Subject Predicate Object
879tlakg
a
Concept
concept label
Committee stage
concept definition
Once a bill has passed its second reading, it is sent to a committee for a detailed examination of the text. In the Commons, this would usually be a public or private bill committee; in the Lords, it would be a Committee of the Whole House in the Lords chamber, or in a Grand Committee.
concept scope note
Committee stage involves detailed line examination of the Bill.
HyS97Mbv
a
Concept
concept label
Oaths and affirmations
concept definition
At the beginning of each Parliament, Members of both Houses are "sworn in", either by a religious oath, or a secular affirmation. Religious oaths may be made on a sacred text of the Member's choice, and should be made in English initially, although a repeat of the oath or affirmation in Welsh, Scottish Gaelic or Cornish is also permitted. The swearing-in begins after confirmation of the Speaker's election and the Speaker taking the oath.
concept scope note
Swearing-in of Members, either by oath (religious) or by affirmation (secular).
p9zWUxxX
a
Concept
concept label
Report stage
concept definition
In both Houses, report stage gives Members an opportunity on the floor of the House, to consider further amendments (proposals for change) to a bill which has been examined in committee. There is no set time period between the end of committee stage and the start of the report stage. All MPs may speak, vote or suggest amendments or additions to the bill.
concept scope note
Consideration of a bill in the form in which it left committee, and an opportunity for any members to propose amendments.
zbhjPbg5
a
Concept
concept label
Financial procedure
concept definition
The way in which Parliament scrutinises the spending decisions made by Government and the taxes imposed to fund that expenditure. The House of Commons has privilege over the Lords in financial matters under the Parliament Acts; in practice the Lords cannot amend financial and taxation measures initiated in the Commons.
6SNc9FYA
a
Concept
concept label
Members' interests
concept definition
Members of both Houses are required to register any interest which a reasonable member of the public might think would influence their actions, speeches or votes in Parliament, or actions taken in their capacity as a Member. Paid employment, shareholdings, paid travel, unpaid membership of boards or trusteeships, the ownership of land and property and the employment of family members are all covered by the registers. Members are also required to declare any relevant financial interest when speaking in a debate or tabling a question, early day motion or amendment. When an interest is declared, the symbol [R] appears on the Order paper beside the name of the member concerned. Members of committees declare their interests before electing a chair, and are required to withdraw completely from an inquiry if there is a conflict of interest.
concept scope note
Refers to the business, etc. interests of Members and their declaration and registration.
ZdJBQB4u
a
Concept
concept label
Pairing
concept definition
An arrangement between two MPs on opposite sides of the House not to vote in a particular division, so that their absences cancel each other out.
concept scope note
An arrangement between two MPs on opposite sides of the House not to vote in a particular division, so that their absences cancel each other out.
JkuZ64Tl
a
Concept
concept label
Private members' bills
concept definition
A public bill brought forward by a Member of either house, rather than by the government. Bills may be introduced under various procedures, but aim to change the general law of the land. Private peers' bills that have been passed by the Lords may be brought from the Lords and taken up by a Member of the Commons.
concept scope note
Public bill brought forward by a backbench MP rather than by the government.
CG8LgLoJ
a
Concept
concept label
Powers
concept definition
Legal authority given or delegated to an organisation or public body.
gFYBlwhq
a
Concept
concept label
Speaker's statements
concept definition
Statements made from the Chair on matters affecting the operation of Parliament.
concept scope note
Statements made from the Chair on matters affecting the operation of Parliament.
TDIau7jb
a
Concept
concept label
Elections
concept scope note
Combine with another term for type of election, e.g. Local government or Trade unions.
5t5blnI4
a
Concept
concept label
Unparliamentary expressions
concept definition
Any language which, taken in context, is intended to bring the House into disrepute, or is insulting to another Member, particularly in respect to accusations of lying. Failure to withdraw the statement can result in suspension by the Speaker in the House of Commons, and the House in the Lords.
concept scope note
Used as a procedural term for the speaker's contribution when member is asked to withdraw what s/he has said; it need not be used for general requests to rephrase.
zyMNxvjy
a
Concept
concept label
Emergency debates
concept definition
Three-hour debates which can be called by any member on a "specific and urgent matter that should have urgent consideration"; if granted, it takes place either the same day or the next day as an adjournment debate. Debates during a recall of Parliament also have the character of emergency debates, although they are called by the government. Emergency debates are very rare.
concept scope note
Emergency adjournment debates under Standing Order No 24.
qaX0qiWO
a
Concept
concept label
Legislative process
concept definition
The process by which a bill becomes law, and its different stages.
concept scope note
Refers to the course of passage of legislation and the stages involved.
zGqy8OlU
a
Concept
concept label
Closure of debate
concept definition
In the Commons, a device for curtailing debate, or for securing a decision on a matter that would otherwise run out of time.
iRu8qqRu
a
Concept
concept label
Deferred divisions
concept definition
In the Commons, MPs sometimes vote on a series of motions using ballot papers at a convenient time (currently from 12.30pm on Wednesdays) instead of holding each division immediately at the end of a debate. These are known as deferred divisions.
concept scope note
In the Commons, MPs sometimes vote on a series of motions using ballot papers at a convenient time (currently from 12.30pm on Wednesdays) instead of holding each division immediately at the end of a debate. These are known as deferred divisions.
UoDYHMzj
a
Concept
concept label
Parliament Act 1911
concept definition
The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 together limit the powers of the House of Lords in relation to primary legislation. Under the provisions of the Acts, the House of Lords is unable to delay certified money bills for more than one month, or to exercise an absolute veto over other public bills.
hi8cpmme
a
Concept
concept label
Debates
concept definition
Formal discussion of a topic in either House of Parliament. An MP or Member of the House of Lords puts forward a proposal for debate by moving a motion. A motion can be substantive such as “I beg to move, that the Bill be now read a Second time” or it could be general and expressed in neutral terms such as ‘That this House has considered investment in cycling’. The Chair then puts the question to the House, which repeats the terms of the motion. The question is debated. MPs or Peers take it in turns to speak on the subject concerned. When the debate has ended the Chair asks the question again and a decision is made, which may sometimes be through a vote (divison).
concept scope note
Formal discussion on a topic in the House of Commons or House of Lords. Note that, currently, filtering by this content type may exclude content from sessions earlier than 12/13. To retrieve earlier debates, please use the Parliamentary proceedings content type.
KgHjAPDZ
a
Concept
concept label
First reading
concept definition
The formal first stage of a bill's passage through parliament, taken without debate when the bill is introduced. The bill is then ordered to be printed.
concept scope note
The formal first stage of a bill's passage through parliament, taken without debate when the bill is introduced. The bill is then ordered to be printed.
L0WQsZf6
a
Concept
concept label
e-petitions
concept definition
Petitions submitted and signed electronically by members of the public, calling for a specific action from the UK government or the House of Commons. A petition is published if it conforms to Parliamentary rules and has six signatures. When a petition reaches 10,000 signatures, it will receive a response from the appropriate government department; when it reaches 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for a Commons debate. All published petitions are reviewed by the Petitions Committee, who have the power to press for action from government or Parliament.
6qWQpNML
a
Concept
concept label
Westminster Hall sittings
concept definition
Debates which take place in the Grand Committee room off the northern end of Westminster Hall. Used mainly for non-controversial debates on subjects put forward by back-benchers as well as the government, and for debates on select committee reports and e-petitions.
concept scope note
Take place in the Grand Committee room off the northern end of Westminster Hall. Used mainly for non-controversial debates on subjects put forward by back-benchers as well as the government, and for debates on select committee reports.
3zElF1Sp
a
Concept
concept label
Hybrid bills
concept definition
Hybrid bills mix the characteristics of public and private bills, often where the effect of a bill would affect individuals' property, such as large transport projects. Bills introduced by the government which would otherwise be private bills are treated as hybrid. Hybrid bills have an additional stage, whereby a select committee in each House can hear petitions from individuals and groups affected by the provisions of the bill. The complexity of hybrid bills often means that they take place over more than one Parliamentary session and are carried over from one session to the next.
concept scope note
Hybrid bills mix the characteristics of public and private bills.
ITnKVZmT
a
Concept
concept label
New schedules
concept definition
Schedules contain the fine detail to a clause of a bill (such as the effect of the bill on existing legislation); they are dependent on the clause they refer to, and have no effect unless the accompanying clause is passed.
mKh7mnOX
a
Concept
concept label
Adjournment debates
concept definition
An adjournment debate is a way in the Commons of enabling a debate to take place but without a question which the House must then decide. There is a half-hour adjournment debate at the end of each day’s sitting. They are an opportunity for an individual backbench MP to raise an issue and receive a response from the relevant Minister
concept scope note
Debates introduced by a backbench MP, often on local or personal issues.
to7godZb
a
Concept
concept label
Early day motions
concept definition
Formal motions may be tabled by any Commons Member, on any subject, for debate on an unspecified day. Early day motions can be a maximum of 250 words, and around 2000 are tabled each session. These are very rarely debated, but can be used to test and gather support on major issues.
concept scope note
Formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. Very few EDMs are actually debated. Instead, they are used for reasons such as publicising the views of individual MPs, drawing attention to specific events or campaigns, and demonstrating the extent of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view.
N8dt1wY0
a
Concept
concept label
Prime Minister's questions
concept definition
Oral questions asked of the Prime Minister in the House of Commons by opposition party leaders and back-benchers. Unlike oral questions to government departments, MPs do not have to announce the subject of their questions in advance. Prime Ministers' questions are tabled weekly on a Wednesday.
concept scope note
Oral questions asked of the Prime Minister by the leader of the Opposition and back-benchers.
cKToGUMr
a
Concept
concept label
Select committees
concept definition
A committee of members of either House charged with investigating a matter and reporting (ad hoc select committees) or of monitoring a government department. Select committees also advise on the administration of both Houses.
concept scope note
A committee of members of either House charged with investigating a matter and reporting (ad hoc select committees) or of monitoring a government department. Select committees also advise on the administration of both Houses.
etffKOll
a
Concept
concept label
Second reading
concept definition
The first time a bill is debated; a discussion of the principle of the bill rather than the details of individual clauses. In the Commons, debate happens no sooner than two weekends after first reading and generally results in a debate, although it is possible for a bill to have a second reading with no debate, but a vote is generally held. In the Lords, there is a debate but no vote.
concept scope note
Approval in principle of a bill. A second reading debate is a discussion of the principle rather than the details of individual clauses.
PFygWsVr
a
Concept
concept label
European scrutiny and information
concept definition
Approximately 1100 European Union documents a session are examined by the European Scrutiny Committee in the Commons and the European Union Committee in the Lords. In each case, the committees assess its importance, seek additional information, report upon it, and if necessary, recommend it for debate at Westminster. Each document considered is accompanied by an explanatory memorandum from the appropriate government department.
concept scope note
EU documents and information relating to the UK scrutiny of EU documents.
JMVj3ZtO
a
Concept
concept label
Official report
concept definition
Generally known as "Hansard", the Official report covers a transcript of proceeedings in both Houses, Westminster Hall, Standing Committees and Grand Committees. It is named after the nineteenth-century printer and publisher TC Hansard, although since 1909 staff of the Houses have produced the recording of debates.
concept scope note
Refers to the report of debates in both houses, Westminster Hall, Standing Committees and Grand Committees. Also contains written answers to questions.
5A6RS3rN
a
Concept
concept label
Business questions
concept definition
Oral questions asked in the House of Commons following the weekly business statement on a Thursday. They are often used by MPs to ask the Government to make time for a debate on a specific issue.
concept scope note
Questions following the weekly business statement.
QbNg1vGW
a
Concept
concept label
Future business
concept definition
A House of Commons publication, produced daily in sitting time, which announces provisional future business as announced by the Leader of the House in the weekly business statement, as well as future debates in Westminster Hall, forthcoming private members' bills and anticipated statements.
7EVwSPtD
a
Concept
concept label
Statements
concept definition
Formal statements made orally or in writing in either Chamber.
concept scope note
Formal statements made orally or in writing in either Chamber.
l7F10lRW
a
Concept
concept label
House of Lords
concept definition
The upper chamber of the UK Parliament. It shares the task of making and shaping laws and checking and challenging the government's work.
25SShAno
a
Concept
concept label
Campaigns
concept definition
A planned set of activities that people carry out over a period of time in order to achieve something such as social, political or military change; in the political sense, also refers to the period before an election in which votes are solicited for a political party. In the case of written parliamentary questions, campaigns or "round robin" questions ask each government department the same question for information and statistical purposes.
rA7Dkj7H
a
Concept
concept label
Queen's speech
concept definition
Speech written by the government and delivered by the Queen at the state opening of Parliament. It recalls the events of the previous year, such as state visits, and outlines the government's plans for the new session, especially its legislative programme.
concept scope note
Added as a procedural term to Speaker's statement in the Commons in which the speech is read out, and to the formal proceeding in the Lords, for both State Opening and Prorogation.
5sB3Gw3E
a
Concept
concept label
Grand Committee proceedings (HC)
concept definition
In the Commons, Grand Committees give MPs the opportunity to debate issues affecting their region. The Committees function in a similar way to the Commons chamber, with ministerial statements and an opportunity to question the Ministers. Every MP representing a constituency in the region is entitled to attend Grand Committee meetings.
concept scope note
Proceedings of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Grand Committees.
GR9J7LYt
a
Concept
concept label
UK scrutiny of European material
concept definition
Material relating to UK scrutiny of EU proposals and consultative documents.
concept scope note
Material relating to UK scrutiny of EU proposals and consultative documents.
ta2T3QGz
a
Concept
concept label
Absent voting
concept definition
Arrangements to allow voting by those who are not physically present at a poll. In the case of the electoral roll, all electors have the right to apply for a postal ballot, or to appoint another person (a proxy) to vote on their behalf. In the House of Commons, absent voting is allowed when a Member is incapacitated and is called "nodding through". There are no arrangements for absent voting in the House of Lords.
i3ZG5JaH
a
Concept
concept label
Committee of Selection
concept definition
A committee, made up mainly of party whips, which meets weekly while the Commons is sitting, to select MPs to serve on standing committees on bills and statutory instruments and private bill committees. At the beginning of a parliament, the Selection Committee is also responsible for putting forward names of MPs to serve on permanent select committees (other than the Liaison, Standards and Privileges committees) and nominates any replacement members as necessary.
hwarJbOl
a
Concept
concept label
Public bill committees
concept definition
A committee set up by the House of Commons to examine the details of a particular bill. All bills, other than money bills, are automatically sent to a public bill committee following their second reading unless they are committed to a committee of the Whole House. The composition of the committees must match the size of the parties in the House.
zFjzYukD
a
Concept
concept label
Opposition days
concept definition
A minimum of 20 days per session allocated to debates in the House of Commons on subjects of interest to the opposition parties. 17 days are allocated to the leader of the largest opposition party, and three to the leader of the second largest. The government may make additional, unallotted days available.
concept scope note
Twenty days per session allocated to debates on subjects of interest to the Opposition.
hn8J9Mn6
a
Concept
concept label
e-petition debates
concept definition
Debates which take place in Westminster Hall, or with the permission of the Backbench Business Committee in the Commons chamber, usually on e-petitions which have reached the threshold of 100,000 signatures.
FWnLtXI1
a
Concept
concept label
New clauses
concept definition
Substantial amendments to a bill, usually introducing a separate subject or issue rather than seeking to amend the provisions already in the bill.
uLvvEbXZ
a
Concept
concept label
Parliamentary questions
concept definition
A means by which backbenchers can call government ministers to account and request detailed information. Questions in either House can be either oral (asked on the floor of the House), or requesting a written answer.
concept scope note
To include the text of answers to oral questions in your search, please also select content type Oral answers to questions, under Members' contributions.
agC9I9Ej
a
Concept
concept label
Legislative stages
concept scope note
The stages through which a Bill passes in order to become an Act.
ew3OZUb3
a
Concept
concept label
Votes and proceedings
concept definition
The formal legal record of what the House of Commons did on a particular day, rather than what was said: decisions on motions, amendments made to bills, papers laid before the House and the record of reports from select committees may be included.
Q653fgLc
a
Concept
concept label
Parliamentary privilege
concept definition
Gives the two Houses, their committees and members, the protection from outside interference or legal action necessary to perform their roles. The two main elements are freedom of speech and the right of both Houses to regulate their own affairs. Also (as Financial privilege), used to describe the pre-eminence of the Commons in financial matters.
concept scope note
Gives the two Houses, their committees and members, the protection from outside interference or legal action necessary to perform their roles. The two main elements are freedom of speech and the right of both Houses to regulate their own affairs. Also (as Financial privilege), used to describe the pre-eminence of the Commons in financial matters.
1j6qgRaw
a
Concept
concept label
Order of business
concept definition
The Order Paper, also known as the Order of Business in the House of Commons, is published each sitting day and lists the business of the House and business for sittings in Westminster Hall. It shows items such as questions, motions, business, notices of committees, announcements and lists of future business. In the House of Lords the business papers, including the Order Paper, are collectively known as 'House of Lords Business'.
jTnMgLmr
a
Concept
concept label
Recess
concept definition
A time of Parliamentary adjournment which lasts longer than a weekend. Since 2003, the dates have been published in advance after being announced in the weekly business statement.
concept scope note
A longer time of Parliamentary adjournment than over a weekend.
EJoyRt7C
a
Concept
concept label
Ballot bills
concept definition
A type of private members' bill which is allocated to 20 members who participate in an annual ballot. Success in the ballot means that they have priority over other private members' bills in terms of time, but this is no guarantee that the bills will become law.
concept scope note
20 bills presented by backbench winners of the annual ballot.
yDYJSViV
a
Concept
concept label
Oral questions
concept definition
Questions asked to government ministers on the floor of both Houses. Questions to government departments take place according to a four-weekly timetable and are the first item of business on any sitting day other than Fridays; Business and Prime Ministers' questions happen weekly; Urgent questions are at the discretion of the Speaker.
concept scope note
To include the text of answers to oral questions in your search, please also select content type Oral answers to questions, under Members' contributions.
8yXZRovF
a
Concept
concept label
Divisions
concept definition
A vote; in the Commons the votes are "Aye" or "No"; in the Lords "Content" or "Not Content". Votes are cast by Members physically going through different lobbies depending on the way they are voting, and giving their names to the tellers. Divisions may also take place in committees.
concept scope note
A vote; in the Commons the votes are "Aye" or "No"; in the Lords "Content" or "Not Content".
KWlsNN4Z
a
Concept
concept label
Legislation
concept definition
Legislation is another term for statutory law, the laws passed by a Parliament or other legislative body. This can be primary legislation (bills and acts), or secondary legislation (statutory instruments).
concept scope note
Use for general discussion of legislation. Avoid using for legislation on a particular issue - prefer subject.
jAAj5Nhh
a
Concept
concept label
Private bills
concept definition
Private bills are usually promoted by organisations, like local authorities or private companies, to give themselves powers beyond, or in conflict with, the general law. Private bills only change the law as it applies to specific individuals or organisations, rather than the general public. Groups or individuals potentially affected by these changes can petition Parliament against the proposed bill and present their objections to committees of MPs and Lords.
concept scope note
A bill which confers private or particular rights or is local and personal in its effect.
3rMVsg8e
a
Concept
concept label
Queen's speech debates
concept definition
The first debate of a Parliamentary session, normally lasting several days. The debate is opened by a mover and seconder from the government back-benches, followed by a speech from the leaders of the two largest opposition parties. The first day is a general discussion, followed by themed debates on particular issues. In the Commons, a vote is taken; in the Lords, there is no vote.
concept scope note
Debates to discuss the government programme proposed in the Queen's speech.
CXzhwWHG
a
Concept
concept label
Points of order
concept definition
Appeals to the Chair (usually the Speaker of the House of Commons) for guidance or a ruling on a matter of order or procedure. These can happen at any point in debate on the business before the House, but are more common before the beginning of public business each day of sitting time.
concept scope note
Appeals to the Chair for guidance or a ruling on a matter of order or procedure.
AYr4XERq
a
Concept
concept label
Backbench debates
concept definition
Debates proposed by backbench members, often on topics which would not otherwise secure a debate, and selected by the Backbench Business Committee on the basis of topicality, cross-party appeal, why the subject of the debate is felt to be important, and whether the subject has been debated recently. The government decides the amount of time which will be allocated to backbench debates in both the Chamber for substantive motions and Westminster Hall for general debates.
concept scope note
Commons debates on business chosen by the Backbench Business Committee.
tkVBqfYX
a
Concept
concept label
Parliamentary procedure
concept definition
Procedure regulates the proceedings of the Houses and their committees. In the House of Commons, procedure is made up of practice or "ancient usage", standing orders, rulings from the Chair which form Parliamentary precedent, and some regulation by Acts of Parliament. In the House of Lords, practice, standing orders and Acts of Parliament determine procedure, but instead of rulings from the Speaker, procedure is developed and refined by the House itself by agreeing recommendations from its Procedure Committee.
L2ksthht
a
Concept
concept label
Ways and means resolutions
concept definition
A motion, and when approved, a resolution, to authorise the raising of a tax or imposition of a charge in relation to a bill. 'Ways and means' is an old name for taxation.
concept scope note
Authorises the government to raise a tax or charge relating to a bill after the second reading, as a result of a programme motion.
V0kxBwvt
a
Concept
concept label
Sub judice rule
concept definition
Rule against referring to a current or impending court case to avoid influencing the outcome. The rule may be relaxed at the Speaker's discretion, and it need not prevent the consideration of legislation.
concept scope note
Rule against referring to a current or impending court case to avoid influencing the outcome. The rule may be relaxed at the Speaker's discretion, and it need not prevent the consideration of legislation.
ghcQWi9M
a
Concept
concept label
Third reading
concept definition
Final stage of the passage of a bill through one House of Parliament; a final review of the contents of the bill, with debate limited to what is actually in the bill rather than what might be included. Substantive amendments are allowed at this stage in the Lords but not in the Commons.
concept scope note
Final stage of the passage of a bill through one House of Parliament; a final review of the contents of the bill, with debate limited to what is actually in the bill rather than what might be included. Substantive amendments are allowed at this stage in the Lords but not in the Commons.
L3NgeRQy
a
Concept
concept label
Motions to sit in private
concept definition
The House of Commons retains the right to hold debates in private and any MP can propose that members of the public and press be removed from the galleries at any time. If such a proposal is made, the Commons Speaker must put the motion "That this House sit in private" to a vote without debate. Before 1998, Members used the phrase "I spy strangers" to clear the galleries.
concept scope note
From the Standing Orders (2016): 163.—(1)If at any sitting of the House, or in a committee of the whole House, any Member moves ‘That the House sit in private’ the Speaker or the chair shall forthwith put the question ‘That the House sit in private’, and such question, though opposed, may be decided after the expiration of the time for opposed business, but such a Motion may be made no more than once in any sitting:Provided that the Speaker or the chairman may, whenever he thinks fit, order the withdrawal of those other than Members or Officers from any part of the House.
vFKgSqQ3
a
Concept
concept label
Parliament Act 1949
concept definition
The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 together limit the powers of the House of Lords in relation to primary legislation. Under the provisions of the Acts, the House of Lords is unable to delay certified money bills for more than one month, or to exercise an absolute veto over other public bills.
GNKCjV0n
a
Concept
concept label
Parliamentary session
concept definition
A period in Parliament beginning with the state opening and the Queen's speech, and ending with the prorogation of Parliament, or its dissolution in the last session of a Parliament. A session usually lasts for approximately one calendar year, but shorter and longer sessions may be announced by the government.
Sp6SvkJq
a
Concept
concept label
Estimates days
concept definition
Three days in the course of a Commons session when the financial estimates for the funding of each government department are approved. Select committee reports selected by the Liaison Committee, and linked to particular estimates, provide the subjects for debate on those days.
concept scope note
Three days in the course of a Commons session when the estimates are approved.
qbBGgLi4
a
Concept
concept label
Written statements
concept definition
Statements which are not deemed important enough for an oral statement but important enough to put formally on the record. These are listed on the order paper at the end of the day's business and available through the Parliamentary question and answer system.
concept scope note
Statements delivered in written form by ministers.
xrK4ar5V
a
Concept
concept label
Select Committee statements
concept definition
Introduced in December 2013, a statement made on the publication of a select committee report or announcement of an inquiry.
concept scope note
Introduced in December 2013, a statement made on the publication of a select committee report or announcement of an inquiry.
WqYY203w
a
Concept
concept label
Maiden speeches
concept definition
The first speech of a new Member in either House of Parliament. In the case of the House of Commons, tribute is given to the previous Member for the constituency. Traditionally maiden speeches are relatively uncontroversial and contain a statement of the member's background and beliefs.
amQGL5Of
a
Concept
concept label
Dissolution
concept definition
The ending of a parliament by royal proclamation, followed by a general election. Since the passing of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, dissolution takes place after five years; or if a motion of no confidence in the government is passed and no alternative government can be found after 14 days; or if a motion to hold an early general election is passed by a two-thirds majority in the House of Commons. A general election is held 25 days after dissolution.
concept scope note
The ending of a parliament by royal proclamation, followed by a general election.
Is4eRupk
a
Concept
concept label
Select Committee reports
concept definition
Reports produced by departmental select committees on inquiries made and evidence taken on a particular subject of interest to the committee. The oral evidence and much of the written evidence is also published. Reports are made to the House, and the government should send a formal response within two months of the date of publication of the report.
g2GHCcVt
a
Concept
concept label
Bills
concept definition
Proposals for new laws, or to change existing laws, presented for debate before Parliament. Before becoming Acts of Parliament, bills need to pass through a number of stages in both Houses of Parliament. They may start their progress in either House, but must be agreed by both. A bill may be public, private or hybrid (containing some elements of both public and private law).
vjmhwzwW
a
Concept
concept label
English votes for English laws
concept definition
New procedures introduced in the House of Commons in 2015 which attempt to balance the anomaly that Scottish MPs could vote on subjects such as health services for England, while health services for Scotland are a matter for the Scottish Parliament. The procedures require the Speaker to certify bills in their entirety, or provisions within bills, and statutory instruments that relate exclusively to England or to England and Wales. If a bill applies exclusively to England or England and Wales, the committee considering it at committee stage only includes Members representing seats in the countries affected, and double-majority voting applies so that a majority of MPs from countries affected must agree to it, as well as an overall majority of the House.
concept scope note
Response to the McKay report's recommendation that "decisions at the United Kingdom level with a separate and distinct effect for England, or for England and Wales, should normally be taken only with consent of a majority of MPs for constituencies for England, or for England and Wales". Proposed in the Queen's Speech in May 2015.
kihf0AbD
a
Concept
concept label
Speaker
concept definition
A Member of the House of Commons who is elected to chair the House and regulate debate. The Speaker is elected at the beginning of each Parliament.
concept scope note
The Speaker is an MP who has been elected to act as Chair during debates in the House of Commons. In Parliamentary Search this includes all Members acting in the capacity of Speaker or Chair.
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Concept
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Time limits on speeches
concept definition
The Speaker may announce that he intends to call Members to speak in a debate, or at certain times during that debate, for no longer than any period he may specify.
concept scope note
The Speaker may announce that he intends to call Members to speak in a debate, or at certain times during that debate, for no longer than any period he may specify.
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Concept
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Clothing
concept scope note
For Armed forces clothing, use Uniforms.
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Concept
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Devolution
concept definition
Transfer of powers from a higher level authority to a lower one such as a national or regional Parliament or assembly.
concept scope note
Transfer of powers from a higher level authority to a lower one such as a national or regional Parliament or assembly.
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Concept
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Delegated legislation
concept definition
Law made by ministers of certain public bodies under powers given to them by Act of Parliament. It is also called secondary or subordinate legislation to distinguish it from Acts of Parliament. Orders, regulations, orders in Council, schemes, rules, codes of practice and statutes are all types of delegated legislation.
concept scope note
Legislation made under powers conferred by an act of Parliament, to make detailed arrangements which expand on broader provisions in the parent act.
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Concept
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Parliamentary papers
concept definition
Parliamentary papers consist of the working papers of Parliament, other papers produced by Parliament and its committees, and papers such as annual reports, estimates, accounts and inquiries presented to Parliament by outside bodies.
concept scope note
Publications produced by or required by Parliament for its work.
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Concept
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Budgets
concept definition
Reviews of national finances and the economic situation, followed by proposals for spending and taxation.
concept scope note
Refers to national budgets. For a specific budget see e.g. 'Budget March 2010'.
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Concept
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Written questions
concept definition
Questions asked by Members of both Houses which receive a written answer from government departments. Questions are asked to raise awareness of particular subjects, or to answer constituents' questions, to gather statistics or to monitor government progress in an area of interest. In the Commons, named-day questions are for answer on a stated day; ordinary written questions are for answer two sitting days after they are received. In the Lords, Members enter questions on the order paper via the Lords Table Office and can expect an answer within 14 days.
concept scope note
Questions receiving a written answer.
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Concept
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Royal assent
concept definition
The sovereign's assent agreement to a bill passed by both Houses; the final stage of a bill becoming an act of Parliament.
concept scope note
The sovereign's assent agreement to a bill passed by both Houses; the final stage of a bill becoming an act of Parliament.
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Concept
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Explanatory notes
concept definition
Document accompanying a government bill that sets out the bill's intention and background, explains the clauses in lay person's language and gives an assessment of the bill's effects on public service manpower and costs, and on private sector business.
concept scope note
Document accompanying a government bill that sets out the bill's intention and background, explains the clauses in lay person's language and gives an assessment of the bill's effects on public service manpower and costs, and on private sector business.
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Concept
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Committee proceedings
concept definition
Committee proceedings are publications which show the full transcripts of questions to and answers given by witnesses who are called to provide information (evidence) to a variety of committees during their inquiries.
concept scope note
Verbatim reports of committee sessions.
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Concept
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Presentation bills
concept definition
A bill presented to the House of Commons, first announced on the order paper. The presentation of the bill also counts as a first reading, and a date for the second reading is then set.
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A bill presented at the Table, notice having been given on the Order Paper.
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Concept
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Ten minute rule bills
concept definition
Each Tuesday and Wednesday in Commons sitting time, one MP is able to set out the case for a bill and seek the House's approval for it to be introduced. The proposer speaks for no more than ten minutes from the sponsor of the proposal; if there is objection, one opponent may speak against the bill for no longer than ten minutes, and if necessary there is a vote.
concept scope note
Bills introduced by leave of the House following a speech of not more than ten minutes from the sponsor of the proposal.
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Concept
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Urgent questions
concept definition
Questions asked in the Commons at the leave of the Speaker, usually on a matter of immediate and public importance. The relevant government minister is required to attend the Commons and explain what the government is doing on the issue raised, and will usually take questions raised on the subject by MPs. The department is also asked to provide a background briefing for the Speaker. Previously known as Private notice questions in the House of Commons (Private notice questions still exist in the House of Lords.)
concept scope note
Questions of urgent importance asked in the House of Commons. Formerly known as Private notice questions.
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Concept
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Recall of parliament
concept definition
Return of Parliament during a recess because of events of major national or international importance. In the Commons it is authorised by the Speaker at the request of the government. In the Lords, the power is exercised by the Lord Speaker, or in the Lord Speaker's absence, the Chairman of Committees.
concept scope note
Return of Parliament during a recess. In the Commons it is authorised by the Speaker at the request of the government. In the Lords, the power is exercised by the Lord Speaker, or in her absence, the Chairman of Committees.
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Concept
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Lords amendments
concept definition
Legislative stage following the third reading of a bill, when the House of Commons consider amendments made by the House of Lords to bills which have already passed through all their stages in the Commons. If amendments made by one House are not accepted by the other, a passage of "ping-pong" between the two Houses may take place to achieve a compromise and eventual agreement.
concept scope note
Legislative stage following the third reading of a bill; Commons consideration of amendments made by the Lords.
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Concept
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Henry VIII clauses
concept definition
Provisions sometimes added to a bill which allow the government to amend an Act by means of secondary legislation (statutory instruments) without further Parliamentary scrutiny. They are so named from the Statute of Proclamations 1539 which gave King Henry VIII power to legislate by proclamation.
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Concept
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Rules and courtesies
concept definition
The rules of conduct for members with respect to correct dress, the correct way to address fellow Members, where to sit in the Chamber, the conventions of Parliamentary debate and so on.
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Concept
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Standing orders
concept definition
The rules made by both Houses for the regulation of their proceedings. Standing orders remain in force until they are amended or repealed. Temporary standing orders are typically made for the duration of a session or a parliament.
concept scope note
The rules made by both Houses for the regulation of their proceedings. Standing orders remain in force until they are amended or repealed. Temporary standing orders are typically made for the duration of a session or a parliament.
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Concept
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Oral statements
concept definition
A way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of the House, often at short notice. In the Commons, statements are timetabled after question time and any urgent questions; an hour is allocated to each statement to allow time for questions and answers. Statements are generally repeated in the Lords at an appropriate time of daily business.
concept scope note
Statements made on the floor of either Chamber.
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Concept
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Legislative grand committees
concept definition
Legislative Grand Committees were created in 2015 under the 'English votes for English laws' procedures. They provide a forum for English, or English and Welsh, Members of the House of Commons to discuss legislative matters which affect only England, or only England and Wales.
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Concept
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Speeches
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Concept
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Times of sittings
concept definition
The hours at which the Houses meet in the Commons and Lords chambers and in Westminster Hall. Sitting times have varied over the years, and between Houses.
concept scope note
Procedural terms attribute removed following decision at Indexing review 01/02/2017.
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Concept
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Membership
concept definition
The fact or status of being a member of a body.
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Concept
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Petitions Select Committee
concept definition
Eleven-member House of Commons committee set up in 2015 to consider both e-petitions and paper petitions. The Committee has powers to request further information from government departments and other organisations, to request that the government or another public body take action on a petition, and to put forward petitions for investigation by other committees. The Committee can also put forward petitions for debate, either in Westminster Hall or, with the permission of the Backbench Business Committee, on the floor of the House.
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Concept
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Petitions
concept definition
A written request to the House of Commons asking for an action the House has within its power to grant. Petitions are approved by the Petitions Committee. Written petitions are put into the petitions bag at the back of the speaker's chair, or presented formally on the floor of the House. They can cover national or local subjects. e-petitions are submitted via the Petitions Committee, and require a response from the government, or consideration for debate in the Commons chamber, depending on the number of signatures.
concept scope note
Application asking for an action the House has within its power to grant.
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Concept
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Deputy Speakers
concept definition
Deputies to the Speaker of the House of Commons, elected at the beginning of each Parliament, and able to chair business in the House of Commons Chamber and Westminster Hall. Two of the Deputy Speakers come from the opposition, and one from the government.
concept scope note
Deputies to the Speaker of the House of Commons, elected at the beginning of each Parliament, and able to chair business in the House of Commons Chamber and Westminster Hall.
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Concept
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Backbench Business Committee
concept definition
Proposed by the House of Commons Reform Committee (Wright Committee) in HC 1117 2008-09, this committee has a limited allocation of time outside Government control in which it can schedule subjects for debate suggested by backbench Members of Parliament. The Committee can consider any subject for debate. This includes subjects raised in national or local campaigns, reports by select committees and other groups and issues suggested by constituents, including by people who have signed an e-petition or a traditional paper petition (there is no restriction on the number of signatures required).
concept scope note
Proposed by the House of Commons Reform Committee (Wright Committee) in HC 1117 2008-09. To deal with business which is not strictly ministerial and to contribute to the Business Committee when this is established.
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Concept
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Erskine May
concept definition
First published in 1844 under the title "Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament", Erskine May contains the rules of procedure of both Houses of Parliament. It is edited by the Clerk of the House of Commons and is regarded as the definitive source on questions of parliamentary procedure.
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Concept
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Personal statements
concept definition
Statements made with the permission of the Speaker in the Commons, and of the House in the Lords. These may be of apology, such as for failing to register an interest or giving incorrect information, or of explanation in the case of resignations. The practice of both Houses is to hear personal statements in silence and without interventions.
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Concept
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Prorogation
concept definition
The formal end of a parliamentary session, which brings to an end almost all parliamentary business.
concept scope note
The formal end of a parliamentary session, which brings to an end almost all parliamentary business.
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Concept
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Programme motions
concept definition
Programme motions normally follow immediately after the second reading of a bill and are decided without debate (although almost always with a vote), followed if necessary by a motion to authorise government expenditure in relation to the bill (money resolution) or the raising of a tax of charge (ways and means resolution). These motions also give the committee on the bill authority to consider provisions that would require expenditure or impose a tax.
concept scope note
Normally follows immediately after the second reading of a bill; decided without debate (although almost always with a vote), followed if necessary by a motion to authorise government expenditure in relation to the bill (money resolution) or the raising of a tax of charge (ways and means resolution). These motions also give the committee on the bill authority to consider provisions that would require expenditure or impose a tax.
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Concept
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Freedom of expression
concept definition
A right conferred under the Universal Declaration of Human rights, giving every individual the right to hold and transmit opinions without interference . In Parliament, remarks made by Members of either House in the course of proceedings are protected from action outside Parliament. This enables Members to be immune from prosecurion as a result of speaking up on behalf of constituents or expressing an opinion on a public issue.
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Concept
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Standing Orders Committee
concept definition
The Standing Orders Committee considers matters relating to private and hybrid bills. When the Examiners of Petitions for Private Bills (parliamentary officials appointed by the Speaker) report that a private or hybrid bill has not complied with one or more of the applicable private business standing orders, the Committee meets to decide whether the standing orders ought in this case to be dispensed with and the bill allowed to proceed.
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Concept
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Closure motions
concept definition
A proposal that the Commons should stop debating and make a decision on the matter being discussed. It may be moved at any time during a debate if the Speaker allows it - but only once - and will only be successful if the majority in favour has at least 100 MPs. 
concept scope note
Device for curtailing debate, or for securing a decision on a matter that would otherwise be talked out. An MP moves a motion "that the question be now put" which forces a division if allowed by the Chair.
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Concept
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European Scrutiny Select Committee
concept definition
A committee which assesses the legal and/or political importance of draft EU legislation deposited in Parliament by the Government. It is made up of 16 members from the three largest political parties. Ministers should not vote in the European Council of Ministers on legislation which has not been passed by the European Scrutiny Committee.
concept scope note
Previously named European Legislation Select Committee. Name changed as from 17 Nov 1998 - Standing Order 143.
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Concept
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Amendments and new clauses
concept definition
An amendment is a change to the wording of a bill, motion or draft select committee report that is proposed by an Member of either House. Consideration of amendments is the name for what is often the final stage of Bill. When a Bill has been passed by one House but then is amended by the other House, those amendments must be considered by the first House. There may be some to-ing and fro-ing between the Houses before a final version of the Bill is agreed.
concept scope note
Proposals to change or add to the text of a bill, motion or draft select committee report.
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Concept
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Publications and records
concept definition
The publications produced by Parliament, and which are necessary for Parliament to do its job. These include the journals, business papers and official reports of both Houses, rules of procedure, and other papers laid before the Houses.
concept scope note
Guide to procedure term: added 24/01/2018. Do not use for indexing.