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Houses of Parliament
Houses of Parliament
Phone: 020 7219 4272
Open for public only debates when Parliament is sitting. Guided tours during the summer recess from August-October.

Introduction to Houses of Parliament, London

The house of Parliament has been the home of British Government since 1512, there are two parts to parliament the house of Lords and the House of Commons. It is the House of Commons that the MPs elected members of Parliament sit.

Parliament is divided in two chambers, the House of Commons and  the House of Lords. You can sit and listen to debates in either chamber, be warned you may have to queue for at least an hour, longer for the House of Commons. It is possible for UK citizens to request tickets for Prime Minster's question time from there MP

The main functions of Parliament are to:

  • make all UK law
  • provide, by voting for taxation, the means of carrying on the work of government
  • protect the public and safeguard the rights of individuals
  • scrutinise government policy and administration, including proposals for expenditure
  • examine european proposals before they become law
  • hear appeals in the House of Lords, the highest Court of Appeal in Britain
  • debate the major issues of the day.

Parliament has a maximum duration of five years. At any time up to the end of this period, a general election can be held for a new House of Commons.

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