Parliament is made up of three parts – the
House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the monarch. The House of Commons is the elected chamber
of Parliament. It debates big issues, proposes laws, amends existing ones, and challenges
the Government’s work. There are 650 Members of Parliament, or MPs,
who each represent a constituency in the UK. They belong to either a political party or
are independent, and are elected by constituents of the area they want to represent. The leader of the party that has the most
MPs elected after a general election becomes the Prime Minister and heads up the Government. They choose a cabinet made up of 20 senior
ministers who coordinate each Government department’s who coordinate each Government department’s
work. Parties not in power are called the opposition.
MPs from the opposition and government question the Government on policy and proposed
laws. The speaker keeps the house in order by chairing these debates. The House of Lords is the second chamber and
shares the making and shaping of laws with the House of Commons. It has around 800 members
and it’s made up mostly of life peers, and also includes hereditary peers and bishops. Lords are selected for their knowledge and
experience, and hold Government to account by using their expertise to look at laws and
issues in detail. The monarch’s role is mainly ceremonial.
They meet the Prime Minister once a week to hear what’s going on in Parliament and formally
agree every new law. But that’s not all! There are also people
working behind the scenes who support the work of Parliament: clerks, librarians,
researchers and many more.