House of Commons

What is the Register of Member’s Interests?

This video discusses the Register of Members Interests, its function, and how it benefits Parliament.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The register as a mandatory list of every member of Parliament, whereby their financial interests and assets are listed.
  • MP’s must also list the financial interests and assets of their immediate family.
  • If any change occurs to their financial interests or assets, the list must be updated within a month.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The core principle of transparency in Parliament.
  • The mechanisms for ensuring transparency.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Stern
  • Keith Vaz MP

Image – Members Lobby (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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How do constituents seek to influence their MPs?

This video discusses the mechanisms for constituents to communicate with, create dialogue, and influence their MP’s.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Influence by written letter.
  • Influence by phone call.
  • Influence from direct conversation during MP’s surgeries.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The system for communication and accountability in Parliament.
  • The specific ‘powers’ so to say, of the individual.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Keith Vaz MP

Image – The Oath (UK Parliament-Catherine Bebbington)

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How is the opposition structured?

This video describes the composition of the opposition, particularly in respect to the government.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Its structure is a mirror of the government, for every minister there is a shadow minister.
  • The composition is further similar in that those who are not shadow ministers of junior shadow ministers are backbenchers.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The composition of Parliament.
  • The composition of the Opposition.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Natascha Engel MP

Image – Black Rod State Opening (UK Parliament-Roger Harris)

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What lobbying is there of Parliamentarians?

This video discusses lobbying as an inherent aspect of the Parliamentary system, and how it has evolved over the years.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Originally, lobbying was less organised, and was often between individuals and their MP’s.
  • Today, lobbying has evolved to large organized lobbies.
  • However, there are still rules and regulations that set parameters for their conduct with MP’s.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The Lobby system in the UK and its history.
  • How the Lobby interacts with government.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Lord Cormack
  • Baroness Stern
  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP

Image – Central Lobby (UK Parliament-Catherine Bebbington)

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What are All Party Parliamentary Groups? 

This video discusses the nature and role of All Party Parliamentary groups, and their importance.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • All Party Parliamentary Groups are cross party and are comprised of members from both houses.
  • This demonstrates the strength of Parliament abroad, through unity and as a demonstration of the different aspects of Parliament all working together.
  • They also allow for specific, targeted, and expertise scrutiny of particular subjects.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The cohesion of different aspects of Parliament.
  • The benefit of cross party scrutiny.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Andrew Rosindell MP
  • Lord Ahmed
  • Baroness Stern

Image – APPG on Pancreatic Cancer

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What is the Role of the Opposition?

This video delves into the question of the Opposition’s role as a mechanism of Parliament and the wider political system.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The opposition holds government to account by countering it.
  • The opposition raises issues of the day that the government may have overlooked or did not bring up.
  • The opposition can often support the government where their ideologies align.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The crucial role opposition plays in parliament and politics.
  • The not necessarily adversarial, but symbiotic nature of the opposition.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Natascha Engel MP
  • Lord Cormack
  • Baroness Boothroyd

Image – Cromwell Green (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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What powers do MPs have?

This video discusses the power that MP’s are granted to fulfill their roles and duties in Parliament.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Power to advocate and represent their electorate.
  • Power to legislate.
  • Power to hold government to account.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The different powers that MP’s have to fulfill their duties.
  • The importance of Parliamentary power to check government.
Credits

With thanks to

  • John Mann MP
  • Andrew Rosindell MP

Image – House of Commons (UK Parliament-Catherine Bebbington)

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How do MPs balance their workload?

This video is a brief summary of the different strategies through which MP’s balance their different duties and obligations.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Some focus solely on Parliament; that is holding government to account.
  • Some focus solely on their constituencies.
  • A good MP or backbencher will combine these two roles.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The different aspects of the role of an MP.
  • The different interpretations of said role by MP’s.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Natascha Engel MP

Image – Members Lobby (UK Parliament-Roger Harris)

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What work do MPs undertake in Parliament?

This video discusses the work that MP’s carry out in Parliament itself; that is, their duties as a whole.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Representation of the constituency.
  • Judging and scrutinising legislation for the country.
  • Holding government to account.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The overall duties of MP’s on the constituent and national levels.
  • The dichotomy and balance between Parliament and Government.
Credits

With thanks to

  • John Mann MP
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How do MPs maintain contact with their constituents?

This video delves into the question of connection between MP and their electorate.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • From Thursday-Monday, most MP’s will spend time in their constituencies.
  • Modern communication has not only allowed for greater transparency, but also greater and faster communication between MP and electorate.
  • This dialogue is essential for the adherence to democratic governance in the UK.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The roles and duties of MP’s towards their electorate.
  • The means for achieving this and staying in contact with their electorate.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Natascha Engel MP

Image – House of Commons (UK Parliament-Catherine Bebbington)

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How do MPs represent their constituents? 

Video Information

This video covers:

Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as

Credits

With thanks to

Image – House of Commons (UK Parliament-Catherine Bebbington)

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What work do MPs undertake in their constituencies?

This video deals with the representational side of the duties and roles of MP’s.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Representation of the electorate.
  • MP’s needn’t agree with their electorate or every member of it, but if they do so too often they will be unlikely to be re-elected.
  • Often if an MP votes against their electorate or a portion of it, they will take the time to argue their position and create dialogue.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The duties and constituency duties of MP’s.
  • The role that democratic accountability plays in the Parliamentary system.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Andrew Rosindell MP
  • Natascha Engel MP
  • John Mann MP

Image – Obama in Westminster Hall (UK Parliament-Mark Dimmock)

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What are Select Committees?

This video discusses the nature and role of select committees, and their importance in the British political system.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Select Committees are mirrors of the government, each scrutinising a specified ministry.
  • They have the power to question Ministers, experts, etc.
  • Select Committees then publish a report, and in so doing send recommendations to the Government.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The checks and balances system in the UK.
  • The role of scrutiny in the name of accountability that Select Committees afford.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Keith Vaz MP
  • Lord Tyler
  • Natascha Engel MP
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What pre legislative scrutiny is there?

This video summarises the scrutiny brought upon legislation before is it introduced as a formal bill.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Draft Bills – submitted a year prior to the bill being formally discussed.
  • This allows Parliament to discuss the bill is general.
  • Draft Bills are often sent to a Joint Committee for detailed scrutiny.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The detail of scrutiny in place in the UK political system to ensure checks and greater accountability.
  • The specific procedure for such scrutiny prior to a bill formally coming before Parliament.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Paul Evans
  • Baroness Smith

Image – Black Rod in Commons (UK Parliament-Roger Harris)

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How are the decisions of Parliament enacted?

This video discusses not only the way in which la is enacted, but crucially how it is executed in the UK.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Decisions in Parliament are enacted through Bills.
  • Bills go through procedures in both Houses.
  • Once given Royal Assent, the bill is then binding as law, and the government ministries execute them.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The way in which law is created and maintained.
  • The procedure to create law in the UK.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Scotland
  • Tessa Jowell MP

Image – Palace of Westminster (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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