Shortcut: Visiting the Houses of Parliament

Arnold and Molly are two pupils at school in the UK. They are visiting the Houses of Parliament for a school project. They interview an MP (Member of Parliament) about how the British government works.

Westminster Palace

Arnold and Molly meet their MP at Westminster Palace. Westminster Palace is the building where the Houses of Parliament are. The conversation between Arnold, Molly and their MP is given below:

 

MP: Welcome to the Houses of Parliament. The British parliament is made up of two houses – the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is where political debates are held. The debates can get very heated!

Molly: Who gets to sit in the House of Commons?

MP: Each area in the UK, maybe a town or a district or part of a city, elects a politician to sit in the House of Commons. This person is called a Member of Parliament.

Arnold: How often is there an election in the UK?

MP: The election is every five years. The latest election was in 2015. The leader of the winning party becomes the Prime Minister.

Arnold: Does the Prime Minister live in Westminster Palace?

MP: No, he or she lives at 10 Downing Street. It´s about ten minutes' walk from here.

Guards outside 10 Downing Street Guards outside 10 Downing Street

Molly: Does the Queen take part in meetings in the Houses of Parliament?

MP: No, the Queen does not have a political role in the UK.

 

Molly, Arnold and their MP walk down to the House of Lords.

 

MP: The House of Lords is the other main chamber in the Houses of Parliament. The House of Lords is made up of people who are born into privileged families, or people who have been given a special honour for work they have done in the UK.

Arnold: Does the House of Lords have any power?

MP: Their power is limited, but they can delay laws that are made in the House of Commons.

 

After leaving the House of Lords, Arnold and Molly say goodbye to their MP.