New Parline: the IPU’s Open Data Platform (beta)
Your one-stop-shop for information about national parliaments

United Kingdom

-

House of Commons

This is a bicameral parliament. Switch to theHouse of Lords

Oversight

Data on parliament’s oversight role and activities

Oversight tools

Parliament has the power to summon members of the government
Parliament has the power to summon senior government officials
Parliament has the power to approve key government appointments Key government appointments include, for example, ambassadors or the head of the central bank.
Approximate number of government appointments subject to parliamentary approval
58
Number of written questions asked, per year
Not available
See historical data for this field. Compare data of this field.
Notes
The House of Commons maintains statistics on written questions by parliamentary session rather than by year (e.g. 2012-2013, 2013-2014 etc.). Data is not collected on the number of written questions answered.
Parliament has power to carry out inquiries
Yes

Head of State and/or Government

Head of State and/or Government
Parliament’s role in the designation of the Head of Government Some parliaments elect the Head of Government or approve the nomination for the Head of Government. Others do not play a role.
Other (please specify)
Notes
The Head of Government (e.g. the Prime Minister) is appointed by Her Majesty the Queen. The Prime Minister has to display the support of a majority in the House of Commons, though there is no formal role in his or her appointment as Prime Minister.
The Head of Government is also the Head of State
No
Parliament’s role
Parliament’s role in the designation of the Head of State Some parliaments designate the Head of State or approve the nomination for the Head of Government. Others do not play a role.
Parliament does not play a role
Notes
Her Majesty the Queen is Head of State.

Impeachment and confidence motions

Procedure for parliament
There is a procedure for parliament to dismiss or impeach the following persons/institution There is a procedure to dismiss or impeach the following persons/institution: Not applicable (there is no procedure); The whole Government; The Head of Government; The Head of State; Individual members of the Executive; Other (please specify)
Other (please specify)
Notes
Misconduct encompassing criminal behaviour would be referred to the police. Each House has a code of conduct that all members, including Ministers, are expected to comply with. Complaints about breaches of the respective codes are dealt with by the relevant House’s Standard Commissioner and Standards Committee. Both Houses have the power to apply penalties for breach of the code of conduct. The House of Commons has the power to expel a Member.
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
See House of Commons Committee on Standards and House of Lords Committee for Privileges and Conduct.
Chambers that play a role in the dismissal or impeachment In bicameral parliaments: Chambers that play a role in the dismissal or impeachment: Lower chamber; Upper chamber; Not applicable
Lower chamber
Upper chamber
Impeachment Role
There is a procedure for parliament to express no confidence in the following persons/institution There is a procedure for parliament to express no confidence in the following persons/institution: Not applicable (there is no procedure); The whole Government; The Head of Government; Individual members of the Executive; Other (please specify)
The whole Government
The Head of Government
Individual members of the Executive
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011.
Chambers that play a role in motions of no confidence In bicameral parliaments: Chambers that play a role in motions of no confidence: Lower chamber; Upper chamber; Not applicable
Lower chamber
Parliament is automatically dissolved when a motion of no confidence is adopted In some countries, the adoption of a motion of no confidence in the Government automatically leads to the dissolution of Parliament in certain countries. In other cases, a new government can be formed.
No