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Tom Caygill


School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Social and Political Sciences


Tom is a Lecturer in Politics, specialising in British politics.  He teaches British politics on several related courses. He is module leader for British Political History (UG Year 1), British Politics: Governing in a Global Age (UG Year 1); Exploring British Politics (UG Year 1) and UK Parliamentary Studies (UG Year 2).  He also contributes to Foundations and Challenges to Politics and International Relations (UG Year 1), Interpreting Contemporary Politics (UG Year 3) and supervises both UG and PG dissertations.

Tom is also the Course Leader for BA (Hons) Politics.

Career overview


Tom joined NTU in December 2020, following two years at Newcastle University (2018-2020) as a Lecturer in Politics. He has also worked in the UK Parliament twice, for both an MP (2011-2012) and for a House of Commons Select Committee (2016).  


BA (Hons) British Politics and Legislative Studies (2009-2013)
Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Hull

MA Politics (Research) (2013-2014)
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University 

PhD in Political Science (2014-2019)
Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council
Title: A critical analysis of post-legislative scrutiny in the UK Parliament
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University. 

Tom also completed the Newcastle Teaching Award during his time at Newcastle University and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research areas

Tom's wider research interests lie in parliamentary scrutiny of the executive and the legislative process. He is particularly interested in the relationship between executives and legislatures and the innovative ways in which parliaments seek to boost their influence with the executive. His interest in this area of legislative studies stems from the way governments within Westminster-style democracies can dominate legislatures. He received a PhD in Political Science from Newcastle University in June 2019, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. His thesis examined post-legislative scrutiny in the UK Parliament and was the first systematic study of this type of parliamentary scrutiny. The thesis explored where and how often post-legislative scrutiny had taken place, what the processes of scrutiny involved, the extent to which committee recommendations were being accepted and how both Houses of the UK Parliament differ in their undertaking of it.

He has presented this research at European Consortium for Political Research and Political Studies Association Annual Conferences and at an ECPR summer school. He has also presented research at more specialist events, including events with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

His commitment to engagement and impact has been demonstrated through having given oral and written evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee, as well as giving written evidence to both the House of Commons and House of Lords Liaison Committees for their respective inquiries into their committee systems. His drive to disseminate my research to both academic and practitioner communities has assisted him in building both national and international research networks.

Tom also has a burgeoning interest in teaching and learning research having assisted with two research projects during his time at Newcastle University, one focusing on student attendance and engagement and the other on study skills.

Engagement activities:

  • Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (University of London) & Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Certified Course on Post-Legislative Scrutiny. Delivered a session on 'How can PLS have imact'. (July, 2022).
  • Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Virtual meetings between MPs and parliamentary staff from the Jordanian House of Representatives and counterparts in the United Kingdom on legislative scrutiny. (March 2022).
  • Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Post-Legislative Scrutiny in the UK - Report Launch. Online (December 2021).
  • Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Why parliaments should review laws to ensure they are effective: principles and practices of post-legislative scrutiny. Online (February 2021)
  • Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Gender-sensitive post-legislative scrutiny with PLS and gender experts.  Panel member. Online (July 2020)
  • Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (University of London) & Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Certified Course on Post-Legislative Scrutiny. Delivered a session on 'What happens after?'. (July, 2019).
  • UK Parliament. House of Commons Liaison Committee. 'The effectiveness and influence of the select committee system'. - Submitted: Written evidence of post-legislative scrutiny in the House of Commons (March, 2019).
  • UK Parliament. House of Lords Liaison Committee. ‘Review of investigative and scrutiny committees inquiry’.  – Submitted: written evidence on ad hoc committees and post-legislative scrutiny. (March, 2018). Evidence and recommendations included and cited in final report (July, 2019).
  • Scottish Parliament. Public Audit Committee: Business Planning Session. Gave oral and written evidence on post-legislative scrutiny. (September 2016).

External activity

Tom is an associate editor of the Journal of Legislative Studies and regularly undertakes peer review for the journal. In addition to this he is also an occasional reviewer for Parliamentary Affairs and Government and Opposition.

Tom is also currently a Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Business, Law and Politics at the University of Hull.

Tom is active in a number of academic groups outside of NTU, including the Political Studies Association and the European Consortium of Political Research (and their respective parliaments/legislatures specialist groups). He is also a member of the executive committee of the Study of Parliament Group which brings together parliamentary scholars and officials from the UK's parliaments.


Peer Reviewed Articles:

Caygill, T. (2020). 'The UK Post-Legislative Scrutiny Gap'. Journal of Legislative Studies. 26 (3): 387-404.

Caygil, T. (2019). 'Legislation under review: An assessment of post-legislative scrutiny recommendations in the UK'. Journal of Legislative Studies. 25 (2): 295-313.

Caygill, T. (2019). 'A Tale of Two Houses? Post-legislative scrutiny in the UK Parliament'. European Journal of Law Reform. 21 (2).

Chapters in edited books:

Caygill, T. (2021). 'The UK post-legislative scrutiny gap', in Norton, P & de Vrieze, F (eds). Parliaments and Post-Legislative Scrutiny. Abingdon: Routledge

Caygill, T & Griffith, A.M. (2018). 'Parliaments and Petitions', in Leston-Bandeira, C & Thompson, L (eds). Exploring Parliament. Oxford: Oxford University Press


Caygill, T. (2021). 'Post-Legislative Scrutiny in the UK Parliament'. London: Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

See all of Thomas Caygill's publications...

Press expertise

Tom has expertise in British and parliamentary politics and has undertaken interviews recently for the Daily Express, ITV News, NottsTV, Newzroom Afrika & BBC Local Radio as well as publishing frequently in The Conversation.

Selection of recent interviews:

Daily Express - 11th July 2022 - General election: Tory safe seats under threat from pandemic population shift

Newzroom Afrika -  7th July 2022 -  UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is today expected to resign

ITV Central - 7th July 2022 - Political expert tells why Boris Johnson cannot remain as caretaker leader

Daily Express - 25th June 2022 - ‘Pincer movement’ Labour and Lib Dem pact to beat Boris in next election - Expert analysis

Newzroom Afrika -  7th June 2022 - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survives a confidence vote

Selection of recent articles:

The Conversation -  9th June 2022 - The tactics Tory rebels could use to derail Boris Johnson

The Conversation -  25th May 2022 - Sue Gray report: why hasn’t Boris Johnson resigned? Key questions answered

The Conversation -  25th January 2022 - Conservatives in crisis: where whipping stops and blackmail begins

Course(s) I teach on