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Vitae Yorkshire 27 th November 2012. What is Parliament?. House of Commons. Monarch. House of Lords. What does Parliament do?. Makes and passes laws (Legislation). Holds Government to account (Scrutiny). Enables the Government to set levels of taxation. Briefing Parliamentarians.

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Vitae yorkshire 27 th november 2012

Vitae Yorkshire

27th November 2012

What is parliament
What is Parliament?

House of Commons


House of Lords

What does parliament do
What does Parliament do?

Makes and passes laws (Legislation)

Holds Government to account (Scrutiny)

Enables the Government to set levels of taxation

Briefing parliamentarians
Briefing Parliamentarians

  • Keep it brief- 1 side of A4

  • Clear language – for an intelligent non specialist

  • Be objective – let the research speak for itself

  • Who are you and why are you contacting them?

  • What is the issue and why is it relevant now?

  • What is the impact/ who will it affect?

  • What do you want to happen?

Parliamentary activities
Parliamentary activities

All Party Parliamentary Groups

Early Day Motions


Select Committees


Parliamentary debates
Parliamentary debates

  • Adjournment debates (Commons)

  • Westminster Hall debates (Commons)

  • Backbench Business Committee (Commons)

  • Questions for short debate (Lords)

  • A Minister from the relevant department must attend and respond on behalf of the government

Westminster hall 27 11 12
Westminster Hall 27/11/12

  • 9.30am to 11am: Fiscal support for the Humber economy - Alan Johnson

  • 11am to 11.30am: Payment of winter fuel allowances - Mr Mike Weir

  • 2.30pm to 4pm: Knife crime - Mr Douglas Carswell

  • 4pm to 4.30pm: Car hire consumer protection - Ian Swales

  • 4.30pm to 5pm: Boundary Commission and Great Grimsby constituency - Austin Mitchell

Parliamentary questions
Parliamentary Questions

  • All Government departments can be questioned on their work

  • In writing and orally

  • In Commons and Lords

  • Must relate to running of Government department

  • Cannot be on party or private issues, sub-judice, or on the monarchy

  • Must be used to request information or press for action

Select committees
Select Committees

A highly influential group of MPs has said...

  • A key aspect of scrutiny

  • Committees scrutinise individual Government departments and key policy areas

  • Work carried out through public inquiries

  • Groups and individuals can submit evidence to inquiries

Submitting evidence to select committees
Submitting evidence to Select Committees

  • Terms of reference will be issued – ensure evidence addresses them

  • Check deadline dates

  • Use clear language – write for an intelligent non-expert

  • Suggest solutions as well as addressing problems

  • Contact committee Clerk to discuss your submission, and for advice

Early day motions
Early Day Motions

A number of MPs have signed a Commons motion calling on the Government to...

  • Statements on a wide range of issues, written in the form of a debate motion

  • MPs only

  • Usually backbench MPs, occasionally used by opposition front bench

  • Enable MPs to comment on a wide range of issues

  • Can:

    • Congratulate

    • Commemorate

    • Condemn

    • Call for action

Parliamentary office of science and technology post
Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)

  • Aims to help parliamentarians examine science and technology issues effectively through independent, balanced analysis of public policy issues related to science and technology

  • Produces briefings, organises events and assists Select Committees

House of commons and house of lords libraries
House of Commons and House of Lords Libraries

  • Provide specialist impartial information and briefing service for MPs, Peers, their staff, committees and staff of the Houses

  • Produce wide range of briefing material

  • Available online at under research publications

Vitae yorkshire 27 th november 2012

Useful Information


  • 020 7219 4272 – Commons information

  • 020 7219 3107 – Lords information