Parliament of the United Kingdom facts
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the highest legislative body in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories. It alone has parliamentary sovereignty over all other political bodies. At its head is the Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II.
In the Middle Ages and early modern period there were three kingdoms within the British Isles — England, Scotland and Ireland — and these developed separate parliaments. The 1707 Acts of Union brought England and Scotland together under the Parliament of Great Britain, and the 1800 Act of Union included Ireland under the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The parliament at Westminster in London is sometimes called the "Mother of all Parliaments"
Parliament of England
The English Parliament has its origins in the Anglo-Saxon Witenagemot. In 1066, William of Normandy brought a feudal system, where he sought the advice of a council before making laws. In 1215, this council got the Magna Carta from King John, which established that the king may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which slowly developed into a parliament.
In 1265, Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester called the first elected Parliament. The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535–42 annexed Wales as a part of England and brought Welsh representatives to Parliament.
Parliament of Scotland
Parliament of Ireland
The Irish Parliament was founded to represent the English community in the Lordship of Ireland, but the native or Gaelic Irish were not allowed to vote or stand for office, the first known meeting being in 1264. In 1541 Henry VIII declared the Kingdom of Ireland. The Gaelic Irish lords were now entitled to attend the Irish Parliament as equals of the majority of English descent.
- MPs elected in the UK general election, 2005
- Parliament of England
- List of Parliamentary constituencies in the United Kingdom
- Parliamentary procedure
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