Parliamentary Outreach Presentation (Oct 2012)


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Your Voice in Parliament - an event during European Local Democracy Week in Portsmouth
Presentation by Alasdair MacKenzie

Published in: News & Politics
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Parliamentary Outreach Presentation (Oct 2012)

  1. 1. An Introduction to Parliament October 2012
  2. 2.  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
  3. 3. Conservative - 305Labour - 253Lib Dem - 57DUP - 8SNP - 6Sinn Fein - 5Plaid Cymru - 3SDLP - 3Green - 1Respect - 1Alliance - 1Independent - 3Speaker - 1Deputy Speakers - 3
  4. 4. The party or parties whocan command theconfidence of the House of Commonsforms the GovernmentThe Government: runs public departments such as The Home Office, the NHS proposes new laws to Parliament is accountable to Parliament
  5. 5. Government (Whitehall)• Commons, Lords, • Some MPs and some Lords Monarch • Chosen by the Prime• Holds Government Minister to account • Runs Government• Passes laws departments and• Enables taxation public services• Represents public • Accountable to• Raises key issues Parliament
  6. 6. House of CommonsMonarchHouse of Lords
  7. 7. Makes and passes laws (Legislation)Holds Government toaccount Enables the Government to set taxes
  8. 8.  A politically neutral role Signs off laws passed by Parliament (Royal Assent) Opens Parliament each year
  9. 9.  The democratically elected chamber of Parliament There are currently 650 MPs All MPs are elected every 5 years
  10. 10.  The House of Lords is the second chamber of Parliament, often known as the revising House There are currently 826 Members (as of October 2011) of whom 790 are currently eligible These include: ◦ 710 Life Peers ◦ 92 Hereditary Peers ◦ 24 Bishops (max. 26)
  11. 11.  Members of the House of Lords do not have constituencies so, in theory, you can contact any member There is currently no Government majority in the House of Lords A large number of Cross-Benchers – independent of political party – sit in the Lords Biographies of all Members of the Lords are available at
  12. 12. In constituency In Westminster Helps constituents  Represents their with problems constituency Visits groups and individuals to hear  Raises issues on issues/ concerns behalf of constituents Represents  Passes new laws constituents to various bodies  Scrutinises the work Campaigns of Government
  13. 13.  Not sure who your MP is? Go to and use “Find Your MP” You can also ask the House of Commons Information Office for details on 020 7219 4272 You can phone, e-mail or write to your MP Most MPs hold surgeries, where you can meet them in person Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth Mike Hancock, MP for North Portsmouth South
  14. 14.  Questions to Ministers Adjournment/ Westminster Hall debates Early Day Motions Meetings with Ministers
  15. 15. As well as questions, debates, early-day motions Select Committees All-Party Parliamentary Groups 10-Minute Rule Bill/ Private Members Bills
  16. 16.  Government and individual members can propose laws All legislation proposed by the Government must be scrutinised by both Houses of Parliament Members can suggest changes (“amendments”) at particular stages Much of the most careful scrutiny goes on in Committee, particularly in the House of Lords
  17. 17.  Cross-party Both MPs and Members of the House of Lords Based around common interest (e.g. Housing and care for older people, motor neurone disease, football) or countries of the world Not involved in formal decision making, but important in developing knowledge
  18. 18.  Commons Information Office 020 7219 4272 LordsInformation Office 020 7219 3107