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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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3
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2answers
128 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 ...
7
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3answers
351 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
262 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
32 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 ...
4
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0answers
162 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 ...
7
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1answer
331 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 ...
2
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0answers
150 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 ...
34
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2answers
10k 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
255 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
825 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
303 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
113 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
131 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
3k views

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
946 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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7answers
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
633 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
224 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
182 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
324 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 ...
6
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2answers
247 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
114 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 ...
12
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1answer
1k views

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
364 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 ...
6
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0answers
151 views

Has it happened before for a law or amendment to pass (by accident) in the UK Parliament because there were no tellers?

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
189 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
173 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
537 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 ...
4
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2answers
276 views

What will happen if the person the Conservative party membership elects as leader cannot command a majority in the House of Commons?

It would seem to me a distinct possibility that if the Tory membership elect a pro-Brexit ERG person as party leader, that the Queen might not call him/her to the Palace. It is a fundamental axiom ...
5
votes
1answer
310 views

Are UK MPs sometimes obliged to say 'It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship'?

On theyworkforyou.com (see: example 1 or example 2), one can see that many MPs are using the exact form of words to express that 'It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship'. Are they strongly ...
6
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1answer
662 views

Can opposition UK MPs defect and support the ruling party or coalition?

The Conservative Party minority Government has a majority of four (I think). If the party loses its governing majority, could members from the opposition party resign their whip to stand as ...
3
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2answers
228 views

Can MPs stay in a party even after they vote against their own Government?

If an MP votes against, or abstains in a vote of no confidence of their own Government, can they continue to be a member of that party?
2
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1answer
67 views

The process of amending a proposed Bill in the UK

In the committee stage of a bill, amendments may be tabled by backbench MPs. The Deputy Speaker picks from the list of proposed amendments for their debate (and voting on?). How are the amendments ...
2
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1answer
125 views

Would the meaningful votes have been held if not for the Gina Miller case?

In an answer to this question user "Moo" claims that the Gina Miller case has not changed the current situation at all. Yet the Lords was able to force the government to hold a "meaningful vote" on an ...
1
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1answer
158 views

Of the 34 Conservatives who voted against the Withdrawal Agreement last time, how many are remainers?

There were 34 Conservatives who voted against May's last attempt (that was put to a vote) on March 29 to pass the Withdrawal Agreement she agreed with EU. I recognized only one remainer on that list: ...
-1
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1answer
137 views

What powers does an individual MP in the UK Parliament have?

If I stand as an independent in my local constituency and I am elected in a landslide what powers do I get as an MP? What could I change about the country? Assume that I don't form or join a party. ...
3
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1answer
128 views

What were the official names of the “meaningful votes”?

I am trying to use the Parliamentary Data API to find out how MPs voted in the three meaningful votes thus far. What were the official names of these motions/votes?
5
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1answer
183 views

Is it common for British MPs to have no connection to their electoral district?

As an example, Theresa May is serving as an MP from Maidenhead even though she had no connection whatsoever to this constituency since before her election in that constituency. On the other hand Boris ...
19
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3answers
3k views

Does Parliament need to approve the new Brexit delay to 31 October 2019?

Does the UK Parliament have to approve the new Brexit extension till 31-Oct-2019? If Parliament does not approve it, or does not do so before 11 pm, would that result in a no-deal Brexit tonight? I ...