Mark D'Arcy, Parliamentary correspondent

Mark D'Arcy Parliamentary correspondent

This is where you can come for my take on what goes on in the chambers and committee rooms around Westminster

BBC Parliament - To War!

30 July 2014

To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, I'm presenting a night of special programmes on Sunday on BBC Parliament.

Here's what we have in store:

20:00 To War, documentary presented by Mark D'Arcy

20:50 BOOKtalk: Mark D'Arcy talks to Mark Bostridge about his book "The Fateful Year: England 1914"

21:10 Vernon Bogdanor Lecture: a lecture on Sir Edward Grey

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Parliamentarians of the year

29 July 2014

It is quite easy for the backbenchers, the parliamentary rank and file, who're not holders of grand office as ministers or party spokespersons, to fall into thinking of themselves as pondlife, but the last parliamentary year has provided an object lesson on what an individual MP or peer can achieve. So today I thought I'd nominate my most influential backbench MP and Peer of the year.

Step forward, from the Commons, Conservative backbencher John Baron. He's not a household name or a fiery orator, but his fingerprints are all over the two most significant parliamentary events of the last 12 months.

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Week ahead

28 July 2014

With the Commons long gone, the final three days of parliamentary action before the Lords followed them into the summer holidays looked pretty humdrum - until the controversy over the reshuffle flared up and motion was put down for peers to debate on Monday evening. Peers are clearly pretty miffed about the downgrading of the leadership of the Lords from full cabinet rank and even a soothing letter to the Conservative peers from David Cameron has not mollified them.

Other than that, the week will be dominated by detailed debate on the Government's proposals to reform the system of Judicial Review.

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Week ahead

18 July 2014

It's the final lazy hazy crazy days before the Commons Summer Recess, always assuming that none of the several international crises under way at the moment force a postponement. But there's still time for two new Cabinet ministers to make their question time debut - with Education Secretary Nicky Morgan taking questions on Monday and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Tuesday.

And Their Lordships will be continuing into the following week - and putting in some heavy legislative grind along the way. Watch out for some very interesting issues in Committee on the Criminal justice and Courts Bill.

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Assisted Dying Bill: Can it become law?

18 July 2014
Dr John Sentamu
The Archbishop of York said coming to terms with one's own death was a "gift"

What happens next?

As I write, the Lords are still debating the Second Reading of Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill, and it is one of the best, and most moving, parliamentary debates I've ever reported.

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An update on the clerks

16 July 2014

No winner has yet emerged from the interview process for a new Clerk of the Commons.

I gather a third round of interviews will now be held on July 30, for the three remaining candidates surviving from the original shortlist of eight.

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Reshuffle thoughts

15 July 2014

The Tory torch has been passed to a younger generation; or to put it another way, if you're a middle aged, white male Conservative MP, who arrived in Westminster before 2010, and you're not already in the government, your chances of unlocking a red box of government documents now look pretty slim.

History has passed you by.

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Week ahead

11 July 2014

There is some very interesting legislative action in prospect next week, as DRIP - the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill - is rushed through both Houses, while Peers gear up for a marathon debate on assisted dying.

It is also worth noting that, while the legislative load has been fairly light in the Commons, so far in this new parliamentary session, the "carryover" bills from the last one have been passed on to the Lords, where such measures as the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill have been undergoing detailed scrutiny.

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Private members bill games

8 July 2014

Ho, ho ho!

Some amusing Private Members Bill japes in prospect when the Commons Friday sittings resume in September.

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Week ahead

4 July 2014

Next week's edgiest parliamentary event will be the debate on Thursday on the government's approach to opting in and out of an assortment of EU cooperative arrangements on justice and home affairs.

Although this is only a general debate - which means no vote is scheduled - this is a touchy issue for Eurosceptics, and any hint that ministers are trying to push something through could have a toxic effect on confidence in David Cameron's handling of EU policy.

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About Mark

Mark has been a correspondent for Today in Parliament since 2002, and also presents BBC Parliament's political book review show, Book Talk.

His career has included stints at LWT's Weekend World and the Leicester Mercury. He has also produced and occasionally presented Radio 4's The Westminster Hour.

As well as being a politics nerd, he is a cricket fanatic, amateur cook and Bruce Springsteen fan.

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