On our 10th day in London, we visited the British Parliament. We did an audio tour and walked through the chambers. There were areas we could take photos and areas we couldn’t. Here are some quick facts about the government:
- The official lengthy name is “Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”
- The main Parliament is located in the Palace of Westminster in London
- Parliament (formed in 1707) is the legislative body of the UK and is composed of the House of Commons and House of Lords
- The government is lead by the Prime Minister who has the power to choose the other Ministers. They are all members of Parliament (MPs). The Prime Minister is an individual from the dominant party who is voted on to lead.
- The current Prime Minister is Theresa May.
- General elections are held every five years.
- The House of Commons, or the lower house, is the most powerful and introduces most of the significant laws. The 650 members of the House of Commons are elected by the people, which represents 650 constituencies.
- The House of Lords has less power but can still vote to amend laws and introduce bills. They are not elected/voted in. They are appointed by the Queen in consultation with the Prime Minister.
- Any bills must be given a royal assent by the monarch to be passed (fun fact: this also applies in Canada because they are technically still under British rule as a constitutional monarchy)
- Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have local parliaments with some limits
Next, we went out for a drink, reflected on the day, and headed back for the night!