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Monday, 3 August 2015

House of Commons

The term House of Commons is used by many countries to describe part of their parliament. In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons is the part of the parliament which has the most power.

The House of Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament (MPs). Members are elected to represent constituencies by first-past-the-post and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved.

A House of Commons evolved at some point in England during the 14th century. King Edward I was one of the founding Fathers of Parliament. He made the House of Commons common by allowing in commoners to sit with the nobles.

It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707.

Spencer Perceval was the first, and to date only, British Prime Minister to be assassinated. On May 11, 1812 he was shot in the chest in the lobby of the House of Commons.

Charles Dickens made his name for himself as the fastest and most accurate shorthand reporter to record the voices and opinions of the House of Commons MPs.

The House of Commons in the early 19th century by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson.

In the 1911 census, suffragette Emily Wilding Davison hid in a cupboard in Westminster so she could be recorded as a House of Commons resident. The census form records her address as: ‘Found hiding in crypt of Westminster Hall.’

While detained in Holloway prison, Irishwoman Constance Markievicz became the first female Member of Parliament to be elected to the British House of Commons, although she never served.

When Viscountess Nancy Astor succeeded her husband, the 2nd Viscount Astor in a Conservative seat in 1919, she became the first woman to sit in the House of Commons.

The commons Chamber was destroyed during the Blitz in 1940 and small pieces of the original wood recovered were used to make the Commons' snuff box.

The longest speech made in the House of Commons since World War I was by Conservative MP Sir Ivan Lawrence in 1985. He spoke for 263 minutes (almost 4½ hours) nonstop against the Fluoridation Bill

Diane Abbot becomes the first black woman member of the House of Commons when elected as MP in 1987 for Hackney South and Stoke Newington.

House of Commons proceedings were televised live for the first time on November 21, 1989.


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