Questions tagged [house-of-commons]

The House of Commons is the democratically elected body of United Kingdom Parliament. It is this body that elects the Prime Minister, who wields the executive power of the UK government. Use for questions specific to this body. Use with the [united-kingdom] tag.

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32
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1answer
5k views

In the UK parliament, how much of Prime Minister's Questions is pre-planned?

So I was watching PMQs today and realised that almost everyone, certainly the party leaders, refers to notes during their time to talk. Is the PM given a list of questions beforehand? However during ...
0
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1answer
111 views

Why is legislation passed in accordance with the Parliament Acts not valid on its face?

Public Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (2019 4 edn). p 461. Wade’s Argument: Parliament Act 1911 Delegates Parliament’s Power In his book *Constitutional Fundamentals*9 and his article ‘The ...
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1answer
224 views

Are there reoccurring taunts or put downs within UK Parliament?

This Powerline article alludes to a certain heckle, "Who Are You?" directed at UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and that Nigel Farage employs to much less success at the EU as sort of a mainstay ...
6
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1answer
271 views

How did British Parliament Speaker John Bercow change the pace of debate in the House of Commons?

The Washington Post's British Parliament Speaker John Bercow bellows ‘Orrrrder!’ for the last time says: (Boris) Johnson, the prime minister, in his farewell this week, said Bercow had “done more ...
11
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1answer
389 views

Has a law or amendment been passed without a vote in Parliament because there were no tellers before?

If the breaking news is correct, MPs started voting on Stephen Kinnock’s amendment 6. But then, a few minutes into voting, Lindsay Hoyle, announced that the division had been called off because ...
5
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1answer
449 views

Why is the British Chancellor allowed to drink alcohol in the House of Commons chamber?

On the parliament.uk site's information about the annual budget, it describes the tradition of "Despatch box drinks", where the Chancellor is afforded the privilege to drink alcohol at the despatch ...
4
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1answer
132 views

What is the modern role of the Serjeant at Arms?

The parliament.uk website describes the Serjeant at Arms as the official responsible for keeping order within the Commons part of the parliamentary estate. The page describes various ceremonial ...
3
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3answers
435 views

Why does the number of votes not correspond to the number of elected MPs?

I understand the first past the post system in that the candidate with the most votes in a constituency is elected as the MP for their particular party, but what I don't understand why the SNP can get ...
1
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1answer
145 views

UK Parliament Act Usage (Lords v Commons)

Is there a limit to the number of times that a bill can be bounced between the Commons and the Lords before the Commons are allowed to use the Parliament Act?
3
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1answer
188 views

Brighton Pavilion and the Green Party

The sole Green Party MP in the House of Commons is Caroline Lucas, who has continuously represented the seat of Brighton Pavilion since 2010, prior to which it was held by Labour. East Sussex, like ...
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1answer
91 views

Role of Speakers and Deputy Speakers in voting

In the UK House of Commons, the Speaker can only vote to break ties. The Deputy Speakers do not take part in partisan politics either, and can only raise constituency concerns. Now, suppose the ...
4
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1answer
131 views

Do Lords in the Cabinet have to answer questions in the House of Commons?

Nicky Morgan has been retained as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. However, she is no longer an MP, but has been given a peerage instead. As Cabinet members ordinarily answer ...
11
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1answer
833 views

Can an MP be impeached?

Inspired by the current impeachment process in the US - and recognising that the Prime Minister is just an MP who has shown that they can command the confidence of the House of Commons - is there any ...
6
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1answer
506 views

What happens if they run out of space on the Government benches in the House of Commons?

As far as I’m aware, the House of Commons chamber is symmetrical, which begs the question - what happens if the Government wins, say, a majority of 220; as one of the most recent (and optimistic) ...
3
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2answers
153 views

Are there examples in the UK in which candidates for MP didn't formally withdraw but said openly something like “don't vote for me”?

Since there is a formal deadline for withdrawal of candidacies from UK Parliament elections, are there historical examples in which some candidates nonetheless informally withdrew after such a ...
8
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3answers
388 views

Why does the Remain Alliance not contest all Northern Ireland seats?

With its abstentionist policy, Sinn Féin cannot be counted as a remain party for the purpose of the election. Sinn Féin will effectively abstain in any voting on Brexit, while a remainer MP could vote ...
4
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1answer
325 views

Why did the Conservatives yield the Speaker chair?

I know it has been a tradition of sorts for the Speaker to alternate between the main parties, but isn't it rather dangerous for the Conservatives to have allowed a Labour MP (Hoyle) to become speaker,...
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1answer
35 views

When is the deadline for candidacies for Parliament for the UK election this year?

In the context of Nigel Farage threatening to contest or not some seats, when is the deadline for the candidacies for seats to be announced?
14
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2answers
3k views

Why is the Speaker of the House of Commons (UK) elected by secret ballot?

In the UK, parliamentary votes are usually public, so that MPs remain accountable for their actions. Since 2009, votes to choose the Speaker of the House of Commons have been taken by secret ballot. I ...
7
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1answer
361 views

What is the significance of the restrictions on the Speaker in the Programme Motion for the Early Parliamentary Election Bill

See the Programme Motion Paragraph (3)(b) States: When the Bill has been read a Second Time the Speaker shall leave the Chair whether or not notice of an Instruction has been given. Paragraph (7) ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Was there a precedent of circumventing Commons supermajority requirement?

Background: current UK government led by prime minister Boris Johnson wants to call an early election. But Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 requires 2/3 supermajority in Commons for that, which the ...
34
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2answers
11k views

Why is Ian Blackford allowed to speak in the Commons while having crossed the line?

The House of Commons (image below from Wikipedia) has two red lines on the floor. Wikipedia states that: In front of each set of benches a red line is drawn, which members are traditionally not ...
8
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1answer
256 views

Who voted for the Brexit deal bill but against the timetable?

Breaking news is that the Brexit deal bill passed its 2nd reading, but the timetable ("program motion", which would have allowed Brexit by the 31st) failed. So who voted for the 2nd reading but ...
9
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1answer
832 views

Can an MP who didn't vote for the 2nd reading of a bill propose amendments to it?

It's been said in a (now-deleted) comment here that You are not allowed to propose an amendment to a bill unless you voted for the second reading. This means there is a strong incentive to vote for ...
21
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5answers
4k views

Does no-one standing against the speaker of the house in UK lead to the local electorate being disenfranchised?

By tradition no-one stands against the speaker of the house in the UK when they are re-elected as an MP. However if I feel passionately that I want to vote for a particular party and I am in the ...
18
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4answers
4k views

What does it mean to support the brexit deal but need more time to scrutinise it?

Reportedly, the House of Commons has approved a Brexit Deal but at the same time requested more time to scrutinise it, rejecting to pass it through Parliament in three days. I don't understand. How ...
4
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1answer
312 views

How can a minister stop a bill's progress?

I came across this tweet by BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: FWIW wise hand says govt can’t ‘pull’ a bill. They can leave it in a sort of suspended parliamentary animation, they say, by ...
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1answer
118 views

Are MPs required to read a bill before they vote on it?

Of course, voting in general does not require that the voters understand what they are voting on. In a formal setting, when the vote is about a written document, it could be required that the voters ...
4
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1answer
139 views

In the house of commons, does “second reading” involve actual reading?

A bill in the house of commons has a first and a second reading. The second reading involves the members of parliament. Does the second reading being finished imply that the bill has been read out ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Will there be a vote in the Commons to decide the fate of Johnson's deal?

My understanding is that next week the parliament is going to have a vote which effectively decides the fate of Johnson's deal: if it passes, Brexit with a deal on 31 Oct or after a short extension ...
12
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4answers
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Why would an elected (absentionist) Sinn Féin MP resign from the House of Commons?

I came across the List of by-elections in the UK and noticed that there was a by-election in West Tyrone in 2018. Nothing unusual about that except that the seat was won by Sinn Féin in the 2017 ...
8
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1answer
980 views

Does the Speaker of the House of Commons have the power to prevent HM Government allowing the US President to speak in the Palace of Westminster?

John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, has voiced his disapproval of any invitation to Donald Trump to speak to a gathering of both Houses of Parliament. He justifies his view citing ...
18
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4answers
4k views

What power does the UK parliament hold over a Prime Minister whom they refuse to remove from power?

I've seen several questions deal with the issues surrounding this issue, but none have tried to tackle this head on. Boris Johnson had a defection within his party over a key Brexit vote. He then ...
31
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6answers
11k views

What does the British parliament hope to achieve by requesting a third Brexit extension?

It appears that the UK will indeed ask for another extension in the Brexit process, as mandated by the Benn act. But what is the purpose of asking for another extension? Does Parliament expect the EU ...
10
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2answers
644 views

Minimum number of MPs

In recent years there has been a period of recess in the UK parliament to allow for party conferences. This year however parliament was prorogued and while this action was ultimately overturned it did ...
8
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1answer
235 views

Is it ever possible to suspend the PM from the House of Commons?

From this Wikipedia page, it states that Members of Parliament (MPs) can be suspended from sitting in the House of Commons by the Speaker for "disorderly conduct". The Speaker can order that an MP ...
5
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1answer
208 views

Is the PM obligated to answer questions from the House of Commons?

I watched the PM at the dispatch box from start to finish yesterday. He did not answer one question from any opposition MP. Is he, or any other MP (Gove's performance came a close 2nd), required to ...
8
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1answer
355 views

Is there any reason why the Speaker could not be appointed as “caretaker” Prime Minister?

There is a clear majority in the House of Commons in favour of extending Article 50. However were the House to impose a vote of no confidence in the present Prime Minister there is no agreement ...
5
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2answers
266 views

Can the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act be bypassed by a simple bill?

The Fixed-Term Parliaments Act sets out the conditions for calling a general election, including a two-thirds majority vote in the House for an early general election. But could a bill be presented ...
7
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1answer
118 views

Seating in Parliament after withdrawal of Government party whip

At least two of the former members of the Conservative party (Ken Clarke and Dominic Grieve), who had the whip withdrawn following votes against the Government in early September 2019 and who are now ...
14
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4answers
4k views

Why does the UK Prime Minister need the permission of Parliament to call a general election?

I read in the news recently that Boris Johnson would need the approval of 2/3 of the House of Commons if he wants to call a general election before 'Brexit Day'. I am curious as to why this is the ...
11
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1answer
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Honourable versus Right Honourable Members

I heard John Bercow, the current Speaker of the British House of Commons, often talk to "the Honourable and Right Honourable Members of Parliament". Can somebody please explain to me the difference ...
17
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5answers
8k views

Why are UK MPs allowed to abstain (but it counts as a no)?

When reading the results of the recent call for a general election the numbers were 298 for, 56 against. The motion failed to pass due to not reaching the 2/3 majority. It took a little digging to ...
3
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1answer
375 views

Why would Boris Johnson not try to call an early general election by 'ordinary law' at this point?

According to some of the answers given to this question, it is possible that Boris Johnson could try to call an early UK general election by ordinary law, through an act of Parliament, which would not ...
2
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4answers
2k views

What is the majority of the UK Government as of 2019-09-04?

According to the Parliament website the UK Government's majority appears to be -51. Is this correct? But I thought the Government's majority was one, until Phillip Lee defected, and then 21 were ...
19
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5answers
6k views

How does the UK House of Commons think they can prolong the deadline of Brexit?

What can the UK do to prolong the deadline for Brexit. From my understanding the deadline is fixed by the EU and will not be extended. But now they passed a vote to try to get more time, how do they ...
8
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1answer
2k views

How will the UK Commons debate on the 3rd of September despite the prorogation?

Graphic via "Prorogation: How can the government suspend Parliament?" BBC If the Commons is suspended, how is it they will be debating tonight, the 3rd of September? Edit: I kept misreading the ...
5
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1answer
196 views

What are the procedural differences in calling a general election “notwithstanding the FTPA”?

I have seen suggestions in several places now that the government may try to pass a one-line bill reading: "Notwithstanding the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, we will have a general election on 15 ...
-2
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1answer
175 views

House of Commons recess [closed]

I came across this list of recess dates for House of Commons and I was wondering why is there so much fuss about the currently proposed one when it seems to be planned in generally the same time frame ...
2
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2answers
552 views

Why did so many MPs not vote in Meaningful Vote 3?

Nineteen MPs did not vote in Meaningful Vote 3 on the Withdrawal Agreement. Some of these I can explain, and have posted at the end of this question, but others I cannot currently explain. Why did ...