Guides

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
Lord Bell, public relations executive, comments on the Bureau of Investigative Journalism lobbying sting operation

Register of Members Interests

The Register of Members Interests includes details of the staff or family members that an MP employs; any significant shareholdings or property income that they possess; gifts and donations that they have received; and details of the outside employment or Directorships that they undertake.Read More
Virus Outbreak Britain Politics

Report Stage

This Report Stage of a Bill occurs normally at least two weeks after the end of the committee stage of a Bill.Read More
Vince Cable arrives for Cabinet in the days before the vote. Some observers believe the aftermath of the AV vote could break the coalition. Photo: www.politicalpictures.co.uk

Reshuffle

When a Prime Minister rearranges Ministers, dismissing some and bringing in new blood, this is known as a government reshuffle. During a major government reshuffle, it is not uncommon for between a third and a half of government posts to change hands.Read More

Rishi Sunak height

Details on the height of UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. Is he that much shorter than his political colleagues? Might his height have an impact on his political prospects?Read More
Sunak urges wealthy to donate £400 handout

Rishi Sunak Net Worth

In the Spring of 2022, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and his wife entered the Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated wealth of £720 million, twice that of the Queen. How did Sunak amass that fortune, and is it a political problem for him?Read More
The Queen's Speech sets the agenda for the year ahead

Royal Assent

Upon receiving its Royal Assent, a Bill then becomes an Act. Since 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has given Royal Assent to more than 3,650 Acts of Parliament.Read More
Leaving the Lords: Strathclyde was Tory leader in the second chamber for 15 years.

Salisbury Convention

The Salisbury Convention, sometimes called the 'Salisbury doctrine', states that the Lords will not vote down a Bill that seeks to enact a manifesto pledge on which a government was elected. Some have questioned the Convention, following the 1999 Lords Reform which removed the majority of hereditary peers.Read More

Scottish Government – Composition

The Scottish Government is made up of the First Minister, Cabinet Secretary's, junior Scottish Ministers below Cabinet level. Here are the details of the current Scottish Executive.Read More

Scottish Independence Poll

The latest Scottish opinion polling data, detailing current levels of support for the 'Yes' and the 'No' side, and how this has changed over the years.Read More

Scottish National Party

The Scottish National Party (SNP), is a pro Scottish independence party that sits on the left of the political spectrum. It is currently by far the largest party in Scotland and has been in government in the Scottish Parliament continuously since 2007.Read More
Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament – An Overview

The Scottish Parliament, based in the Holyrood area of the City of Edinburgh, first sat in 1999. An overview of the Parliament , covering its current membership, sitting patterns and times, voting mechanism, powers, and operations.Read More

Scottish Parliament – Committees

Scottish parliament committees are deliberative, coming up with proposals for new bills, taking evidence on current affairs and reporting on issues affecting Scotland. They resemble those from the European parliament more than those at Westminster.Read More