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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds Parliament isn’t just some big old building by the Thames. Parliament makes laws, debates issues of the day, represents the views of people across the UK, and checks and challenges the work of the Government. Wait a minute. So Parliament isn’t the same as the Government? Well, it’s the Government that takes a leading role in the running of the country, but there’s also a bigger picture. So there’s the House of Commons. That’s where the Government sits along with the opposition, who sit opposite them, of course. This is the elected Chamber, and it’s made up of MPs, who represent all 650 UK constituencies. Then there’s the House of Lords, made up mostly of life peers, who are appointed for their knowledge and experience.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds There is no political party with overall control in the Lords and many of its members, the crossbenchers and the bishops, are non-party political. Finally, there’s the Monarch. Her role is mainly ceremonial these days, but she does still sign every new law. So what does Parliament do all day? Inside the debating chambers, the big issues are discussed, new laws agreed, and the Prime Minister is questioned. While a host of committees made up of small groups of parliamentarians scrutinise the work of government departments, check the details of new laws, and ask experts and the public, that’s you, for ideas and evidence to shape their inquiries.

Skip to 1 minute and 15 seconds Representing the people, passing laws, debating issues and checking and challenging the work of the Government, it’s all in a day’s work for Parliament.

How Parliament works in nearly 60 seconds

What does Parliament do all day and what exactly is the difference between Parliament and the Government?

This video is a fun and speedy introduction to how Parliament works.

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This video is from the free online course:

Introduction to the UK Parliament: People, Processes and Public Participation

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