February 2011 An Introduction to the new Parliament

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February 2011 An Introduction to the new Parliament Greater London Volunteering February 2011 An Introduction to the new Parliament Greater London Volunteering

Parliamentary Outreach A service from the Houses of Parliament Politically neutral Aim is to Parliamentary Outreach A service from the Houses of Parliament Politically neutral Aim is to increase knowledge and engagement with work and processes of Parliament Not an alternative to MPs

General Election Took place on May 6 2010 What was decided? 650 seats in General Election Took place on May 6 2010 What was decided? 650 seats in House of Commons UK Government What about the House of Lords?

General Election 2010 General Election 2010

Election Results If a single party had won over 50% of seats: -automatically form Election Results If a single party had won over 50% of seats: -automatically form Government However, no party received over 50% of seats: ◦ Largest party could have formed minority Government ◦ Two parties formed coalition Government ◦ There could have been a re-election

Post Election Coalition formed between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats Cabinet formed Shadow Cabinet announced Post Election Coalition formed between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats Cabinet formed Shadow Cabinet announced New Parliament convenes / MPs sworn in Membership of Committees announced

What is Parliament? House of Commons The Monarch House of Lords What is Parliament? House of Commons The Monarch House of Lords

What does Parliament do? Makes and passes laws (Legislation) Holds Government to account Enables What does Parliament do? Makes and passes laws (Legislation) Holds Government to account Enables the Government to set taxes

What issues does Parliament cover? Parliament debates and discusses a huge range of subjects What issues does Parliament cover? Parliament debates and discusses a huge range of subjects that affect us all Health and housing, schools and pensions, jobs and training, the way in which we choose our politicians, the way our streets are policed, laws on immigration, roads and railways, how our energy is provided – all are topics debated in Parliament Your representative in Parliament can raise issues important to you

The House of Commons The House of Commons

The House of Commons Is the democratically elected chamber of Parliament. There are 650 The House of Commons Is the democratically elected chamber of Parliament. There are 650 MPs are usually elected every 4 to 5 years.

House of Commons - What does it do? Making and passing laws Holding the House of Commons - What does it do? Making and passing laws Holding the Government to account Raising key issues Representing constituents Approving the Budget, public expenditure and allowing government to set taxation.

The Government The Prime Minister The Cabinet The Government The Prime Minister The Cabinet

Government The party, or parties, that can command a majority of seats in the Government The party, or parties, that can command a majority of seats in the House of Commons forms the Government The Government runs public departments i. e. The Home Office, Benefits Agency The Government proposes new laws to Parliament The Government is accountable to Parliament

Parliament (Westminster) Commons, Lords, Monarch • • • Holds Government to account Passes laws Parliament (Westminster) Commons, Lords, Monarch • • • Holds Government to account Passes laws Enables taxation Represents public Raises key issues Government (Whitehall) • Approximately 110 members • MPs and Lords (Usually) • Chosen by Prime Minister • Runs public services • Accountable to Parliament

The Work of an MP In the Constituency Helps constituents with problems Visits groups The Work of an MP In the Constituency Helps constituents with problems Visits groups and individuals to hear issues/ concerns Represents constituents to various bodies Campaigns In Parliament Represents their constituency Raises issues on behalf of constituents Passes new laws Scrutinises the work of Government

Representing the constituency Questions to Ministers Adjournment/ Westminster Hall debates Early Day Motions Meetings Representing the constituency Questions to Ministers Adjournment/ Westminster Hall debates Early Day Motions Meetings with Ministers

Scrutiny/ campaigning As well as questions, debates, early-day motions Select Committees All-Party Parliamentary Groups Scrutiny/ campaigning As well as questions, debates, early-day motions Select Committees All-Party Parliamentary Groups 10 -Minute Rule Bill/ Private Members Bills

Legislation All UK laws decided by Parliament Government and individual members can propose laws Legislation All UK laws decided by Parliament Government and individual members can propose laws However, majority of laws passed come from Government e. g. Welfare Reform Act

How a Bill becomes law Commons Public Bill Committee Bill presented / First Reading How a Bill becomes law Commons Public Bill Committee Bill presented / First Reading Second Reading Third Reading Committee of the Whole House Lords Bill presented / First Reading Report Second Reading Committee (whole House) Report Third Reading After Consideration of Lords Amendments Ping Pong Royal Assent Regulations

The House of Lords The House of Lords

House of Lords The House of Lords is the second chamber of Parliament, often House of Lords The House of Lords is the second chamber of Parliament, often known as the revising House. There are more than 700 Members (777 in November 2010) Most are Life Peers, but there also: ◦ 92 Hereditary Peers ◦ 26 Bishops

The role of the House of Lords All Members of the House of Lords The role of the House of Lords All Members of the House of Lords represent you They play an important role in the passing of laws They hold Ministers to account through questions and debates They debate key issues

The Monarch ØA politically neutral role ØSigns off laws passed by Parliament (Royal Assent). The Monarch ØA politically neutral role ØSigns off laws passed by Parliament (Royal Assent). ØOpens and closes Parliament each year

Get involved! You can get involved through lots of different ways including: Contacting your Get involved! You can get involved through lots of different ways including: Contacting your MP Contacting a Member of the Ho. L Sending a petition Working with a Select Committee

Contacting your MP You can contact your local MP about any issue that affects Contacting your MP You can contact your local MP about any issue that affects you in your constituency. You can request that your MP asks a question, presents a petition or raises a debate on your behalf. You can find out who your MP is on the Parliament website

Contacting Members of the House of Lords You can contact any Member about issues Contacting Members of the House of Lords You can contact any Member about issues that you would like Parliament to look at. You can request that a Member asks a question or raises a debate on your behalf. It is useful to contact a Member who has a particular interest in your issue. You can find out what individual Members are interested in by looking on the Parliament website.

General Advice Local MP in first instance Identify & contact Parliamentarians with an interest General Advice Local MP in first instance Identify & contact Parliamentarians with an interest Be clear on aims Remember party & Government positions Be positive and proactive

Questions? Questions Questions? Questions

Where can I get information? www. parliament. uk 020 7219 4272 – Commons information Where can I get information? www. parliament. uk 020 7219 4272 – Commons information 020 7219 3107 – Lords information




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