Parliament

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on Parliament. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
26.01.2016Social background of Members of Parliament 1979-2015
Following General Election 2015, 29% of MPs are female, 53% are over 50 years old, 6% are from non-white backgrounds and one-third are from fee-paying schools. The share of manual workers has fallen from 16% in 1979 to 3% in 2015. This note examines the social background of MPs from 1979 to 2015.
07.01.2016Conventions on the relationship between the House of Commons and House of Lords
This House of Commons Library briefing paper sets out the conventions on the relationship between the two Houses of Parliament and their origins. On 17 December 2015 Lord Strathclyde published his review of secondary legislation and the primacy of the House of Commons. This briefing paper sets out the background to the review and Lord Strathclyde's recommendations.
07.01.2016Vellum: printing record copies of public Acts
This House of Commons Library Briefing paper provides information about the practice of printing record copies of public Acts on vellum. It includes information on how this practice was established, and on calls for change.
30.12.2015EU reform negotiations: what's going on?
What's happened to the EU reform proposals that the Prime Minister David Cameron announced and on which the in-out referendum by 2017 will be based? "Technical talks" are taking place in secret between EU and UK officials, and very little information is available to shed light on progress. This note looks at launch of the UK reform agenda at the European Council in June 2015, bilateral talks with other EU leaders, EU institutional initiatives which might be relevant to the Government's reforms and other developments.
22.12.2015Acts and Statutory Instruments: the volume of UK legislation 1950 to 2015
This paper shows the volume of both primary and secondary legislation in the UK from 1950 to the present day.
02.12.2015Short Money
This House of Commons Library briefing paper provides details of the current levels of 'Short money' allocated to opposition parties for parliamentary duties; a brief history of the scheme; and notes recent proposals to reduce Short Money allocations. Figures for the corresponding scheme in the House of Lords (Cranborne money) are provided. The note also provides details of allocations made under the representative money scheme.
16.11.2015Social Indicators 2015
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include agriculture, crime, defence, education, elections, environment and energy, health, housing, local government, population and migration, social security and transport.
16.11.2015Summary of public bills: 1997 - present
Summary of public bills introduced and gaining Royal Assent since 1997
16.11.2015Addresses to Members of both Houses of Parliament
Addresses to both Houses of Parliament since 1939
16.11.2015UK delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
How democratic is the UK's 'democratic conscience'?

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
05.01.2016Delegated Legislation in the House of Lords since 1997
This Lords Library briefing provides an overview of delegated legislation in the House of Lords since 1997.
13.10.2015Digital Democracy: Political Participation and Citizen Engagement through the Internet
This Library Note provides an overview of developments around citizens' political engagement and participation through the internet. It has been written in light of the 2015 'Open Up' report by the Speaker's Commission on Digital Democracy, which set five key targets for the House of Commons and made a number of recommendations to the administration and MPs in how to meet them. Reference to the report and its recommendations are referred to within.
25.03.2015House of Lords Reform 2010-15
This Note provides a summary of the proposals for reform of the House of Lords that were made during the 2010-15 parliament.
19.03.2015Principal Office Holders in the House of Lords
This Library Note provides a short overview of the role and functions of some of the key office holders in the House of Lords.
29.01.2015A Brief History of the Magna Carta
This Note will consider the background to the introduction of the Magna Carta and consider the influence the Magna Carta has had in the 800 years since its creation.
23.10.2014Debate on 29 October 2014: Devolution Following the Scotland Referendum
This Library Note provides background reading for the debate in the House of Lords on 29 October 2014 on devolution following the Scottish independence referendum, which took place on 18 September 2014.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
12.06.2015Trends in Political Participation
Over the last fifty years in the UK, some aspects of participation in formal politics have decreased, such as political party membership. But new forms of participation, such as online activism, have emerged, which may become increasingly important, especially for younger people. This POSTnote discusses trends in political participation, with a focus on new forms, drivers of these trends and how UK democratic institutions are responding.
01.09.2009Futures and Foresight, May 2009
This POSTnote examines the key characteristics of futures work and its use by governments and parliaments.
01.01.2009E-democracy, January 2009
This POSTnote looks at recent UK e-democracy initiatives, and at challenges faced in their design and implementation. It examines debate over the purpose of eDemocracy and where its future lies.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
13.09.2011Parliament's role in conflict decisions - government response to the Committee's eighth report.
Government response. Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]
14.07.2011Select committees and public appointments.
House of Commons Liaison Committee report [Commons]
09.06.2011Cabinet Manual.
Government response. Public Administration Select Committee report [Commons]
10.05.2011Parliament's role in conflict decisions.
Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]
28.04.2011Seminar on the House of Lords: outcomes Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee seventh
Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
07.12.2011SKYLINE OF THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER
That this House congratulates the hon. Members and staff of the House who have successfully campaigned for the removal of the prefabricated buildings which blighted the roof of the ...
24.11.2011LOBBYING
That this House calls for Government action on lobbying that would prohibit relatives and partners of Government Ministers from hawking their contacts and influence to the highest bidder ...
24.11.2011BREACHES OF THE MINISTERIAL CODE (No. 2)
That this House calls for new clarity in the Ministerial Code on declarations of interest on Ministerial engagements that are classified as Ministerial or private; and notes the recent ...
24.11.2011BREACHES OF THE MINISTERIAL CODE
That this House notes that the investigation into the breach of the Ministerial code by the former Secretary of State for Defence was itself a breach of the code which explicitly names ...
14.11.2011AN ENGLISH PARLIAMENT
That this House should establish a select committee to report on the cases for and against establishing an English Parliament.

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses