s confidence in the press. The Crime and Courts Act 2013 (the Tory manifesto contains a typo), section…


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It was a dull January day; the dead hour between lectures and lunchtime where nothing of note seems to be achieved. A group of undergraduates huddled in a small room, grappling with the political niceties of the British constitution. Today’s topic? Political accountability.

“You’ve not seen PMQs yet, have you?”, we asked a European friend. “No,”, they replied. “Watch this.”

The infamous tiger video. Jeremy Corbyn’s first Prime Minister’s Questions as leader of the Opposition in the supposed paragon of Parliamentary democracy. …

Pravar Petkar

Writing about British politics and constitutional law.

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