House of Lords

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 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 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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How do Bills become law?

This video discusses the means through which bills, policy and general legislation become law in the UK.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Bills must pass through both Houses.
  • There are different procedures for both Houses.
  • Yet once a bill has been approved by both Houses, it then gains Royal Assent and becomes law.
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 systems of checks that Parliament emplaces to ensure accountability.
  • The procedures to scrutinise bills in Parliament.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Lord Norton
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What internal scrutiny is there of Parliamentarians?

This video discusses the several ways in which parliamentarians are scrutinised from within Parliament itself.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The presence of a Parliamentary Committee for Scrutiny.
  • The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
  • The Freedom of Information Legislation.
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 means for governmental scrutiny and accountability.
  • The specific mechanisms within Parliament that fulfil this role.
Credits

With thanks to

  • John Mann MP
  • Baron Lisvane (Robert Rogers)

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

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How does Parliament ensure it’s work is transparent?

This video delves into the various ways and means through which Parliament is transparent to the British Public.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Parliament is fully televised, as well as having public galleries, which both allow the public access to Parliament.
  • The media and journalists are allowed to interview MP’s and ministers.
  • Everything that is said in both Houses and in Committees is recorded verbatim.
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:

  • Parliamentary oversight, accountability, and transparency; and the mechanisms for the latter.
  • The Checks and Balances system in the UK.
Credits

With thanks to

  • John Mann MP
  • Keith Vaz MP
  • Baroness Stowell
  • Baroness Boothroyd

Image – Members Entrance (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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How can individual Parliamentarians influence legislation?

This video discusses the effect that individual members of the House of Lords and Commons can influence legislation and its discourse.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The House of Lords, where any individual can recommend amendments that must be debated.
  • The House of Commons, where small committees fulfil this same function.
  • The Whips in either house who slightly mitigate this factor, yet can still bolster it.
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:

  • Legislation and the influence individuals in both Houses have on it.
  • The Whipping system and its subsequent effect.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Smith

Image – Corbyn Budget 2016 (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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How does Parliament hold Government to account? 

This video summarises the different mechanisms in the UK parliamentary system which ensures governmental accountability.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Parliament as a check against government through debate and scrutiny.
  • Party Opposition which allows for greater scrutiny of the government.
  • The House of Lords, which further scrutinises legislation through expertise.
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 in the UK political system.
  • The means for assuring governmental accountability via Parliament.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Keith Vaz MP
  • Natascha Engel MP
  • Baroness D’Souza, Lords Speaker
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What are the strengths and weaknesses of the UK’s parliamentary system?

This video discusses the strength and weakness of Parliament for both the House of Commons, and the House of Lords; particularly, the fact that the strengths and weaknesses largely depend on the MPs who comprise both houses.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The weaknesses of the House of Commons – MPs being spread thin from much work – and the benefits that this weakness can actually foster.
  • The strength of Parliaments willingness to change.
  • The strength garnerd from the adversarial nature of Parliament.
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 strengths that the UK parliamentary system brings.
  • The weaknesses the system brings.
  • How these two characteristics often demonstrate different sides of the same coin; that is to have the strengths we must endure the weaknesses.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP
  • Baroness Boothroyd
  • Baron Lisvane
  • Baroness Smith
  • Baroness D’Souza
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What pressures for reform are there?

This video discusses the pressures for change and reform, where they come from, and how Parliament reacts and has historically reacted.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The historical pressures for reform such as women’s suffrage.
  • The contemporary pressures such as representation that mirrors the diversity of the UK.
  • The origins of pressures for reform, both public and governmental.
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:

  • Historical reforms.
  • The benefit of reform and pressure for it.
  • How Parliament interacts with such pressure.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP
  • Baroness Boothroyd

Image – Prince’s Chamber Heralds (UK Parliament-Catherine Bebbington)

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