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A day in the House of Commons Chamber

Find out what happens in a day in the House of Commons Chamber.
Order! Order! In Westminster, we start with prayers, where the Speaker processes through Parliament, arrives, the doors shut and what’s interesting is that that’s the only time where it’s all MPs. And then after prayers are over, the doors open, the journalists come in, the gallery fills up. It will then be followed by Question Time. Ministers have to come to Parliament to account for their departmental activities. It might be Home Office questions, it could be Foreign Office questions or Education questions or Defence questions. The interrogation of ministers is something that takes place every day, Monday to Thursday. Can my Right honourable Friend tell me, how much would be saved by freezing police pay and whether the benches opposite support those savings.
MPs have to put it in advance what they want to ask for part of the session but then there’s a bit at the end called Topical Questions, where people can ask anything they like. We’re there to give some answers. We then move on to Statements or Urgent Questions. If something critical had happened - perhaps the Prime Minister needs to report back on a big international conference - then he will give a statement. A Member can ask permission from the Speaker urgently to question a minister on a matter that has arisen on which, for whatever reason, the minister hasn’t offered to make a statement to Parliament.
Will the minister make a statement on the Government’s plans in respect of the reports on employment law? Then we’ll get into the main business of the day, which typically would be, perhaps, the Second Reading of a Bill, so for the first time, Parliament is looking at the scope of a particular Bill. Some days, it will be an opposition day. So the Opposition will actually choose what’s being discussed in the Chamber. There’s accountability. The Opposition can have their debates on their choice, so can the backbenchers too, so I think it works really well.
Members of Parliament can present petitions and any Member of Parliament is entitled to do that. And then the last thing that happens in Parliament would be an adjournment debate. An adjournment debate is where parliamentarians want to raise particular issues. It raises its profile because the Government then has to send their minister to respond to the backbencher on the adjournment debate and therefore, that minister needs a speech and needs to research what they’re saying and make sure that they are effectively up to date on whatever the issue happens to be.
Find out what happens in the House of Commons Chamber from those who work there every day.
Please note that the purpose of this video is to illustrate the timetable of the proceedings in the House of Commons. However as a result of various changes, including the 2017 election, some of the MPs featured in this video no longer hold seats in the House of Commons.
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Introduction to the UK Parliament: People, Processes and Public Participation

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