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Page 1: Parliament Explained: Basic Intro to Parliament 03.09.15
Page 2: Parliament Explained: Basic Intro to Parliament 03.09.15

Introduction to Parliament

Nerys DaviesSeptember 2015

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Parliament is made up of: a) House of Commons and House of Lordsb) House of Commons and Governmentc) Government and Monarchd) House of Commons, House of Lords

and Monarch

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What is Parliament?House of Commons House of Lords

The Monarch

The Queen

Page 5: Parliament Explained: Basic Intro to Parliament 03.09.15

Which TWO answers describe the work of Parliament?

a) running Government departmentsb) checking up on the work of Governmentc) being the highest court of appeal in the UKd) making new laws

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What is the role of the Queen?

• politically neutral • signs off laws passed by Parliament (Royal

Assent)• opens Parliament each session

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The House of Commons

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How can people become members of the House of Lords?

a) Members of the public nominate themb) An independent Commission recommends themc) The Prime Minister chooses themd) Their titles are passed down to them

through their family and elected into the Housee) All of the above

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The House of Lords

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The core tasks of Parliament

Makes and passes laws(Legislation)

Holds Government to account

Enables the Government to set taxes

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The Government• the party with (usually) the majority of

seats in the House of Commons forms the Government

• the Government:– runs public departments (e.g. Home Office)– proposes new laws to Parliament– is accountable to Parliament

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Parliament (Westminster)

• Commons, Lords and Monarch

• holds Government to account

• passes laws

Government (Whitehall)

• some MPs and some Lords, chosen by the Prime Minister

• runs Government departments and public services

Page 13: Parliament Explained: Basic Intro to Parliament 03.09.15

Legislation

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Types of legislation

• Public Bills are proposed changes to general lawoGovernment Billso Private Members Bills

• Private Bills are local /one-off changes to laws

• Hybrid Bills are a mixture of the above• Delegated/Secondary Legislation

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The House of Lords pass more changes (amendments) to legislation than the House of Commons.

a) Trueb) Falsec) Both Houses pass approximately the same number of amendments

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Passage of a bill

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Scrutiny of legislation• Green Papers and White Papers• Pre-legislative committees, Draft bills• Passage of a bill

– Public Bill committees– MPs and members of the House of Lords

• Act of Parliament• Post-legislative scrutiny

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http://services.parliament.uk/bills/

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How many new select committees in the House of Commons for 2015-2020

a) 2b) 3c) 4d) 5

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Petitions Committee

• Provides a better link from the public to elected representatives

• Joint system for government and Parliament

• Must call for a specific action from government or Parliament

• Time in Westminster Hall for debates if appropriate

http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/have-your-say/e-petitions/

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Select Committees• scrutinise specific areas of work and Government

departments – House of Commons• House of Lords more cross-cutting • carry out public inquiries• groups and individuals can submit evidence• relevant Government Department is required to

respond to report

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Select Committees webpages

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Questions and debatesHouse of Commons Journal14 May 1606 p309

“a strange spanyell of mouse-colour came into the House”

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Questions and debatesParliamentary Questions• written or spoken questions asked by MPs

and Peers, directed at the GovernmentWritten Ministerial Statements• Can be in response to oral questions not

answered or ways of informing the House without coming to the chamber

Debates• debates happen every day that the House

of Commons or the House of Lords are sitting.

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Other ways MPs can raise issues?

Petitions• usually a call on Government for action

regarding an issue (local or national)

Early Day Motions• a published statement allowing MPs to

show their opinion on a specific subject

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Who is the only person who is allowed an alcoholic drink on the Floor of the House of Commons?

a) Speakerb) Prime Ministerc) Chancellor of the Exchequerd) Chief Whip

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Questions?

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Where can I get information?

• www.parliament.uk and @UKParliament

• Commons Information Office020 7219 4272 [email protected]

• Lords Information Office020 7219 3107 [email protected]

• Parliament’s Outreach Service020 7219 [email protected]

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