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Caroline Blakesley (Conse...
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4 hours ago
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Sir Jonathan Horncastle (...
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5 hours ago
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What is this for?
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7 hours ago
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Bjørn Amundsen (Labour)
Forum: Character sign-in
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Forum: The Red Lion (Out of Character)
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I've registered - What do...
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Constituency Claim Sheet
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SNP Applications
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Parties and Factions
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What does an MP look like...
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  Caroline Blakesley (Conservative)
Posted by: Caroline Blakesley (Unmasked) - 4 hours ago - Forum: Character sign-in - No Replies

Name: Caroline Anne Blakesley
-- Avatar: Elizabeth Truss
Constituency: Cambridgeshire South East

Age: 43 (b. 17 August 1973)
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: White British
Religion: Methodist

Family: Alexander Blakesley (b. 11 January 1973), husband; 4 children.

Education: MA (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics), Balliol College, University of Oxford, 1994; MPP, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, 1996; MBA, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, 2000.

Career: Analyst, International Monetary Fund, 1996-1999; Programme Officer, World Bank Group, 2000-2003; Venture capitalist, 2003-2010.

Political History: Member of Parliament for South East Cambridgeshire, 2010-present; Economic Secretary to the Treasury, 2012-2013; Financial Secretary to the Treasury, 2013; Minister of State for Energy, 2013-2015; Secretary of State for Business, Innovation, and Skills, 2015-present.

Party/Faction: Conservative Party/Tory Reform Group

Caroline Anne Blakesley (née Burns) was born to Andrew and Isla Burns in Edinburgh, Scotland on 19 August 1973. In 1994 she graduated from the Balliol College, University of Oxford with a degree in philosophy, politics, and economics. As a Kennedy Scholar, she competed her MPP with the focus on political and economic development at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1996. Caroline then went to work for the International Monetary Fund as an analyst. She left the IMF in 1999 to pursue an MBA at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. After Judge, Caroline would work on microfinance and development initiatives at the World Bank.

Moving to London in 2003, Caroline was recruited to join a venture capital firm and focused on investments in the energy sector, eventually expanding her portfolio to include the life sciences and technology-based ventures. Active in Conservative politics since university, Caroline served on an advisory council of business and finance leaders helping to develop Conservative policy for the 2005 election. In 2005, she was active in recruiting women in business to support David Cameron’s bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Her support for Cameron likely earned her a spot on the Conservative Party’s A-List assembled following Cameron’s 2005 leadership victory.

In 2007, Caroline was offered a role as a senior vice-president with responsibility for life sciences at her firm, particularly focusing on investments in the developing Cambridge life sciences cluster. The family relocated to the Cambridge area and Caroline was eventually selected for the open seat of South East Cambridgeshire. She would go on to win the seat in the 2010 election. Her first appointment in the Commons was to serve on the Business, Innovation, and Skills Select Committee.

In 2012 she was appointed to her first government post as Economic Secretary to the Treasury. This was followed by a promotion within the Treasury team to Financial Secretary to the Treasury, a short-lived appointment. In 2013, Caroline was appointed Minister of State for Energy in the Department of Energy and Climate Change and, in 2014, was invited to attend Cabinet following a reshuffle. Expanding her majority in the 2015 general election, Caroline joined the Cabinet as a full member upon her appointment to serve as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation, and Skills.

While at Oxford, Caroline met her future husband, Alexander Blakesley, who was reading for a degree in jurisprudence. When the couple moved to Boston, Alexander would get his MBA at the Sloan School of Management at MIT. Alexander is currently a partner at McKinsey & Company, a global consulting group. The couple have four children: Sophia (b. 2001), Alexander (b. 2003), Eric (b. 2004), and Charles (b. 2007).

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  Sir Jonathan Horncastle (CON)
Posted by: Sir Jonathan Horncastle (Unmasked) - 5 hours ago - Forum: Character sign-in - No Replies

Name: Sir Jonathan Clark Horncastle
Avatar: Gavin Newlands
Constituency: Chelsea and Fulham

[Image: Westminster-640x426.jpg]

Age: 48 (b. 1978)
Gender: Male
Sexuality: Heterosexual
Religion: Church of England
Class: Upper Middle
Spouse: Amelia Horncastle (nee McKinnon, m. 2001)
Children: 1; Charles (b. 2004)
Education: Trinity College Cambridge (History, 2000, Dissertation: The Queenmaker: Benjamin Disraeli and the Formation of the British Empire)
Career: Consultant, Horncastle Consultants (2000-2005); Associate Consultant, Horncastle Consultants (2005-Present)
Awards: GBE (for political and public service, 2015)
Political Career: Treasurer of the Cambridge University Conservative Association (1999), MP for Chelsea and Fulham (previously Hammersmith and Fulham, 2005-Present), PPS to the Shadow Secretary for Culture, Media, and Sport (2007-2009), PPS to the Shadow Secretary for Business, Innovation, and Skills (2009-2010), Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport and the Olympics (2010-2012), Minister of State for Climate Change (2012-2013), Treasurer of the Household and Deputy Chief Whip (2013-2015), Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party (2014-2015), Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (2015-Present)
Party and Faction: Conservative, Tory Reform Group

Sir Jonathan Horncastle is a native Londoner, life-long Tory, and David Cameron's third Lord Chancellor. Born in an upper middle class household, Horncastle went to Cambridge for his academic merits, graduating with Honors in History. After graduation, he joined his father, William Horncastle, in the family business, consulting with businesses and citizens. Horncastle the younger focused on public messaging, having gained some level of expertise in the field  through his dissertation, which focused on Disraeli's attempts at influencing his contemporaries. It was during this time that he became better acquainted with members and leaders of the Conservative Party, having assisted in messaging strategy for both of Steven Norris's campaigns for Mayor of London. Due to this, Horncastle was selected as the Conservative Party candidate for Hammersmith and Fulham in 2005, which he won. Since entering Parliament, he has been around the frontbench, serving as a Whip, assisting in preperation for the Olympics, and helping to lead the Conservative campaign in 2015. He was rewarded with his first frontbench position in David Cameron's second Cabinet, replacing Chris Grayling as Lord Chancellor.

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  What is this for?
Posted by: Andy - 7 hours ago - Forum: Party Frontbenches - No Replies

Here you can see which player Members of Parliament currently sit in the Cabinet and the Shadow cabinet, as well as any third party spokesperson positions.

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  Bjørn Amundsen (Labour)
Posted by: Bjørn Amundsen (Unmasked) - 7 hours ago - Forum: Character sign-in - No Replies

Name: Bjørn Amundsen
Avatar: Yanis Varoufakis
- Socialist Left (Norge), 1976-1990
- Red-Green Alliance (Danmark), 1990-1993
- Red (Norge), 1993-1996
- Socialist Left (Norge), 1998-2001
- Labour (UK), 2001-Present
Faction: Socialist Campaign Group
Constituency: Bristol West
Ideology: Anarcho-Socialist (*it’s happening gif*). Internationalist. Hawk humanitarian interventionist. [2me4irl] Fuck the EU. [F to pay respects]
Age: 57 (b. September 1958)
Sex: Male
Ethnicity: Norwegian Caucasian
Religion: Atheist
Family: Long term partnership with Amelia Amundsen (nee Anderson). Two children, Eirik and Tobias.
- Trondheim College
- No university degree
- Norwegian State Railway (NSB) train operator [1976-1983]
- NSB Railway Manager for the Trondheim Region [1983-1986]
- Union Liaison Officer for the Norwegian Union of Railway Workers (NJF) at LO (Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions) [1986-1990]
- NJF Representative at the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) [1990-2003]
- RMT Representative at the ITF [2003-2015]
- Member of Parliament for Bristol West [2015-Present]
Bjørn was born in Trondheim, Norway, on the 6th of September 1958. The son of a Danish mother, Maren Clemmensen, and a Norwegian father, Helge Amundsen, he was raised in the backdrop of societal fracturing and economic ruin. His mother did not work, whilst his father was continually unemployed or working odd jobs to keep the local church running. Helge, whilst unemployed since the late 1940s, had fought under the XVIII International Brigade during the Spanish civil war, aiding the Republican cause against Franco’s fascism. At the end of the conflict, he returned to Norway, taking a leading role in the Trondheim resistance against the Nazi occupation.
Bjørn attended the Trondheim College, but did not pursue a university degree. He instead became a train operator for the Norwegian State Railway (NJF), working his way up the ladder to become the Railway Manager for the Trondheim Region by 1983. He then moved on from the state owned company, becoming a union liaison officer for the Union of Railway Workers at the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions. As part of this, he moved to Denmark, where his mission was to study the leading ideas of the Danish unions. It was during this period that his politics began to evolve. Having been a member the Socialist-Left (Democratic Socialists) in Norway, he became a member of the Red-Green Alliance in Denmark, an anti-capitalist, bordering on Marxist organisation. His time in Denmark shaped his shift towards Anarcho-Socialism and he lived in Freetown Chistiania, a hippie commune that promoted drug legalisation and opposed government controls.
But by 1993, Bjørn’s time at Freetown had come to an end, as he had accepted a job representing the NJF at the International Transport Workers’ Union (ITF), headquartered in the UK. He moved to Bristol, joining the Labour party. This resulted in his successful application to become a UK citizen. He later came to represent the British RMT union at the ITF. He was selected and elected as Labour’s candidate for Bristol West in 2015.

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  I've registered - What do I do now? (A tutorial for playing the game)
Posted by: Andy - 7 hours ago - Forum: Character sign-in - No Replies

What do I do now?

Create a character
Claim a seat on the spreadsheet in the New Players forum. Make a note of which party won it, as that's the party you'll be joining. Post a new thread in the New Players forum with details about your character. You'll find advice on making a realistic character within that forum, and you can take inspiration from other players' posts. At this link you can register a scandal in your character's past, which will give you extra influence, but with the risk of having the scandal revealed at some point.

Take the parliamentary oath of office
Post the required oath in the thread in the Westminster forum. Don't forget to put your characters name into it, and to pick the correct one for your character out of the religious and non-religious options.

Get to know your party colleagues
Post in your party's HQ forum to introduce yourself. In particular, make sure you know who your party's leader and chief whip are. Your party colleagues will always be willing to help if you need it. You may want to join your party's chat on the messaging app Telegram. There's also a main game chat for players from all parties.

Catch up on the news
Take a look in the Media forums to understand what's been happening in our world. If the round has been running for a while, things may be very different from real life. Even if the round has just begun, there will still be some divergence. The BBC is an impartial news source and will cover all the main events. The newspapers in Fleet Street all have their own readership and their own biases, so bear that in mind when reading.

Vote on legislation
Cast votes in the Division Lobbies, by saying Aye or No. Check with your party's chief whip on how they'd like you to vote. Britain has a much stronger sense of party discipline than other countries, so expect at least a strong telling-off if you defy the chief whip. If you're not happy with the party line, try to privately convince the party to change course before going public.

Ask a question to a government minister
Question Time is your chance to grill ministers about how the government is performing. Ask what they're doing about a particular problem, or why they've chosen a particular course of action.

Write an Early Day Motion
EDMs are short motions used to draw attention to a particular subject. Post one to raise the profile of an issue your character cares about, and try to convince other MPs to show their support for the issue by signing it.

Get involved in the press
Comment in a press cycle so that the press and the public know your character's stance on the issue. The best comments earn benefits for the party and bring attention to the characters that make them.

Speak in a debate
Parliamentary debate is one of the key elements of an MPs job. Speak on a piece of legislation or in reply to a motion and try to convince other MP's to come round to your point of view.

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  Constituency Claim Sheet
Posted by: Andy - 9 hours ago - Forum: Character sign-in - No Replies

Claim a seat for your MP using the spreadsheet linked below. Choose a seat, and enter your character's name in Column B. You can only claim a seat held by the party you will be joining, so no claiming seats held by UKIP etc. You cannot claim the seats that have been greyed out; these are the seats of significant real party members.

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  SNP Applications
Posted by: Steve - 10 hours ago - Forum: Character sign-in - No Replies

PM me if you would like to play the SNP. Please say -
1. Why you want to play SNP
2. What you think an SNP MP could add given most policy is devolved
3. What time commitment you can make

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  Parties and Factions
Posted by: Steve - 10 hours ago - Forum: Character sign-in - No Replies

Conservative Party 330 MPs - Currently Open

The Conservative Party are Britain's main right-wing party. As of the start of the round, the Tories are in Government, having won a surprise but slim majority in the 2015 election. They are led by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Faction: Bright Blue 49 MPs
The arch-remainers among the Tory ranks who also often see their role as pushing Cameron's changes to the Conservative Party further. While they are mainly united in an emphatic belief in the EU, they are also often more keen on pro-environmental policies and liberal social policies. (Your character cannot support Leave and be a member of this faction)
Think of: Nicky Morgan, Justine Greening, Anna Soubry, Amber Rudd

Faction: Tory Reform Group 132 MPs
Founded in the 1970s, the Tory Reform Group has consistently pushed a more one nation or 'liberal' Conservatism. They are relatively big-tent; but tend to be euro-pragmatic (though not necessarily pro-remain) and moderate on economic and/or social issues.
Think of: David Cameron, George Osborne, Theresa May, Michael Gove (except on Brexit)

Faction: Bow Group 90 MPs
Relatively conservative on social and economic issues, and eurosceptic (though not necessarily pro-leave). Sceptical of the Cameron project and particularly of initiatives such as same sex marriage, but relatively supportive until recently.
Think of: David Davies, Liam Fox, Andrea Leadsom

Faction: European Research Group 59 MPs
Fundamentally and completely opposed to the EU. Tends to also be very conservative on social and economic issues, although a broader church on this than on the EU. (Your character cannot support Remain and be a member of this faction)
Think of: Jacob Rees Mogg, Peter Bone, Steve Baker

Labour Party 232 MPs - Currently Open

The Labour Party are Britain's main left-wing party. As of the start of the round, Labour are in Opposition. Lead by Jeremy Corbyn, a surprise victor in the 2015 leadership election, the party - if not its MPs - has swung substantially to the left since the last election. 

Faction: Progress 84 MPs
Known variously as "moderates", "right wingers", "Blairites", and "Tories". Still the largest share of the Parliamentary Labour Party, but significantly less influential than they once were. Economically centrist, pro-EU. Liberal on social issues, except on crime, but diverse range of views on immigration.
Think of: Liz Kendall, Chuka Umunna, Keir Starmer, Yvette Cooper, David Miliband

Faction: Open Labour 72 MPs
Umbrella group of the “soft left”. Views have shifted to the left since the Blair years, and much less aligned to the Blairite / modernising agenda than it used to be. Nevertheless, sceptical of Corbyn but has been willing (until recently) to give him the benefit of the doubt. Economically centre-left, pro-EU, and socially liberal 
Think of: Ed Miliband, Emily Thornberry, Owen Smith, Angela Rayner

Faction: Blue Labour 31 MPs
Once touted as the future of the Labour Party, its ideas have fallen out of favour and it is caricatured as the "anti-immigration" wing of the party. There remains a small group of Labour MPs sceptical of the EU and globalisation and more socially conservative than their colleagues. Tend to be economically centre-left, eurosceptic (but not necessarily pro-Leave), and socially conservative, largely on crime/immigration
Think of: Kate Hoey, Roger Godsiff, Kelvin Hopkins

Faction: Socialist Campaign Group / Momentum 45 MPs
Once dismissed as a fringe of the party (and indeed most MPs wonder how they are still not), the Labour Party's hard left now occupies its leadership. Economically left wing, socially liberal, and - historically - eurosceptic.
Think of: Jeremy Corbyn, Dennis Skinner, John McDonnell

SNP 56 MPs - Capped at 1 Player
The SNP are Scotland's premier pro-independence party, a sometimes uneasy alliance between the traditional tartan Tories and the new left that have become the Party's norm

Faction: Pragmatists 24 MPs
The Pragmatists are the sort of SNP MPs who would have quite happily voted with the 1979 party in the infamous Vote of No Confidence which killed the Callaghan Government and gave us Mrs Thatcher. These individuals support independence for Scotland but are more likely to be willing to play the long game and seek maximalist devolution in the first instance. Generally not as left wing or socially liberal as their colleagues. Will be less keen on a second referendum so soon, but may not say so publicly.
Think of: Alex Salmond, Angus Robertson

Faction: New Left 32 MPs
The upstarts in the SNP, who after the referendum defeat are particularly ascendant. This part of the party is in firm control of policy with a firm emphasis making a left-wing and anti-austerity case for independence. This wing of the party is relatively young. Likely to favour a second referendum as soon as possible, fiercely anti-Tory, and pro-EU.
Think of: Nicola Sturgeon, Mhairi Black

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  What does an MP look like?
Posted by: Steve - 10 hours ago - Forum: Character sign-in - Replies (1)

What Does An MP Look Like?
(In 2016) 

Original credit for this guide goes to Amelia

Most MPs are boring. Very few of them had fantastically exciting careers as spies, diplomats, judges or high ranking Armed Forces Personnel. But more on that later, your MP’s life will be boring (maybe even normal?) so keep that in mind when writing your character’s bio. 

Personal Details: 

David Cameron may have reshuffled his "male pale and stale" cabinet  but that still accurately describes the majority of the Commons. Men continue to the most common MPs and certainly the most common senior MPs. But things are changing, so you are free to play a female character in any party: but bear in mind that until 2010 female Conservative MPs were even more rare. 

The majority of MPs were middle class. This doesn’t mean that there were no working class MPs; obviously there were some, mainly on the Labour benches. Upper class MPs are mainly found on the Conservative benches. There aren’t many Anthony Wedgewood Benns on the Labour benches in 1997, nor are there many Patrick McLoughlins on the Conservative benches. More MPs are increasingly from "professional" political backgrounds such as think-tanks and political adviser roles.

Mhairi Black is the exception to the rule: most MPs are middle-aged. Your character can be under 30, but that is rare and they would really have had to have an impressive career as a party political sycophant. 

Openly gay or lesbian MPs are acceptable in any party, but bear in mind that Tory MPs are unlikely to have been able to be out and senior in the party until quite recently. Unfortunately there are still no openly trans MPs. Most MPs are married, but it is no longer seen as inappropriate if they are not.

MPs are still mostly white and christian, but all MPs are increasingly diverse. 

In short: you can play anything within reason, because happily, our Parliament is more and more diverse. But do keep it within reason, and do think about and reflect the challenges that an openly gay, muslim, or young MP would have faced - particularly in the Conservative Party.


If you MP was born after 1944 and before 1955, it is highly likely they went to a Grammar School or a Secondary Modern. After 1955, they went to a Grammar or Secondary Modern which eventually turned into a Comprehensive (blame Anthony Crosland and Margaret Thatcher for that). After around 1970, it was very unlikely your character went to a Grammar School. This is excepting the Grammar Schools which were allowed to survive (a list here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gr...in_England).

If you went to a Grammar School, it is likely (although not certain) you went to university or a polytechnic. Poor kids got scholarships to go to university so remember to include that in your bio. If you went to a Secondary Modern, I’m sorry: you probably didn’t go to University unless you benefitted from the Open University or Ruskin College later in life. Life is tough.     


Now this may appear confusing and it is the part where realism may fade away. So I’m going to split it into Labour and Conservative for simplicity. 


Labour MPs are usually public sector workers, educators, trade unionists, or former political advisers. They are unlikely to be big business owners or high powered businessmen (like CEOs or CFOs) because they get put in the Lords when they donate a cheque. 


Conservative MPs are more likely to be businesses owners or businessmen (yes, men because patriarchy). They are more likely to be landowners and come from gentle farming stock. There are no Conservative trade union officials or trade union leaders. 

Careers such as doctors, journalists, athletes, Armed Forces, lawyers and writers can be members of both parties. Diplomats, judges, and senior civil servants do not become MPs except in rare circumstances; so rare, in fact, that we are banning your characters from having those jobs. If you want to be like Harold Wilson, you can be a minor civil servant but there needs to be a long gap between your civil servant role and becoming a MP (at least 5 years, but more like 10). 

A note on political and parliamentary careers: 

Your character will join Parliament in any of the elections since 1974. Since Gerald Kaufman was the Father of the House and was elected in 1970, you cannot be elected before that. If there was a by-election in your seat, you can join Parliament at that by-election (providing your party won). All results remain the same so if you picked Bristol East in 1979, you were rejected by the voters in 1983 (sorry).  

Since many of you will become frontbenchers, realism dictates you will have spent at least one Parliament (meaning you were elected in 2010) or more. How many times has a MP become a senior (Shadow) Cabinet member within 2 or 3 years of being elected? If you exclude Corbyn’s experience, never. So focus on a longish parliamentary career (while remembering that no character can be a MP before they are 27) and fill it in with some lower (Shadow) Government positions. But you cannot fill a Great Office of State or their Shadows – nor can you fill a position another character has taken. You could also be a Select Committee member or Chair (after 1979). 


Overall the admins trust you to be realistic. But we will be carefully scrutinising each application to ensure that it is in keeping with MPs of the time period. And we will ask you to make changes if required – that would be very embarrassing. So if you are unsure, ask one of your friendly AVs for help.

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  --- Updates to Game Rules for 2016 Round ---
Posted by: Steve - 11 hours ago - Forum: Game Information & Rules - No Replies

Hi everyone,

Thanks a lot for the feedback, which we have been considering. Ahead of the new round starting on Saturday, I thought we would set out where we have got to in our thinking.

All changes are, of course, contingent on review.


We will be altering the way we manage legislation in line with feedback. In particular:

1) Bills can either be written in full legal style or in a summary form in a template that we will provide (more equivalent of ENs IRL). An adequate level of detail will be expected, and we will set out that expectation in the template and examples. People can still write their Bill in full style if they wish.
2) In either case, we do not reward points for debate on detail; however it is legitimate to say that a particular part of legislation (whether written as piece of law or in a shorter format) does not work in practice. i.e. it is ok to say "section 2 will be ineffective"; it is not going to get your anywhere to say "section 2 mis-quotes section 271a of the 1977 act".
3) Authors of legislation will get an influence bonus.

Parliament and Motions

We will simplify the system of motions to allow anyone - including government ministers - to move motions. Motions will only go to vote if the government says so, with the exception of opposition days.

Opposition days

Simplified legislation means that we expect the government to bring forward sufficient policy to debate. We are therefore dispensing with Opposition days for legislation - they were never particularly realistic and sucked up work for opposition players that could have been spent more productively.

Opposition days remain for motions.

Private Members Bills

We will, however, introduce a ballot system of private members bills. The ballot will be open to all non-government players every two - three weeks. Bills are non-transferable (i.e. have to be introduced by the person who bid) and can be allocated to shadow cabinet ministers.

Any player can introduce a Bill to First Reading, and the government can choose to schedule debate on any Bill.


We will continue to not simulate debate in the Lords. But the A-Team may, given the period, return Legislation passed by the Commons with amendments.


We will make our marking system clearer and public, and introduce equivalence between Parliamentary and Press marking. Each press cycle and debate marked will be given a particular issue profile, determined both by how high profile the issue is but also the scale and ferocity of debate. That will determine the total amount of momentum available to each party.

We are planning to either reduce the amount of momentum available (i.e. negative momentum) or increase the thresholds for rewards.

At least for the initial period, we will also record momentum for both Remain and Leave as well as party political momentum.


We will be making the impact of influence scores public through some form of revived Backbencher Support System (BBS). Factions will also become more dynamic, with increasingly influential faction members gathering new MPs to their faction.

We will have a public timetable of planned by-election and local election activities so players have a good sense of when they will be aiming for some form of electoral test.


It will be up to PMs to organise governments as they wish, so long as there is a PM, and Chancellor, a Foreign Secretary, and a Home Secretary.

Select Committee Chairs

We will retain them, but it will be for the A-Team to appoint any prominent and active backbenchers who do not want a cabinet position.

Activity expectations

We will expect players in senior elected posts (i.e. leaders / deputy leader of Labour) to report any absences of more than 48 hours after which we will attempt contact. If we do not hear within a further 24 hours, we will hold the right to remove and replace them. There will be similar expectations on senior cabinet ministers, although it will be for party leaders to remove and replace them.

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