Labour came out of the 2005 election with a mixture of accomplishment and disappointment. The party had secured a third term in government for the first time in its history, but gained no new seats. Its majority was radically reduced to 66. Soon afterwards, and despite promises he would serve a full term, Tony Blair...Read More

Language, Address and Seating Arrangements (Commons)

An official report of proceedings – known as Hansard – is published on the morning following the end of proceedings. MPs must deliver their speeches in English, although by historical anomaly they may still use Norman French. Language must be deemed 'Parliamentary' by the chair. MPs must not refer to each other by name in...Read More

Language, Address and Seating Arrangements (Lords)

An official report of proceedings – known as Hansard – is published on the morning following the end of proceedings. All speeches begin with the words, 'My Lords'. Language must be deemed 'Parliamentary' by the chair and peers are not supposed to refer to the Commons by name, using instead 'another place' or 'the other...Read More

Law Lords

The law lords are chosen by the Lord Chancellor to form the highest court in the United Kingdom, which is the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords. They are nominally members of the House but they do not operate as such. When they retire they become life peers. At the time of writing, the...Read More

Law Officers

Government Law Officers are Parliamentarians with a legal background appointed by the Prime Minister to give legal advice to Ministers. By convention, their advice, or the fact of their having given or not given advice, is not revealed except in extreme circumstances. The Attorney General is the Cabinet's top legal adviser. The holder of the...Read More

Legislation (Commons)

All policies are discussed and laws implemented in the House of Commons. All bills must pass through both the House of Commons and House of Lords, although it is MPs that have the final decision. Government legislation comes in the form of primary and secondary legislation. Primary legislation covers Bills and Acts which are split...Read More

Legislation (Lords)

All bills and pieces of legislation must pass through the House of Lords, as well as the House of Commons. And although it is MPs that have the final say, it is in the House of Lords where the Commons' amendments to bills are subjected to scrutiny and debate. To find out more on this...Read More

Legislation (Wales)

Statutory instruments arrive on the floor of the Assembly from the Legislation Committee for final approval, which takes the form of two votes and may be preceded by a debate on the motion to approve or on amendments seeking to deny approval. The first vote is on the general principles of the instrument (akin to...Read More

Liberal Democrats

Few parties have gone through such a dramatic journey in recent years as the Lib Dems. The party emerged from the 2005 poll with their highest share of the vote since the SDP-Liberal Alliance, receiving 62 seats primarily because of their principled opposition to the Iraq war. The number of seats did not reflect the...Read More

Life Peers

Life peers are elevated to the peerage by the monarch in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister. Opposition party leaders can also nominate, via the Prime Minister. Life peers tend to be the 'great and the good' of the day and are characterised by their expertise and experience in their field, which may...Read More