British Government

The history of the UK Parliament dates from Medieval times whereby Medieval Kings had to meet all royal expenses, both private and public, out of their own purse. In the occurrence of requiring additional resources in such an emergency as funding a war the sovereign would call upon the barons of the Great Council, the leading men of the time who met several times a year.

However during the 13th century, on several occasions, not even this joint revenue was sufficient to fund the expenses of the government, so they had to call on the local representatives of the counties, cities and towns to agree to and collect taxation. In time the Great Council broadly became the House of Lords and the representatives of the local communities became the House of Commons and these two groups along with the sovereign became known as Parliament, which means to meet to parley or discussion.

Today the UK Parliament remains and consists of the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Queen in her constitutional role.

The House of Commons is made up of over 600 elected Members of Parliament (MP’s) who are democratically elected by their local constituencies, in turn the House of Lords is made up of in excess of 750 hereditary and life peers and peeress coupled with 24 of the most senior bishops of the established Church of England. The basic principle is that the Lords should complement the House of Commons, which is the centre of parliamentary power, and should support it not rival it, once any legislations have been passed it then requires Royal Assent to become law.

The British Political system is made up of 3 principal parties in those of Labour, Conservative and the Liberal Democrats.

On Thursday 6th May 2010 a general election was held in the United Kingdom in order to elect members to the House of Commons. Of the 650 constituencies, the parties had to achieve 326 seats in order to obtain an overall majority. The results demonstrated a hung parliament; this was only the second time since World War Two where no party was able to command a majority in the House of Commons. The largest number of votes and seats were obtained by the Conservative Party led by David Cameron, falling short by only 20 seats.

Subsequently, coalition talks began between the Conservative and the Liberal Democrats. Over the course of 3 days, Gordon Brown resigned, David Cameron was invited to form a government and become Prime Minister by Queen Elizabeth II and the coalition deal was ‘approved overwhelmingly’. Consequently, finalising a Conservative and Liberal Democrats coalition government.