British Parliament commonly known as the House of Parliament or UK Parliament- set the pattern for many democracies throughout the world.

British Parliament is the home of British politics comprising the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It houses the great ‘Big Ben‘ (presently renamed as Elizabeth Tower). British Parliament House is one of the main London attractions. A focal landmark for photo lovers for a lifetime memory.

House of Parliament facts and roles

British Parliament is the supreme legislative body in the UK. It has ultimate power over all political bodies. The main objective of the UK Parliament is to examine what the Government is doing, makes new laws, holds the power to set taxes and debates the issues of the day. The head is the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. British Parliament consists of an upper house known as House of Lords and a lower house known as the House of Commons. The two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Houses of Parliament. The Queen approves the law when both Houses agree on it.

House of Parliament built history

British Parliament has over 800 years of history. With the signing of Magna Carta in 1215, it practically started its work. So since then everyone eligible to vote can have a say in how the UK is run and who runs it. Present the House of Parliament building is the oldest surviving part of the Palace of Westminster. It was built in 1016. Due to devastated London Fire, the Palace of Westminster was demolished but rebuilt again in 1840-70. The Palace of Westminster was the primary residence of the Kings of England.  It served as the home of the Parliament of England since the 13th century.

UK Parliament was formed in 1707 and later gradually with accommodating the Parliament of England, the Parliament of Scotland, the Parliament of Ireland and the Parliament of Wales. Visit the link to know more about the history or evolution of English Parliament. But a brief history is at the BBC website

House of Lords UK and members

The Upper House of UK Parliament is known as the House of Lords. It is the second chamber of the House of Parliament. The monarch appointed the lords on the advice of the Prime Minister or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. The Lords is made up of people from all walks of life based on what they had achieved in their career. The Lords Act of 1999 reduced the number of hereditary members in the House.

The House of Lords has three main functions. 1. To question and challenge the work of the Government 2. to work with the House of Commons to shape laws and 3. to investigate issues through committees and debates to help improve the way the country is governed.

Currently, there are 793 House of Lords members of which Bishops 25, Conservative 248, Crossbench 183, Labour 197, Liberal Democrat 100, Non-affiliated 26, Other 14

Primarily the Lords acted as advisory council to the king. King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215 sharing power with the nobility. By the 14th century Edward III had two groups of advisors divided into chambers, the Lords and the Commons. Later House of Commons became increasingly dominant and the King became less powerful.

House of Commons UK

The Lower house of UK Parliament called as the House of Commons. It has 650 members of Parliaments (MPs). MPs are democratically elected with elections held at least every five years. Conventionally all ministers, including the Prime Minister, are the members of the House of Commons. The government and its opposition meet to debate the big political issues of the day and discuss proposals for new laws.

House of Parliament-Power of corridor
Power of Corridor. Pic: Ron Porter

The House of Commons of England evolved in the 13th and 14th centuries (around 1341). The country is divided into regions and each one has a Member of Parliament (MP) who represents that region. Each region is of every 92,000 people, or one for every 68,000 parliamentary electors. Most MPs are known as backbenchers as they sit on the back benches of the House of Commons chamber. They do not hold a job as a government minister or as an opposition shadow minister.

UK Parliament tour admission ticket prices

Everyone is free to see the Parliament house from outside. UK residents can visit inside through their local MP. You can book tickets for guided tour to attend debates and committee hearings or to see one of the world’s most iconic buildings.

Types of Guided tour: Visit UK Parliament in many ways like Houses of Parliament audio tours, Houses of Parliament guided tours, Family guided tours, Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower tours etc. Please visit the website for details UK Parliament tour arrangement

Admission tickets prices for guided tour: Adults: £25.50, Students/Senior Citizens/UK Armed Forces members: £21 , Children (age 5 to 15): £11, Children (under 5): Free. Buy tickets in advance online to save. We show here advance price.

UK Parliament opening hours:

Open: Monday to Saturday. You will be known the times when you book tickets. Occasionally times/hours have to change or cancel tours because of the work of Parliament.

UK Parliament address nearest tube

Address: Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA
Telephone: 020 7219 4114 (Tickets)
Nearest Tube Train and Bus: Westminster station (District, Circle or Jubilee lines), Train- Victoria, Charing Cross and Waterloo mainline stations Bus– bus numbers 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 148, 159, 211, 453, 507. Make a plan to visit by TFL Journey Plan

Visit the website of House of Parliament for more and update information. Visit the other London’s main landmarks



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