Boris Johnson will decide when the next election is held

Repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act will give the PM the right to advise the sovereign to dissolve parliament and hold a general election, and that will not be a bad thing, writes John Rentoul

Sunday 06 December 2020 00:17
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<p>The Fixed-term Parliaments Act was the product of the coalition between David Cameron and Nick Clegg in 2010</p>

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act was the product of the coalition between David Cameron and Nick Clegg in 2010

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act is dead. The government published a draft bill last week to repeal it and to restore to the prime minister of the day the right to advise the sovereign to dissolve parliament and hold a general election. 

I think this is probably a good thing. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act (FTPA) was one of those attempts to codify the uncodified British constitution that had unintended and undesirable consequences. 

No doubt, proponents of a written constitution would say that the FTPA was done wrongly because it was drawn up for party purposes, to reassure Nick Clegg that David Cameron would not cut the coalition short and dash to the polls. But it did show the dangers of meddling with conventions that have stood the test of time. 

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