|The Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled|
|Leader||Harriet Harman, Labour|
since June 28, 2007
|Shadow Leader||Theresa May, Conservative|
since May 5, 2005
|Political groups||Labour Party|
Democratic Unionist Party
Scottish National Party
Social Democratic and Labour Party
Ulster Unionist Party
Respect – The Unity Coalition
United Kingdom Independence Party
|Last elections||May 5, 2005|
|Meeting place||House of Commons chamber|
Palace of Westminster
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The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords (the upper house). A lower house is one of two chambers of a Bicameral Legislature, the other chamber being the Upper house. Michael John Martin MP (born 3 July 1945 is the current Speaker of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. The Leader of the House of Commons is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Commons Harriet Ruth Harman The Labour Party is a Political party in the United Kingdom. Founded at the start of the 20th century it has been since the 1920s the principal party of the Events 1098 - Fighters of the First Crusade defeat Kerbogha of Mosul. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. In British parliamentary practice the Official Loyal Opposition Shadow Cabinet (usually known simply as 'The Shadow Cabinet' is a group of members from Her Majesty's Loyal Theresa Mary May (born in Eastbourne, Sussex, England, on 1 October 1956 as Theresa Mary Brasier) is a British The Conservative Party (officially the Conservative and Unionist Party) is a Political party in the United Kingdom. Events 553 - The Second Council of Constantinople begins 1215 - Rebel Barons renounce their allegiance to King John Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Labour Party is a Political party in the United Kingdom. Founded at the start of the 20th century it has been since the 1920s the principal party of the The Conservative Party (officially the Conservative and Unionist Party) is a Political party in the United Kingdom. The Liberal Democrats, often shortened to Lib Dems, are a liberal Political party in the United Kingdom, formed in 1988 by merging the The Democratic Unionist Party ( DUP) is the larger of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland. The Scottish National Party (SNP (Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba Scottis Naitional Pairtie is a Centre-left political party which campaigns for Scottish Plaid Cymru (plaɪd ˈkəmri The Party of Wales often referred to simply as Plaid) is a Political party in Wales. Sinn Féin () is a political party in Ireland. The current party led by Gerry Adams was formed following a split in January 1970 The Social Democratic and Labour Party ( SDLP; Páirtí Sóisialta Daonlathach an Lucht Oibre is one of the two major nationalist parties in Northern Ireland The Ulster Unionist Party ( UUP, sometimes referred to as the Official Unionist Party or OUP or in a historic sense simply the Unionist Party Respect – The Unity Coalition is a Left wing political party in England and Wales founded on 25 January, 2004 in London. The United Kingdom Independence Party (commonly known as UKIP, ˈjuːkɪp Events 553 - The Second Council of Constantinople begins 1215 - Rebel Barons renounce their allegiance to King John Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Westminster is an area of Central London, within the City of Westminster. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located The politics of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland takes place in the framework of a Constitutional monarchy, in which the Monarch is Head Her Majesty's Government, or when the monarch is male His Majesty's Government, is the title used by the Government of the United Kingdom, based at TalkCommonewalth realm.--> The monarchy For the ship see RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Context States headed by Elizabeth II Throughout the Commonwealth realms The Crown is an abstract metonymic concept which represents the legal authority for the existence of any government Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors to the British Sovereign. In the Politics of the United Kingdom, the Cabinet is a formal body composed of the most senior government ministers chosen by the Prime Minister The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the political leader of the United Kingdom WikipediaManual of Style (biographies#Academic titles --> James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951 is The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all Economic and Financial Alistair Maclean Darling (born 28 November 1953 is a British Politician and Chancellor of the Exchequer since 28 June 2007 The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, commonly referred to as the Foreign Secretary, is a member of the United Kingdom Government heading the David Wright Miliband The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the United Kingdom Home Office Jacqueline Jill "Jacqui" Smith (born 3 November 1962 is a British Politician for the Labour Party. See also Lord Chancellor The Secretary of State for Justice is a United Kingdom cabinet position John Whitaker Straw (born 3 August 1946 most commonly known as Jack Straw, is a senior British Labour Party Politician. Gordon Brown is currently serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories In the United Kingdom, the State Opening of Parliament is an annual event held usually in October or November that marks the commencement of a session of the Parliament This article discusses types of Acts and the process of law-making in Parliament The House of Lords is the second house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is also commonly referred to as "the Lords" The Lord Speaker is the speaker of the House of Lords in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Helene Valerie Hayman Baroness Hayman, PC, née Middleweek (born 26 March 1949 in Wolverhampton) is Lord Speaker of the House of Lords The House of Commons' is the Lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords Michael John Martin MP (born 3 July 1945 is the current Speaker of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. The Leader of the House of Commons is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Commons Harriet Ruth Harman Prime Minister's Questions ( PMQs) (officially Questions to the Prime Minister) is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom, where every Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, or the Official Opposition, in the United Kingdom is led by the Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition (sometimes known as the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons) in the United Kingdom is the politician who leads David William Donald Cameron (born 9 October 1966 is a British Politician and the current leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of Her Majesty's In British parliamentary practice the Official Loyal Opposition Shadow Cabinet (usually known simply as 'The Shadow Cabinet' is a group of members from Her Majesty's Loyal The United Kingdom does not have a single unified Judicial system, but separate judicial systems serving England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Her Majesty's Courts of Justice of England and Wales are the civil and criminal Courts responsible for the administration of Justice in England The courts of Northern Ireland are the civil and criminal Courts responsible for the administration of Justice in Northern Ireland: The civil, criminal and heraldic Courts of Scotland are responsible for the administration of Justice. The constitution of the United Kingdom is the set of laws and principles under which the United Kingdom is governed The United Kingdom has a long and established tradition of avowed respect for its subjects' Human rights. Constituent country is a phrase used often by official institutions in contexts in which a country makes up a part of a larger entity or grouping Political history Pre-Union politics See also Parliament of England The English Parliament traces its origins to the Anglo-Saxon " Regional Assembly " is the name which has been adopted by the English bodies established as regional chambers under the Regional Development Agencies The Greater London Authority ( GLA) is the city-wide governing body for London, England. Current situation The largest party is the Scottish National Party, which campaigns for Scottish independence. The Scottish Government (SG ( Scottish Gaelic: Riaghaltas na h-Alba) is the executive arm of the government of Scotland. The Scottish Parliament ( Scottish Gaelic: Pàrlamaid na h-Alba; Scots: Scottish Pairlament) is the devlolved national unicameral The emergence of a Welsh polity During the latter part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century the notion of a distinctive Welsh polity gained credence The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG (Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru LlCC) was firstly an executive body of the National Assembly for Wales, consisting of The National Assembly for Wales (Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru is a devolved assembly with power to make legislation in Wales. General demographics Population 1685267 The population of Northern Ireland has increased annually since 1978 The Northern Ireland Executive is the executive arm of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the devolved Legislature for Northern Ireland The Northern Ireland Assembly ( Irish: Tionól Thuaisceart Éireann, Ulster Scots: Norlin Airlann Semmlie) is the devolved For other meanings see Reserved powers disambiguation page In the United Kingdom reserved matters, also referred to as reserved The United Kingdom has five distinct types of Elections UK general elections elections to national/regional parliaments and assemblies elections to the European Parliament This is a list of the 646 constituencies currently represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, as at the 2005 general election This is a list of political parties in the United Kingdom. Brief history and overview Prior to the mid-19th century Politics in the United Kingdom Results Overview For events leading up to the date of the election see article Pre-election day events of the United Kingdom general Leadership of the main parties David Cameron became Conservative leader in December 2005 replacing Michael Howard. The United Kingdom (UK is a key player in international politics with interests throughout the world The European Union is a unique entity possessing elements of Intergovernmentalism, Supranationalism and a Multi-party Parliamentary democracy Information on politics by country is available for every Country, including both De jure and De facto independent A lower house is one of two chambers of a Bicameral Legislature, the other chamber being the Upper house. The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories TalkCommonewalth realm.--> The monarchy The House of Lords is the second house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is also commonly referred to as "the Lords" An upper house is one of two chambers of a Bicameral Legislature, the other chamber being the Lower house. Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 646 members, who are known as "Members of Parliament" or MPs. Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a Parliament. Members are elected, through the first-past-the-post system, by electoral districts known as constituencies, and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved (a maximum of five years between elections). The plurality voting system is a Single-winner voting system often used to elect executive officers or to elect members of a legislative assembly which is based on single-member In the United Kingdom (UK, each of the electoral areas or divisions called constituencies elects one or more members to a parliament or assembly
The House of Commons evolved at some point during the 14th century and has been in continuous existence since. The House of Commons was originally far less powerful than the House of Lords, but today its legislative powers exceed those of the Lords. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject most legislative bills was reduced to a delaying power. The Parliament Acts are two Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom, passed in 1911 and 1949 that form part of the Constitution of the United Moreover, the Government is primarily responsible to the House of Commons; the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as he or she retains its support. Almost all government ministers are drawn from the House of Commons and, with one brief exception, all Prime Ministers since 1902. A minister or a secretary is a Politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional Government. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the political leader of the United Kingdom
The full, formal style and title of the House of Commons is The Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.
Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland largely descends from the Parliament of England. The Parliament of England was the Legislature of the Kingdom of England. That Parliament developed from the council that advised the English monarch in medieval times. This royal council, meeting for short periods, included ecclesiastics, noblemen, as well as representatives of the counties (known as "knights of the shire"). A county is a Land area of Regional Government within a larger State. In English and Welsh politics from Mediaeval times until the Representation of the People Act 1884, Knights of the Shire were representatives of counties The chief duty of the council was to approve taxes proposed by the Crown. In many cases, however, the council demanded the redress of the people's grievances before proceeding to vote on taxation. Thus, it developed legislative powers.
In the "Model Parliament" of 1295, representatives of the boroughs (including towns and cities) were also admitted. A Model Parliament (also referred to as a Mock Parliament) is a simulation of the parliamentary proceedings of a Legislature or A borough is an Administrative division of various countries In principle the term borough designates a self-governing Township although in practice Thus, it became settled practice that each county send two knights of the shire, and that each borough send two burgesses. At first, the burgesses were almost entirely powerless; whilst county representation was fixed, the monarch could enfranchise or disfranchise boroughs at pleasure. Any show of independence by burgesses would have led to the exclusion of their towns from Parliament. The knights of the shire were in a better position, though less powerful than their aristocratic counterparts in the still unicameral Parliament. The division of Parliament into two houses occurred during the reign of Edward III: the knights and burgesses formed the House of Commons, whilst the clergy and nobility became the House of Lords. Edward III (13 November 1312 &ndash 21 June 1377 was one of the most successful English monarchs of the Middle Ages.
Though they remained subordinate to both the Crown and the Lords, the Commons did act with increasing boldness. During the Good Parliament (1376), the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Peter de la Mare, complained of heavy taxes, demanded an accounting of the royal expenditures, and criticised the King's management of the military. The Good Parliament is the name traditionally given to the English Parliament of 1376 Sir Peter de la Mare (died c 1387 was an English politician who is best remembered as the Presiding Officer of the House of Commons during the Good Parliament The Commons even proceeded to impeach some of the King's ministers. Impeachment is the first of two stages in a specific process for a legislative body to forcibly remove a Government official The bold Speaker was imprisoned, but was soon released after the death of King Edward III. During the reign of the next monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant ministers of the Crown. Richard II (6 January 1367 &ndash ca 14 February 1400 was King of England from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399 They insisted that they could not only control taxation, but also public expenditures. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons still remained much less powerful than the Lords and the Crown.
The influence of the Crown was increased by the civil wars of the late fifteenth century, which destroyed the power of the great nobles. Both houses of Parliament held little power during the ensuing years, and the absolute supremacy of the Sovereign was restored. The domination of the monarch grew further under the Tudor dynasty in the sixteenth century. The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was an English royal Dynasty that lasted 118 years from 1485 to 1603 a period known as the Tudor period This trend, however, was somewhat reversed when the House of Stuart came to the English Throne in 1603. The House of Stuart or Stewart was a Royal house of the Kingdom of Scotland, later also of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of The first two Stuart monarchs, James I and Charles I, provoked conflicts with the Commons over issues such as taxation, religion, and royal powers. James VI and I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625 was King of Scotland as James VI, and King of England and King of Ireland as James Charles I, (19 November 1600 &ndash 30 January 1649 was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution.
The differences between Charles I and Parliament were great, and resulted in the English Civil War, in which the armed forces of Parliament were victorious. The English Civil War (1642-1651 was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists. In December 1648 the House of Commons was purged by the New Model Army, which was supposed to be subservient to Parliament. The New Model Army was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War. Pride's Purge was indeed the first and only military coup in English history. Pride’s Purge took place in December 1648 when troops under the command of Colonel Thomas Pride forcibly removed from the House of Commons all those who were not Subsequently, King Charles I was beheaded and the Upper House was abolished. The unicameral Parliament that remained was later referred to by critics as the Rump Parliament, as it consisted only of a small selection of Members of Parliament approved by the army - some of whom were soldiers themselves. The Rump Parliament was the name of the English Parliament after Colonel Pride on December 6 1648 had purged Long Parliament of those In 1653, when leading figures in this Parliament began to disagree with the army, it was dissolved by Oliver Cromwell. Oliver Cromwell (25 April 1599 Old Style &ndash 3 September 1658 Old Style) was an English military and political leader best known However, the monarchy and the House of Lords were both restored with the Commons in 1660. The influence of the Crown had been decreased, and was further diminished when James II was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. James II of England and Ireland James VII of Scotland (14 October 1633 &ndash 16 September 1701 was King of England, King of Scots, Later that same year James The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, was the overthrow of King James II of England (VII of Scotland in 1688 by a union
The 1707 Act of Union created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the parliaments of England and Scotland, but in practice the House of Commons continued as before with the addition of 45 MPs to represent Scotland. This article is about the pre-1707 parliament The article on the devolved legislative body established in 1999 is at Scottish Parliament.
The eighteenth century saw the development of the office of Prime Minister. The notion that a government remains in power only as long as it retains the support of Parliament evolved, leading to history's first-ever motion of no confidence, when Lord North's government failed to end the American Revolution. A motion of no confidence (also vote of no confidence, censure motion, no-confidence motion, or confidence motion) is a Parliamentary motion Frederick North 2nd Earl of Guilford, KG, PC (13 April 1732 &ndash 5 August 1792 more often known by his courtesy title Lord North, which he used from In this article the inhabitants of the thirteen colonies that supported the American Revolution are primarily referred to as "Americans" with occasional references to "Patriots" The modern notion that only the support of the House of Commons is necessary to a government, however, was of later development. Similarly, the custom that the Prime Minister is always a Member of the Lower House, rather than the Upper one, did not evolve immediately.
The House of Commons experienced an important period of reform during the nineteenth century. Over the years, several anomalies had developed in borough representation. The constituency boundaries had not been changed since 1660, so many towns that were once important but had declined by the nineteenth century still retained their ancient right of electing two members. The most notorious of these "rotten boroughs" were Old Sarum, which had only six voters for two MPs, and Dunwich which had fallen into the sea. The term "rotten" or "decayed" borough referred to a parliamentary borough or Constituency in Great Britain and Ireland Old Sarum is the site of the earliest settlement of Salisbury, in England. Dunwich was a Parliamentary borough in Suffolk, one of the most notorious of all the Rotten boroughs It elected two Members of Parliament At the same time, large cities such as Manchester received no separate representation (although their eligible residents were able to vote in the corresponding county seat). Also notable were the pocket boroughs, small constituencies controlled by wealthy landowners and aristocrats, whose "nominees" were invariably elected. The term "rotten" or "decayed" borough referred to a parliamentary borough or Constituency in Great Britain and Ireland
The Commons attempted to address these anomalies by passing a Reform Bill in 1831. At first, the House of Lords proved unwilling to pass the bill, but were forced to relent when the Prime Minister, Lord Grey, advised King William IV to flood the House of Lords by creating pro-Reform peers. Charles Grey 2nd Earl Grey, KG, PC (13 March 1764 &ndash 17 July 1845 known as Viscount Howick between 1806 and 1807 was a British William IV (William Henry 21 August 1765 &ndash 20 June 1837 was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until To avoid this the Lords relented and passed the bill in 1832. The Reform Act 1832, also known as the "Great Reform Act," abolished the rotten boroughs, established uniform voting requirements for the boroughs, and granted representation to populous cities, but still retained many pocket boroughs. The Representation of the People Act 1832, commonly known as the Reform Act 1832, was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system In the ensuing years, the Commons grew more assertive, the influence of the House of Lords having been reduced by the Reform Bill Crisis, and the power of the patrons reduced. The Lords became more reluctant to reject bills that the Commons passed with large majorities, and it became an accepted political principle that the confidence of the House of Commons alone was necessary for a government to remain in office.
Many more reforms were introduced in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The Reform Act 1867 lowered property requirements for voting in the boroughs, reduced the representation of the less populous boroughs, and granted parliamentary seats to several growing industrial towns. The Reform Act 1867 (also known as the Second Reform Act, and formally titled the Representation of the People Act 1867) 30 & 31 Vict The electorate was further expanded by the Representation of the People Act 1884, under which property qualifications in the counties were lowered. In the United Kingdom, the Representation of the People Act of 1884 (48 & 49 Vict The Redistribution of Seats Act of the following year replaced almost all multi-member constituencies with single-member constituencies. The Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 (48 & 49 Vict c 23 was a piece of British Electoral reform legislation that redistributed the seats in the House
Progress continued in the early twentieth century. In 1908, the Liberal Government under Asquith introduced a number of social welfare programmes, which, together with an expensive arms race, forced the Government to seek higher taxes. The Liberal Party was one of the two major British political parties from the early 19th century until the rise of the Labour Party in the 1920s and a third party Herbert Henry Asquith 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith, KG, PC ( 12 September 1852 &ndash 15 February 1928) served "Social welfare" redirects here For other uses see Welfare A social welfare provision refers to any program which seeks to provide The term arms race, in its original usage describes a competition between two or more parties for real or apparent military supremacy In 1909, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, introduced the "People's Budget", which proposed a new tax targeting wealthy landowners. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all Economic and Financial David Lloyd George 1st Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor OM, PC (17 January 1863 &ndash 26 March 1945 was a British Statesman and the only The unpopular measure, however, failed in the heavily Conservative House of Lords—and the government resigned. The resulting general election returned a hung parliament, but Asquith remained Prime Minister with the support of the smaller parties. The United Kingdom general election of January 1910 was held from 15 January to 10 February 1910. Asquith then proposed that the powers of the Lords be severely curtailed. After a further election in December 1910, the Asquith Government secured the passage of a bill to curtail the powers of the House of Lords after threatening to flood the House with 500 new Liberal peers to ensure the passage of the bill. The United Kingdom general election of December 1910 was held from 3 to 19 December Thus, the Parliament Act 1911 came into effect, destroying the legislative equality of the two Houses of Parliament. The Parliament Acts are two Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom, passed in 1911 and 1949 that form part of the Constitution of the United The House of Lords was permitted only to delay most legislation, for a maximum of three parliamentary sessions or two calendar years (reduced to two sessions or one year by the Parliament Act 1949). The Parliament Acts are two Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom, passed in 1911 and 1949 that form part of the Constitution of the United Since the passage of these Acts, the House of Commons has become the dominant branch of Parliament, both in theory and in practice.
Since the 17th century, MPs had been unpaid. Most of the men elected to the Commons had private incomes, while a few relied on financial support from a wealthy patron. Early Labour MPs were often provided with a salary by a trade union, but this was declared illegal by a House of Lords judgment of 1910. Consequently a clause was included in the Parliament Act 1911 finally introducing salaries for MPs. Government ministers had always been paid.
Since 1948, each Member of Parliament represents a single constituency. There remains a technical distinction between county constituencies and borough constituencies, but the only effect of this difference is the amount of money candidates are allowed to spend during campaigns. In the United Kingdom (UK, each of the electoral areas or divisions called constituencies elects one or more members to a parliament or assembly In the United Kingdom (UK, each of the electoral areas or divisions called constituencies elects one or more members to a parliament or assembly The boundaries of the constituencies are determined by four permanent and independent Boundary Commissions, one each for England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Scotland ( Gaelic: Alba) is a Country in northwest Europethat occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. Northern Ireland (Tuaisceart Éireann Ulster Scots: Norlin Airlann) is a Country within the United Kingdom, lying in the northeast of The Commissions conduct general reviews of electoral boundaries once every 8 to 12 years, as well as a number of interim reviews. In drawing boundaries, they are required to take into account local government boundaries, but may deviate from this requirement in order to prevent great disparities in the populations of the various constituencies. The proposals of the Boundary Commissions are subject to parliamentary approval, but may not be amended. After the next general review of constituencies, the Boundary Commissions will be absorbed into the Electoral Commission, which was established in 2000. The Electoral Commission is a Non-departmental public body with powers in the United Kingdom, which was created by an Act of Parliament, the Political Currently the United Kingdom is divided into 646 constituencies, with 529 in England, 40 in Wales, 59 in Scotland, and 18 in Northern Ireland. This is a list of the 646 constituencies currently represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, as at the 2005 general election
General elections occur whenever Parliament is dissolved by the Sovereign. This is a list of United Kingdom general elections since the first in 1802 In Parliamentary systems a dissolution of parliament is the dispersal of a Legislature at the call of an Election. The timing of the dissolution is normally chosen by the Prime Minister (see relationship with the Government below); however, a parliamentary term may not last for more than five years, unless a Bill extending the life of Parliament passes both Houses and receives Royal Assent. The House of Lords, exceptionally, retains its power of veto over such a Bill.
The date of a General Election is the choice of the Prime Minister, but traditionally, it tends to be a Thursday. A general election is an Election in which all or most members of a given political body are up for election This article is about the government position For other uses see Prime Minister (disambiguation. A general election must be called once every five years, may be called at any time within that five years and in practice is usually called after four years. Each candidate must submit nomination papers signed by ten registered voters from the constituency, and pay a deposit of £500, which is refunded only if the candidate wins at least five per cent of the vote. The deposit seeks to discourage frivolous candidates. Each constituency returns one Member, using the first-past-the-post electoral system, under which the candidate with a plurality of votes wins. The plurality voting system is a Single-winner voting system often used to elect executive officers or to elect members of a legislative assembly which is based on single-member Minors, Members of the House of Lords, prisoners, and insane persons are not qualified to become Members of the House of Commons. In order to vote, one must be a resident of the United Kingdom as well as a citizen of the United Kingdom, of a British overseas territory, of the Republic of Ireland, or of a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories that are under the Sovereignty of the United Kingdom, but which do not form part of the United Kingdom Ireland ( Irish: Éire, ˈeːrʲə is a country in north-western Europe. British citizens living abroad are allowed to vote for 15 years after moving from the United Kingdom. No person may vote in more than one constituency.
Once elected, Members of Parliament normally continue to serve until the next dissolution of Parliament. If a Member, however, dies or ceases to be qualified (see qualifications below), his or her seat falls vacant. It is also possible for the House of Commons to expel a Member, but this power is exercised only in cases of serious misconduct or criminal activity. In each case, a vacancy may be filled by a by-election in the appropriate constituency, with the same electoral system as in general elections. A by-election or bye-election (called special election in the United States) is an Election held to fill a political office that has become vacant
The term "Member of Parliament" is normally used only to refer to Members of the House of Commons, even though the House of Lords is also a part of Parliament. Members of the House of Commons may use the post-nominal letters "MP". Post-nominal letters, also called " post-nominal initials " or " post-nominal titles " are letters placed after the name of a person to indicate that The annual salary of each Member is currently £61,820. Members may also receive additional salaries in right of other offices they hold (for instance, the Speakership). Most Members also claim between £100,000 and £150,000 for various office expenses (staff costs, postage, travelling, etc. ) and, in the case of non-London Members, for the costs of maintaining a home in the capital.
There are numerous qualifications that apply to Members of Parliament. Most importantly, one must be aged at least 18 (the limit was 21 until S. 17 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 came into force), and must be a citizen of the United Kingdom, of a British overseas territory, of the Republic of Ireland, or of a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations. The Electoral Administration Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, passed on 11 July 2006. Ireland ( Irish: Éire, ˈeːrʲə is a country in north-western Europe. These restrictions were introduced by the British Nationality Act 1981, but were previously far more stringent: under the Act of Settlement 1701, only natural-born subjects were qualified. The British Nationality Act 1981 was an Act of Parliament passed by the British Parliament concerning British Nationality. The Act of Settlement is an act of the Parliament of England, originally filed in 1700 and passed in 1701 to settle the succession to the English throne Members of the House of Lords may not serve in the House of Commons, or even vote in parliamentary elections; however, they are permitted to sit in the chamber during debates.
A person may not sit in the Commons if he or she is the subject of a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order (applicable in England and Wales only), or if he or she is adjudged bankrupt (in Northern Ireland), or if his or her estate is sequestered (in Scotland). There is no single law on bankruptcy in the United Kingdom with there being one system for England and Wales, one for Northern Ireland and one for Scotland Sequestration is the act of removing separating or seizing anything from the possession of its owner under process of law for the benefit of Creditors or the state Also, lunatics are ineligible to sit in the House of Commons. Under the Mental Health Act 1983, two specialists must report to the Speaker that a Member is suffering from mental illness before a seat can be declared vacant. The Mental Health Act 1983 (1983 c 20 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom but applies only to people in England and Wales. Mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as There also exists a common law precedent from the 18th century that the "deaf and dumb" are ineligible to sit in the Lower House; this precedent, however, has not been tested in recent years. Common law refers to law and the corresponding legal system developed through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive For "deafness" see Hearing impairment. For "Deaf" as a cultural term see Deaf culture. Jack Ashley continued to serve as an MP for 25 years after becoming profoundly deaf. Jack Ashley Baron Ashley of Stoke, CH PC (born 6 December 1922) is a Labour member of the United Kingdom House of
Anyone found guilty of high treason may not sit in Parliament until he or she has either completed the term of imprisonment, or received a full pardon from the Crown. See also Treason, High treason in the United Kingdom High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's country Moreover, anyone serving a prison sentence of one year or more is ineligible. Finally, the Representation of the People Act 1983 disqualifies for ten years those found guilty of certain election-related offences. The Representation of the People Act 1983 changed the British electoral process in the following ways Amended the 1969 Representation Several other disqualifications are codified in the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975: holders of high judicial offices, civil servants, members of the regular armed forces, members of foreign legislatures (excluding the Republic of Ireland and Commonwealth countries), and holders of several Crown offices. The House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 is an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament that prohibits certain groups of people from becoming members A judge, or justice, is an Official who presides over a Court of law See also Bureaucrat The term civil service has two distinct meanings Branch of governmental service in which individuals are hired on the basis For the military meaning see Armed forces. For the Soviet sports society see Armed Forces (sports society Armed Forces Ministers, even though they are paid officers of the Crown, are not disqualified.
The rule that precludes certain Crown officers from serving in the House of Commons is used to circumvent a resolution adopted by the House of Commons in 1623, under which Members are not permitted to resign their seats. In practice, however, they always can. Should a Member wish to resign from the Commons, he or she may request appointment to one of two ceremonial Crown offices: that of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds, or that of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead. Members of Parliament sitting in the House of Commons in the United Kingdom are technically forbidden to resign. Appointment to the office of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke Desborough and Burnham or Manor of Northstead is a Sinecure appointment The Manor of Northstead was once a collection of fields and farms in the parish of Scalby in the North Riding of Yorkshire. These offices are sinecures (that is, they involve no actual duties); they exist solely in order to permit the "resignation" of Members of the House of Commons. A sinecure (from Latin sine, without and cura, care means an office which requires or involves little or no responsibility labour or active service The Chancellor of the Exchequer is responsible for making the appointment, and, by convention, never refuses to do so when asked by a Member who desires to leave the House of Commons. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all Economic and Financial
The House of Commons elects a presiding officer, known as the Speaker, at the beginning of each new parliamentary term. If the incumbent Speaker seeks a new term, then the House may re-elect him or her merely by passing a motion; otherwise, a secret ballot is held. A Speaker-elect cannot take office until he or she has been approved by the Sovereign; the granting of the royal approbation, however, is a formality. The Speaker is assisted by three Deputy Speakers, the most senior of which holds the title of Chairman of Ways and Means. The two other Deputy Speakers are known as the First and Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means. These titles derive from the Committee of Ways and Means, a body over which the Chairman once used to preside; even though the Committee was abolished in 1967, the traditional titles of the Deputy Speakers are still retained. The Speaker and the Deputy Speakers are always Members of the House of Commons.
Whilst presiding, the Speaker or Deputy Speaker wears a ceremonial black robe. The presiding officer may also wear a wig, but this tradition has been abandoned by the present Speaker, Michael Martin, and by his predecessor, Betty Boothroyd. Michael John Martin MP (born 3 July 1945 is the current Speaker of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. Betty Boothroyd Baroness Boothroyd, OM, PC (born October 8, 1929 in Dewsbury, Yorkshire) is a British The Speaker or deputy presides from a chair at the front of the House. The Speaker is also chairman of the House of Commons Commission, which oversees the running of the House, and he or she controls debates by calling on members to speak. If a member believes that a rule (or Standing Order) has been breached, he or she may raise a "point of order," on which the Speaker makes a ruling that is not subject to any appeal. The Speaker may discipline members who fail to observe the rules of the House. Thus, the Speaker is far more powerful than his Lords counterpart, the Lord Speaker, who has no disciplinary powers. The Lord Speaker is the speaker of the House of Lords in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Customarily, the Speaker and the deputies are non-partisan; they do not vote, or participate in the affairs of any political party. By convention, a Speaker seeking re-election to parliament is not opposed in his or her constituency by any of the major parties. The lack of partisanship continues even after the Speaker leaves the House of Commons.
The Clerk of the House is both the House's chief adviser on matters of procedure and Chief Executive of the House of Commons. The Clerk of the House of Commons is the chief executive of the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. He is a permanent official, not a Member of the House itself. The Clerk advises the Speaker on the rules and procedure of the House, signs orders and official communications, and signs and endorses bills. He chairs the Board of Management, which consists of the heads of the six departments of the House. The Clerk's deputy is known as the Clerk Assistant. Another officer of the House is the Serjeant-at-Arms, whose duties include the maintenance of law, order, and security on the House's premises. A Serjeant at Arms (also spelled Sergeant at Arms, and sometimes Serjeant-at-Arms) is an officer appointed by a Deliberative The Serjeant-at-Arms carries the ceremonial Mace, a symbol of the authority of the Crown and of the House of Commons, into the House each day in front of the Speaker, and the Mace is laid upon the Table of the House during sittings. The ceremonial mace is a highly ornamented staff of metal and wood carried before a sovereign or other high official in civic ceremonies by a Mace-bearer, intended The Librarian is head of the House of Commons Library, the House's research and information arm. The House of Commons Library is the library and information resource of the lower house of the British Parliament.
Like the Lords, the Commons meets in the Palace of Westminster in London. This article discusses types of Acts and the process of law-making in Parliament This article discusses types of Acts and the process of law-making in Parliament The Commons chamber is small and modestly decorated in green, in contrast with the large, lavishly furnished red Lords chamber. There are benches on two sides of the chamber, divided by a centre aisle. This arrangement reflects the design of St Stephen's Chapel, which served as the home of the House of Commons until destroyed by fire in 1834. St Stephen's Chapel was a chapel in the old Palace of Westminster. The Speaker's chair is at one end of the Chamber; in front of it is the Table of the House, on which the Mace rests. The Clerks sit at one end of the Table, close to the Speaker so that they may advise him or her on procedure when necessary. Members of the Government sit on the benches on the Speaker's right, whilst members of the Opposition occupy the benches on the Speaker's left. In front of each set of benches, a red line is drawn on the carpet—and members are traditionally not allowed to cross the line during debates. The red lines in front of the two sets of benches are said to be set two sword-lengths apart; a Member is thus supposed to be unable to attack an individual on the opposite side. Government ministers and the leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Cabinet sit on the front rows, and are known as "frontbenchers". The Shadow Cabinet (also called the Shadow Front Bench) is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the Other Members of Parliament, in contrast, are known as "backbenchers". Oddly, all Members of Parliament cannot fit in the Chamber, which can seat only 427 of the 646 Members. Members who arrive late must stand near the entrance of the House if they wish to listen to debates. Sittings in the Chamber are held each day from Monday to Thursday, and also on some Fridays. During times of national emergency, the House may also sit at weekends.
Sittings of the House are open to the public, but the House may at any time vote to sit in private. (This has been done only twice since 1950. ) Traditionally, a Member who desired that the House sit privately could shout "I spy strangers" and a vote would automatically follow. In the past, when relations between the Commons and the Crown were less than cordial, this procedure was used whenever the House wanted to keep its debate private. More often, however, this device was used to delay and disrupt proceedings; as a result, it was abolished in 1998. Now, Members seeking that the House sit in private must make a formal motion to that effect. Public debates are broadcast on the radio, and on television by BBC Parliament, and are recorded in Hansard. Radio is the transmission of signals by Modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible Light. Television ( TV) is a widely used Telecommunication medium for sending ( Broadcasting) and receiving moving Images, either monochromatic Hansard is the traditional name for the printed transcripts of Parliamentary debates in the Westminster system of Government.
Sessions of the House of Commons have sometimes been disrupted by angry protesters throwing objects into the Chamber from the galleries—items thrown include leaflets, manure, flour (see Fathers 4 Justice House of Commons protest), and a canister of chlorobenzylidene malonitrile (tear gas). Fathers 4 Justice is a Fathers' rights pressure group based in the United Kingdom, who have staged many CS gas is the common name for 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (also called o-Chlorobenzylidene Malononitrile (chemical formula C10H5ClN2 Even members have been known to disturb proceedings of the House; for instance, in 1976, Conservative MP Michael Heseltine seized and brandished the Mace of the House during a heated debate. Michael Ray Dibdin Heseltine, Baron Heseltine, CH, PC (born 21 March 1933 is a Welsh -born British businessman and Conservative However, perhaps the most famous disruption of the House of Commons was caused by King Charles I, who entered the Commons Chamber in 1642 with an armed force in order to arrest five members for high treason. Charles I, (19 November 1600 &ndash 30 January 1649 was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution. This action was deemed a breach of the privilege of the House, and has given rise to the tradition that the monarch may not set foot in the House of Commons.
Each year, the parliamentary session begins with the State Opening of Parliament, a ceremony in the Lords Chamber during which the Sovereign, in the presence of Members of both Houses, delivers an address outlining the Government's legislative agenda. In the United Kingdom, the State Opening of Parliament is an annual event held usually in October or November that marks the commencement of a session of the Parliament The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod (a Lords official) is responsible for summoning the Commons to the Lords Chamber. The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, generally shortened to just Black Rod, is an official in the parliaments of a number of Commonwealth countries When he arrives to deliver his summons, the doors of the Commons Chamber are traditionally slammed shut in his face, symbolising the right of the Lower House to debate without interference. The Gentleman Usher then knocks on the door thrice with his Black Rod, and only then is granted admittance. He then informs the MPs that the Monarch awaits them, and they proceed to the House of Lords for the Queen's Speech.
During debates, Members may speak only if called upon by the Speaker (or a Deputy Speaker, if the Speaker is not presiding). Traditionally, the presiding officer alternates between calling Members from the Government and Opposition. The Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and other leaders from both sides are normally given priority. Formerly, all Privy Counsellors were also granted priority; however, the modernisation of Commons procedure in 1998 led to the abolition of this tradition. Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors to the British Sovereign.
Speeches are addressed to the presiding officer, using the words "Mr Speaker," "Madam Speaker," "Mr Deputy Speaker," or "Madam Deputy Speaker. " Only the presiding officer may be directly addressed in debate; other Members must be referred to in the third person. Traditionally, Members do not refer to each other by name, but by constituency, using forms such as "the Honourable Member for [constituency]," or, in the case of Privy Counsellors, "the Right Honourable Member for [constituency]. " Members of the same party refer to each other as "my (Right) Honourable friend". The Speaker enforces the rules of the House, and may warn and punish Members who deviate from them. Disregarding the Speaker's instructions is considered a severe breach of the rules of the House, and may result in the suspension of the offender from the House. In the case of grave disorder, the Speaker may adjourn the House without taking a vote.
The Standing Orders of the House of Commons do not establish any formal time limits for debates. The Speaker may, however, order a Member who persists in making a tediously repetitive or irrelevant speech to stop speaking. The time set aside for debate on a particular motion is, however, often limited by informal agreements between the parties. Debate may also be restricted by the passage of "Allocation of Time Motions", which are more commonly known as "Guillotine Motions". A Guillotine Motion is the common name for an Allocation of Time Motion which is a British House of Commons procedure that can be used to restrict Alternatively, the House may put an immediate end to debate by passing a motion to invoke the Closure. In Parliamentary procedure, cloture (ˈkloʊtʃɝ KLO-cher (also called closure, and sometimes a guillotine) is a motion or process aimed at The Speaker is allowed to deny the motion if he or she believes that it infringes upon the rights of the minority. Today, Bills are scheduled according to a Timetable Motion, which the whole House agrees in advance, obviating use of the guillotine.
When the debate concludes, or when the Closure is invoked, the motion in question is put to a vote. The House first votes by voice vote; the Speaker or Deputy Speaker puts the question, and Members respond either "Aye" (in favour of the motion) or "No" (against the motion). The presiding officer then announces the result of the voice vote, but if his or her assessment is challenged by any Member or the voice vote is unclear, a recorded vote known as a division follows. Division of the house is a parliamentary mechanism which calls for a rising vote wherein the members of the house literally divide into groups indicating a vote in favour of or in opposition (The presiding officer, if he or she believes that the result of the voice vote is clear, may reject the challenge. ) When a division occurs, members enter one of two lobbies (the "Aye" lobby or the "No" lobby) on either side of the Chamber, where their names are recorded by clerks. At each lobby are two tellers (themselves Members of the House) who count the votes of the members.
Once the division concludes, the tellers provide the results to the presiding officer, who then announces them to the House. If there is an equality of votes, the Speaker or Deputy Speaker has a casting vote. A casting vote is a vote given to the presiding officer of a council or legislative body in order to resolve a deadlock and which can be exercised only when such a deadlock exists Traditionally, this casting vote is exercised to allow further debate, if this is possible, or otherwise to avoid a decision being taken without a majority (e. g. voting No to a motion or the third reading of a bill). Ties rarely occur—the last one was in July 1993. The quorum of the House of Commons is 40 members for any vote. If fewer than 40 members have participated, the division is invalid.
Formerly, if a Member sought to raise a point of order during a division, suggesting that some of the rules governing parliamentary procedure are violated, he was required to wear a hat, thereby signaling that he was not engaging in debate. For the 1964 documentary film see Point of Order (film. For other uses see Point A point of order is a matter raised during consideration Collapsible top hats were kept in the Chamber just for this purpose. This custom was discontinued in 1998.
The outcome of most votes is largely known beforehand, since political parties normally instruct members on how to vote. A party normally entrusts some Members of Parliament, known as whips, with the task of ensuring that all party members vote as desired. Whip is a role in party-based politics whose primary purpose is to ensure control of the formal decision-making process in a parliamentary legislature Members of Parliament do not tend to vote against such instructions, since those who do so jeopardise promotion, or may be deselected as party candidates for future elections. Ministers, junior ministers and parliamentary private secretaries who vote against the whips' instructions usually resign. Thus, the independence of Members of Parliament tends to be low, although "backbench rebellions" by members discontent with their party's policies do occur. A member is also traditionally allowed some leeway if the interests of her/his constituency are adversely affected. In some circumstances, however, parties announce "free votes", allowing members to vote as they please. A conscience vote or free vote is a type of vote in a legislative body where legislators are each expected to vote according to their own personal conscience rather Votes relating to issues of conscience such as abortion and capital punishment are typically free votes. An Capital punishment, the death penalty or execution, is the Killing of a person by judicial process as Punishment.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom uses committees for a variety of purposes, e. The Parliament of the United Kingdom (that is the Houses of Commons and Lords) has a number of Committees &ndash small numbers of members appointed to deal with g. for the review of bills. An Act of Parliament is a Law enacted as Primary legislation by a national or sub-national Parliament. Committees consider bills in detail, and may make amendments. Bills of great constitutional importance, as well as some important financial measures, are usually sent to the "Committee of the Whole House", a body that includes all members of the Commons. Instead of the Speaker, the Chairman or a Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means presides. The Committee meets in the House of Commons Chamber.
Most bills were until 2006 considered by Standing Committees, which consisted of between 16 and 50 members. The membership of each Standing Committee roughly reflected the strength of the parties in the House. The membership of Standing Committees changed constantly; new Members were assigned each time the committee considered a new bill. There was no formal limit on the number of Standing Committees, but usually only ten existed. Rarely, a bill was committed to a Special Standing Committee, which investigated and held hearings on the issues raised. In November 2006, Standing Committees were replaced by Public Bill Committees.
The House of Commons also has several Departmental Select Committees. The membership of these bodies, like that of the Standing Committees, reflects the strength of the parties. Each committee elects its own Chairman. The primary function of a Departmental Select Committee is to scrutinise and investigate the activities of a particular government department. To fulfil these aims, it is permitted to hold hearings and collect evidence. Bills may be referred to Departmental Select Committees, but such a procedure is seldom used.
A separate type of Select Committee is the Domestic Committee. Domestic Committees oversee the administration of the House and the services provided to Members. Other committees of the House of Commons include Joint Committees (which also include members of the House of Lords), the Committee on Standards and Privileges (which considers questions of parliamentary privilege, as well as matters relating to the conduct of the members), and the Committee of Selection (which determines the membership of other committees). The Committee on Standards and Privileges of the United Kingdom House of Commons was established in 1995 to replace the earlier Committee of Privileges. Parliamentary privilege, also known as absolute privilege, is a legal mechanism employed within the legislative bodies of countries whose Constitutions are based on
Bills may be introduced in either house, though controversial bills normally originate in the House of Commons.
The supremacy of the Commons in legislative matters is assured by the Parliament Acts, under which certain types of bills may be presented for the Royal Assent without the consent of the House of Lords. The granting of Royal Assent is the formal method by which a constitutional monarch completes the legislative process of Lawmaking by formally assenting to an The Lords may not delay a money bill (a bill that, in the view of the Speaker of the House of Commons, solely concerns national taxation or public funds) for more than one month. Moreover, the Lords may not delay most other public bills for more than two parliamentary sessions, or one calendar year. These provisions, however, only apply to public bills that originate in the House of Commons. Moreover, a bill that seeks to extend a parliamentary term beyond five years requires the consent of the House of Lords.
By a custom that prevailed even before the Parliament Acts, only the House of Commons may originate bills concerning taxation or Supply. A government Budget is a legal document that is often passed by the Legislature, and approved by the Chief executive -or president Furthermore, supply bills passed by the House of Commons are immune to amendments in the House of Lords. In addition, the House of Lords is barred from amending a bill so as to insert a taxation or supply-related provision, but the House of Commons often waives its privileges and allows the Lords to make amendments with financial implications. Under a separate convention, known as the Salisbury Convention, the House of Lords does not seek to oppose legislation promised in the Government's election manifesto. The Salisbury Convention (sometimes the Salisbury/Addison Convention) is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom which puts forward that the For the Roxy Music album see Manifesto (album. A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions often Hence, as the power of the House of Lords has been severely curtailed by statute and by practice, the House of Commons is clearly the more powerful branch of Parliament.
Although it does not elect the Prime Minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. An Act of Parliament is a Law enacted as Primary legislation by a national or sub-national Parliament. By convention the Prime Minister is answerable to, and must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of Prime Minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person most likely to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons. (The leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition (sometimes known as the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons) in the United Kingdom is the politician who leads ) In modern times, by convention, the Prime Minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Lower House may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a Motion of Confidence, or by passing a Motion of No Confidence. A Motion of Confidence is a motion of support proposed by a government in a Parliament or other assembly of elected representatives to give members of parliament (or A motion of no confidence (also vote of no confidence, censure motion, no-confidence motion, or confidence motion) is a Parliamentary motion Confidence and no confidence motions are sometimes phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government. " Many other motions are considered confidence issues, even though not explicitly phrased as such. In particular, important bills that form a part of the Government's agenda are generally considered matters of confidence, as is the annual Budget. When a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the Prime Minister is obliged to either resign, or request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election.
Except when compelled to do so by an adverse vote on a confidence issue, the Prime Minister is allowed to choose the timing of dissolutions with the permission of the Monarch, and consequently the timing of general elections. The timing reflects political considerations, and is generally most opportune for the Prime Minister's party. However, no parliamentary term can last for more than five years; a dissolution is automatic upon the expiry of this period unless an act of Parliament is passed extending the maximum term as happened during both World Wars. Parliament almost never sits for the maximum possible term, with dissolutions customarily being requested earlier.
A Prime Minister may resign even if he or she is not defeated at the polls (for example, for personal health reasons); in such a case, the premiership goes to the new leader of the outgoing Prime Minister's party. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no mechanism for electing a new leader and when Anthony Eden resigned as PM in 1957 without recommending a successor, the party was unable to nominate one. Robert Anthony Eden 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC (12 June 1897 &ndash 14 January 1977 was a British Conservative Politician It fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new Prime Minister, after taking the advice of ministers. (Maurice Harold Macmillan 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC (10 February 1894 &ndash 29 December 1986 was a British Conservative Politician
By convention, all ministers must be members of the House of Commons or House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who are outside Parliament but in most cases they subsequently entered Parliament either by means of a by-election or receiving a peerage. Since 1902, all Prime Ministers have been members of the Commons (the sole exception, the Earl of Home, disclaimed his peerage days after becoming Prime Minister, and was immediately elected to the House of Commons as Sir Alec Douglas-Home). Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC (2 July 1903 - 9 October 1995 14th Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963 was a British
In modern times, a vast majority of ministers belong to the Commons rather than the Lords. No major cabinet position (except Lord Privy Seal, Lord Chancellor and Leader of the House of Lords) has been filled by a Lord since Lord Carrington resigned as Foreign Secretary in 1982. In the Politics of the United Kingdom, the Cabinet is a formal body composed of the most senior government ministers chosen by the Prime Minister The Lord Privy Seal or Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom ranking beneath the The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor is a senior and important functionary in the Government of the United Kingdom. Leader of the House of Lords is a function in the British government that is always held in combination with a formal Cabinet position most often Lord President Peter Alexander Rupert Carington 6th Baron Carrington and Baron Carington of Upton The elected status of members of the Commons, as opposed to the unelected nature of members of the Lords, is seen to lend more legitimacy to ministers. The Prime Minister chooses the Ministers, and may decide to remove them at any time; the formal appointment or dismissal, however, is made by the Sovereign.
The House of Commons scrutinises the Government through "Question Time", during which members have the opportunity to ask questions of the Prime Minister and of other cabinet ministers. Question Time in a Parliament occurs when Backbenchers (members of the parliament who are not Ministers) ask questions of the Prime Minister which Prime Minister's question time occurs once each week, normally for a half-hour each Wednesday. Questions must relate to the responding Minister's official Government activities, not to his or her activities as a party leader or as a private Member of Parliament. Customarily, members of the Government party and members of the Opposition alternate when asking questions. In addition to questions asked orally during Question Time, Members of Parliament may also make inquiries in writing.
In practice, the House of Commons' scrutiny of the Government is fairly weak. Since the first-past-the-post electoral system is employed, the governing party tends to enjoy a large majority in the Commons, and there is often little need to compromise with other parties. Modern British political parties are so tightly organised that they leave relatively little room for free action by their MPs. Thus, during the 20th century, the Government has lost confidence issues only thrice — twice in 1924, and once in 1979. However, the threat of rebellions by their own party's backbench MPs often forces Governments to make concessions (recently over top-up fees and foundation hospitals). Top-up fees (not their official name are a new way of charging Tuition to Undergraduate and PGCE Students who study at universities NHS Foundation Trusts (often referred to as "foundation hospitals" are hospitals which are part of the National Health Service in England. Occasionally the Government is defeated by backbench rebellions (Terrorism Act 2006). The Terrorism Act is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament made law on March 30 2006, after being introduced on October 12 2005 However, the scrutiny provided by the Select Committees is more serious.
The House of Commons technically retains the power to impeach Ministers of the Crown (or any other subject, even if not a public officer) for their crimes. Impeachments are tried by the House of Lords, where a simple majority is necessary to convict. The power of impeachment, however, has fallen into disuse: the House of Commons exercises its checks on the Government through other means, such as No Confidence Motions; the last impeachment was that of Viscount Melville in 1806. Henry Dundas 1st Viscount Melville ( April 28, 1742 &ndash May 28 1811) was a Scottish lawyer and politician
This table indicates those parties with over 500 votes nationwide
|Seats %||Votes %||Votes||+/-|
|Labour||356||0||47||-47||55. Events 553 - The Second Council of Constantinople begins 1215 - Rebel Barons renounce their allegiance to King John Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The House of Commons' is the Lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords Results Overview For events leading up to the date of the election see article Pre-election day events of the United Kingdom general The Labour Party is a Political party in the United Kingdom. Founded at the start of the 20th century it has been since the 1920s the principal party of the 2||35. 3||9,562,122||-5. 4%|
|Conservative||198||36||3||+33||30. The Conservative Party (officially the Conservative and Unionist Party) is a Political party in the United Kingdom. 7||32. 3||8,772,598||+0. 6%|
|Liberal Democrat||62||16||5||+11||9. The Liberal Democrats, often shortened to Lib Dems, are a liberal Political party in the United Kingdom, formed in 1988 by merging the 6||22. 1||5,981,874||+3. 7%|
|UK Independence||0||0||0||0||0||2. The United Kingdom Independence Party (commonly known as UKIP, ˈjuːkɪp 2||603,298||+0. 8%|
|Scottish National Party||6||2||0||+2||0. The Scottish National Party (SNP (Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba Scottis Naitional Pairtie is a Centre-left political party which campaigns for Scottish 9||1. 5||412,267||-0. 3%|
|Green||0||0||0||0||0||1. The Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW (Plaid Werdd Cymru a Lloegr is the principal Green political party in England and Wales. 0||257,758||+0. 4%|
|Democratic Unionist Party||9||4||0||+4||1. The Democratic Unionist Party ( DUP) is the larger of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland. 4||0. 9||241,856||+0. 2%|
|British National Party||0||0||0||0||0||0. The British National Party (BNP is a Far-right and whites only political party in the United Kingdom. 7||192,746||+0. 5%|
|Plaid Cymru||3||0||1||-1||0. Plaid Cymru (plaɪd ˈkəmri The Party of Wales often referred to simply as Plaid) is a Political party in Wales. Ceredigion or Cardiganshire is a Constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. 5||0. 6||174,838||-0. 1%|
|Sinn Féin||5||1||0||+1||0. Sinn Féin () is a political party in Ireland. The current party led by Gerry Adams was formed following a split in January 1970 Newry and Armagh is a Parliamentary Constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. 8||0. 6||174,530||-0. 1%|
|Ulster Unionist||1||0||5||-5||0. The Ulster Unionist Party ( UUP, sometimes referred to as the Official Unionist Party or OUP or in a historic sense simply the Unionist Party North Down is a Parliamentary Constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. 2||0. 5||127,414||-0. 3%|
|Social Democratic and Labour||3||1||1||0||0. The Social Democratic and Labour Party ( SDLP; Páirtí Sóisialta Daonlathach an Lucht Oibre is one of the two major nationalist parties in Northern Ireland Belfast South is a Parliamentary Constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. Newry and Armagh is a Parliamentary Constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. 5||0. 5||125,626||-0. 1%|
|Independent||1||1||0||0||0. In Politics, an independent is a Politician who is not Affiliated with any Political party. Blaenau Gwent is a Constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Blaenau Gwent is a Constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. 2||0. 5||122,000||+0. 1%|
|Respect||1||1||0||+1||0. Respect – The Unity Coalition is a Left wing political party in England and Wales founded on 25 January, 2004 in London. Bethnal Green and Bow is a Constituency located in Greater London, represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom Bethnal Green and Bow is a Constituency located in Greater London, represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom 2||0. 3||68,094||N/A|
|Scottish Socialist||0||0||0||0||0||0. This article deals with the Scottish Socialist Party that was formed in 1998 and is still active today 2||43,514||-0. 1%|
|Veritas||0||0||0||0||0||0. Veritas ( Latin: "Truth" is a Political party in the United Kingdom, formed in February 2005 by politician-celebrity Robert Kilroy-Silk 1||40,481||N/A|
|Alliance||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI is a Political party in Northern Ireland. 1||28,291||0. 0%|
|Scottish Green||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Scottish Green Party (Pàrtaidh Uaine na h-Alba is the Green party of Scotland. 1||25,760||+0. 1%|
|Socialist Labour||0||0||0||0||0||0. This article is about the Socialist Labour Party founded by Arthur Scargill in 1996 1||20,192||0. 0%|
|Liberal||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Liberal Party is a United Kingdom Political party. It was formed in 1989 by a group of people who felt that the merger of the old Liberal 1||19,068||0. 0%|
|Health Concern||1||0||0||0||0. Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern (often known by the shorter name Health Concern) is a Political party based in Kidderminster, Wyre Forest is a County constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. 2||0. 1||18,739||0. 0%|
|English Democrats||0||0||0||0||0||0. The English Democrats Party ( EngDem) is an English Nationalist political party, committed to the formation of a devolved English Parliament 1||14,506||N/A|
|Socialist Alternative||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Socialist Party is a Marxist Political party active in England and Wales. 0||9,398||N/A|
|National Front||0||0||0||0||0||0. The British National Front (most commonly called the National Front, and often known as the NF) is a British Political party whose major political 0||8,029||N/A|
|Legalise Cannabis||0||0||0||0||0||0. History The party was registered in March 1999 after Howard Marks had stood as a legalise cannabis candidate in four different constituencies in the 0||6,985||0. 0%|
|Community Action||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Community Action Party is a British Political party mostly active in Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside. 0||6,557||N/A|
|Monster Raving Loony||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Official Monster Raving Loony Party (OMRLP is a registered Political party established in the United Kingdom in 1983 by musician and politician David 0||6,311||0. 0%|
|Christian Vote||0||0||0||0||0||0. 0||4,004||N/A|
|Mebyon Kernow||0||0||0||0||0||0. Mebyon Kernow ( Cornish for "Sons of Cornwall" often abbreviated MK) is a Political party in the United Kingdom. 0||3,552||0. 0%|
|Forward Wales||0||0||0||0||0||0. Forward Wales (or Cymru Ymlaen in Welsh) is a Political party operating in Wales. 0||3,461||N/A|
|Christian Peoples||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Christian Peoples Alliance is a political party operating in the United Kingdom, linked to other Christian parties around the globe 0||3,291||N/A|
|Rainbow Dream Ticket||0||0||0||0||0||0. Make Politicians History is a minor United Kingdom Political party that advocates the abolition of Parliament in favour of devolution to City-states 0||2,463||N/A|
|Community Group||0||0||0||0||0||0. Community Group are a Political party in the United Kingdom, based in Doncaster in South Yorkshire. 0||2,365||N/A|
|Ashfield Independents||0||0||0||0||0||0. Ashfield Independents are a Political party in the United Kingdom whose representative Roy Adkins, contested the 2005 general election in the 0||2,292||N/A|
|Alliance for Green Socialism||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Alliance for Green Socialism (AGS is a Socialist and Environmentalist political grouping operating across the United Kingdom (although its most 0||1,978||N/A|
|Residents||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Residents' Association of London is a minor Political party in the United Kingdom, based in the London Borough of Havering, where it holds 13 seats 0||1,850||N/A|
|Workers' Party||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Workers Party of Ireland (in Irish Páirtí na nOibrithe, though its logo translates it erroneously as Páirtí na nOibri) is a left wing Irish 0||1,669||0. 0%|
|Socialist Environmental||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Socialist Environmental Alliance (SEA is a minor Political party operating in Northern Ireland. 0||1,649||N/A|
|Scottish Unionist||0||0||0||0||0||0. 0||1,266||0. 0%|
|Workers' Revolutionary||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Workers' Revolutionary Party is a small Trotskyist Political party in the United Kingdom. 0||1,143||0. 0%|
|New England||0||0||0||0||0||0. The New England Party was a Political party in the United Kingdom, based in Dartford. 0||1,224||N/A|
|Communist||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Communist Party of Britain, which claimed to have 941 members at its 2008 Congress is the largest Communist party in the United Kingdom. 0||1,124||0. 0%|
|Community Group||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Community Group, also known as the Independent Community Group (ICG and registered with the Electoral Commission as The Community (London Borough of Hounslow 0||1,118||N/A|
|Peace and Progress||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Peace and Progress Party is a British political party founded by Vanessa Redgrave to campaign for human rights 0||1,036||N/A|
|Scottish Senior Citizens||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party ( SSCUP) was formed on 3 February 2003, in time to contest that year's elections to the Scottish Parliament 0||1,017||N/A|
|Your Party||0||0||0||0||0||0. Your Party is a United Kingdom Political party which was formed at the beginning of 2004 0||1,006||N/A|
|SOS! Northampton||0||0||0||0||0||0. 0||932||N/A|
|Independent Working Class||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Independent Working Class Association (IWCA is a small Working class Political party in Britain with the avowed aim of promoting the political 0||892||N/A|
|Democratic Labour||0||0||0||0||0||0. This party is not to be confused with any other Democratic Labour Party The Democratic Labour Party is a small Political party in the United 0||770||N/A|
|British Public Party||0||0||0||0||0||0. 0||763||N/A|
|Free Scotland Party||0||0||0||0||0||0. 0||743||N/A|
|Pensioners Party Scotland||0||0||0||0||0||0. 0||716||N/A|
|Publican Party||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Publican Party is a minor political party in Scotland, formed to fight the now active blanket ban on smoking in "public places" (such as bars restaurants 0||678||N/A|
|English Independence Party||0||0||0||0||0||0. 0||654||N/A|
|Socialist Unity||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Socialist Green Unity Coalition is an Electoral alliance formed by leftist parties and political organisations in Great Britain prior to 2005 parliamentary 0||581||N/A|
|Local Community Party||0||0||0||0||0||0. The Local Community Party is a minor Political party in England, based in Tameside. 0||570||N/A|
|Clause 28||0||0||0||0||0||0. 0||516||N/A|
|UK Community Issues Party||0||0||0||0||0||0. The UK Community Issues Party is a minor Political party based in North West Surrey and South West London. 0||502||N/A|
|Labour Party||351 1 2 3 4|
|Conservative Party||193 3 5 9 1011|
|Liberal Democrats||63 2|
|Democratic Unionist Party||9|
|Scottish National Party||6|
|Sinn Féin||5 6|
|Social Democratic and Labour Party||3|
|Independent Conservative||2 5 9|
|Independents||2 4 7|
|Ulster Unionist Party||1|
|RESPECT The Unity Coalition||1|
|United Kingdom Independence Party||110|
|Independent Labour||1 1|
|Speaker and Deputies||4 8|
| Government Majority||60|
In 1986, the British television production company Granada Television created a near-full size replica of the post-1950 House of Commons debating chamber at its studios in Manchester for use in its adaptation of the Jeffrey Archer novel First Among Equals. Granada Television is the United Kingdom ITV contractor for North West England. Jeffrey Howard Archer Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare (born 15 April 1940 is an English Author and former Politician. First Among Equals is a 1984 Novel by British Author Jeffrey Archer, that follows the careers and personal lives of four British The set was highly convincing, and was retained after the production—since then, it has been used in nearly every British film and television production that has featured scenes set in the chamber. From 1988 until 1999 it was also one of the prominent attractions on the Granada Studios Tour, where visitors could watch actors performing mock political debates on the set. Granada Studios Tour was an entertainment complex in Castlefield, Manchester, England operating from 1988 to 1999
In 2002, the set was purchased by the scriptwriter Paul Abbott so that it could be used in his BBC drama serial State of Play. Paul Abbott (born 22 February 1960 in Burnley, Lancashire) is a BAFTA award-winning English Television State of Play is a British television drama serial first broadcast on BBC One in 2003 Abbott, a former Granada Television staff writer, bought it personally as the set would otherwise have been destroyed and he feared it would take too long to get the necessary money from the BBC. He currently keeps it in storage in Oxford. Oxford is currently bidding for the 2010 Wikimania Conference Oxford () is a city, and the County town of Oxfordshire, 
The post-1941 Commons Chamber was used in the film Ali G Indahouse, the political satire Restart by Komedy Kollective, about a British prime minister seeking re-election, and in the Robin Williams stand-up special Robin Williams Live on Broadway in which he describes it as "like Congress, but with a two drink minimum". Ali G Indahouse The Movie is a 2002 movie directed by Mark Mylod starring the fictional character Ali G, performed by the British comedian In a Computer or Data transmission system to reset means is to clear any pending errors or events and bring a system to normal condition or initial state usually
The pre-1941 Chamber was recreated in Shepperton Studios for the Ridley Scott/Richard Loncraine 2002 biopic on Churchill, The Gathering Storm. Shepperton Studios, located in Shepperton, Surrey, England is a film studio with a long history of film making Sir Ridley Scott (born November 30 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear) is a British Academy Award Nominated and Golden Globe Emmy Award and BAFTA Award winning Richard Loncraine is a film and television director Loncraine received early training in the features department of the BBC, including a season directing A biographical motion picture &mdash often shortened to biopic &mdash is a film that dramatizes the life of an actual person or people The Gathering Storm is a BAFTA and Emmy award winning BBC - HBO co-produced Television biographical movie