Guides

Calder Valley: Looking for new general election candidate

Next General Election

With the repeal of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, Boris Johnson will have the power to call a General Election prior to May 2024 should he wish to do so. Israel and Japan also both allow their governments to decide the next election date.Read More
Stormont has heavily criticised the response of Northern Ireland Water

Northern Ireland Assembly

The Northern Ireland Assembly has power to legislate in a wide range of areas that are not explicitly reserved to Westminster, and to appoint the Northern Ireland Executive.  The Assembly sits at the Parliament Buildings at Stormont in the east of Belfast.Read More
Confident: Miliband has a good day in the Commons

Oral Questions

Each Government Department's Ministers face oral questioning at least once every four weeks in the House of Commons. Questions on the Order Paper not reached in the time allowed receive a written answer.Read More
House of Lords: scene of defeat for campaign against Section 75

Parliament Act

The Parliament Act allows for a Bill to become law without the agreement of the Lords when certain conditions have been met. The Bill must have been introduced and passed by the Commons in two consecutive Sessions, with the Lords on both occasions actively preventing its passage.Read More
Britain continues to look as if it's headed for a hung parliament

Parliamentary Branch

Each government department has a Parliamentary Branch. The Branch is charged with managing the department's relations with the House of Commons and the House of Lords.Read More
Lansley faced a bruising encounter with MPs in the Commons today, as he announced changes to the health and social care bill.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries

Often referred to as a Minister's 'eyes and ears in Parliament', or as a simple 'bag carrier', the Parliamentary Private Secretary supports a particular government minister in his or her duties. It is the first rung on the ministerial ladder for a backbench MP.Read More

Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru (the Party of Wales) is a Welsh Nationalist party that sits on the left of the political spectrum. The party is far less of an electoral force than its Scottish counterpart, polling around 10% of the Welsh vote in recent General Elections.Read More
Pluralism

Pluralism

Pluralism is a practice and political philosophy which maintains that the participation of diverse groups in society is both necessary and good. Pluralism encourages the expression and inclusion of many voices in order to promote democracy.Read More
Draft Queen's Speech - politics.co.uk

Pre-legislative Scrutiny

Draft Bills are normally subjected to pre-legislative scrutiny at the hands of a joint-committee of MPs and peers formed for that purpose.Read More

Pressure Groups

A Pressure Group is an organised group united in the promotion of a common cause, with the aim of influencing government policy. The former Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, once famously described Pressure Groups as ‘serpents that strangle efficient government’.Read More
Queen's Speech - MPs digest content

Primary Legislation

Primary legislation (Bills and Acts) is split into two categories - Public Bills and Private Bills (with Hybrid Bills in a sub-category between the two).Read More
Yes, Prime Minister returns to the West End

Prime Minister

The leader of the largest party in the House of Commons is by convention asked by the Monarch to be Prime Minister and to form a government in a ceremony known anachronistically as the 'kissing of the hands. The Prime Minister has a wide range of direct powers.Read More
Prime Minister's Official Spokesperson

Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesperson is responsible for briefing the press and broadcast journalists on most weekdays when Parliament is sitting.  Initial plans for these UK briefings to be televised, as in the US, were put on hold in early 2021. Read More
Cameron humiliated as Commons votes against Syria attack

Prime Minister’s Questions

The Prime Minister comes to the House of Commons each Wednesday when Parliament is sitting to answer questions from back-benchers and opposition leaders. The session is due to last 30 minutes, albeit under former Speaker John Bercow, they extended far longer than scheduled.Read More
Today there is a motion in parliament to approve his membership and it's rumoured that some MPs are planning to challenge it.

Private Members Bills

Private Members Bills are Public Bills that are introduced by backbench Members of Parliament. The Abortion Act, 1967, introduced by the then Liberal MP, David Steel, is perhaps the most famous Private Members Bill in recent times.Read More
The Queen sat in David Cameron's seat for the meeting

Privy Council

The Privy Council, as body of government, predates the Cabinet and the existence of the Prime Minister by many centuries. Originally the private council of trusted advisers surrounding the sovereign, it has evolved to become a somewhat hidden instrument of government.Read More

Programming

All Government Bills are programmed, also known as timetabling. The programming of every Bill is a recent development. Historically 'guillotining' debates on Bills was used sparingly and only for key legislation.Read More
Queen has `graciously agreed` to changes

Queen’s Speech

The State Opening of Parliament, with all its pageantry and pomp, marks the beginning of a new Parliamentary Session. In the associated Queen's Speech, the Monarch reads out the Government's proposed legislative programme for the Session. During the event, an MP is held hostage at Buckingham Palace until the Monarch returns.Read More
The Commons was nearly as deserted as this picture suggests. But not quite.

Recesses in the House of Commons

The House of Commons Recess is a phrase that is used to describe the period when the House of Commons is not sitting. Most MPs become notably prickly when it is suggested that a Parliamentary recess means that Members of Parliament are on holiday.Read More