Influencing Government

Every day the UK Parliament takes decisions which affect all aspects of our lives, but how can we become more involved in the political process?

Parliament and Government

The UK Parliament is made up of the Monarch, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.  The House of Commons consists of 650 MPs each representing one of the constituency areas in the UK.  The House of Lords is made up of over 750 Members, mostly appointed by the Monarch.  Parliament’s role is to make laws, check the work of Government, set taxes and debate the issues of the day.
 A General Election must be held not later than 5 years from the last one.  After the election the leader of the winning party is invited by the Monarch to form a Government.  The Government is formed from Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords.  The role of Parliament and Government are separate, the selected Government runs the country with Parliament examining the work of Government including proposals for new laws and taxes.

Getting Involved

There are many ways people can become involved in the work of Parliament.  As well as voting in elections individuals can raise any issue with their local MP or a member of the House of Lords. 
Individuals can respond to call for evidence from a Select Committee, which are set up to gather evidence from citizens about various issues. 
In addition people are able to submit a public petition to their MP or member of the House of Lords or ask them to raise an issue as a parliamentary question. 
Individuals or organisations can also submit written evidence to be considered by any House of Commons Committee looking at a Bill.  A Law begin as a Bill and must pass through both Houses before gaining Royal Assent.  Members of the public may also suggest changes or amendments to Members of either House.

More Information
More information about the work of Government and Parliament including list of MPs, Lords and their areas of interest is available on the UK Parliament website http://www.parliament.uk