There are three elements to Parliament today: the Crown, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. These three elements work together to effectively ‘run’ the country by examining and challenging the work of the government (scrutiny), debating and passing laws (legislation), and enabling the government to raise taxes.
Founded on the principles of Magna Carta, the Parliament of the United Kingdom was established in 1801 by the merger of Great Britain and Ireland under the Act of the Union. At this time, the House of Lords was superior to the House of Commons in both theory and practice. Parliament as we know it today and the supremacy of the House of Commons was established in the early 20th Century.
As the elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Reading East, I act as my constituents’ representative in Parliament. I am involved in considering and proposing new laws, and can use my position to ask Government ministers questions about current issues.
Like all MPs, I split my time between working in Parliament itself and working in Reading East.
Working in Parliament
When Parliament is sitting (meeting), I generally spend my time working in the House of Commons. This can include raising issues affecting my constituents, attending debates and voting on new laws. Most MPs are also members of committees, which look at issues in detail, from government policy and new laws, to wider topics like human rights.
Working in Reading East
In my constituency, I hold weekly advice surgeries, where people can come along to discuss any matters that concern them. I also attend functions, visit schools and businesses, do work experience and generally try to meet as many people as possible. This gives me further insight and context into issues that are often discussed when I return to Westminster.