Michael Ryle (1927–2013) founded the Study of Parliament Group in 1964 with political scientist Bernard Crick. He was a House of Commons Clerk, serving from 1951 until his retirement in 1989, when he had reached the post of Clerk of Committees, in charge of the House’s system of select committees. Read more about Michael in his obituary in the Independent, by former MP Tam Dalyell.
Following Michael’s death, and to mark the Group’s 50th anniversary, we decided to commemorate him by a series of lectures on current political themes.
The 2021 Lecture was delivered by Rt Hon Ken Macintosh, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, 2016-21, on the 22nd July. The topic was: The Importance of Inter-Parliamentary Relations
The 2020 Lecture was delivered by the Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler. The topic was: The Future of the House of Lords
The 2019 Lecture was given in the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, by Dr Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the House of Commons Liaison Committee. The topic was: The Good Committee.
The 2018 Lecture was given in the River Room, House of Lords, by Lady Hale, President of the Supreme Court. The topic was: Should the Law Lords have left the House of Lords?
The 2017 Lecture was given in the River Room, House of Lords, by the Lord Chief Justice, the Rt Hon Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd. The topic was: The Judiciary within the State: the Relationship between the Branches of the State.
The 2016 Lecture was given on 19 July by Professor Lord Norton of Louth. It was entitled: Speaking for Parliament.
The 2015 Lecture was given on 16 July by Sir David Butler. It was entitled: Elections transformed.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon. John Bercow MP, gave the first Michael Ryle memorial lecture on 30 June 2014 in the Speaker’s State Apartments. As well as members of the Study of Parliament Group, several of Michael’s former colleagues were present, and some of his family and friends. A transcript of the speech is on the Parliamentary Website.