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History
Government
Government: UK

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Positions
Acts of Parliament
Elections
Mayor of London
Miscellaneous

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Government: UK (general)

See also: The British Parliament, Members of Parliament.

Positions

First Lord of the Treasury: post now conventionally always held by the Click to show or hide the answer
Second Lord of the Treasury: post now conventionally always held by the Click to show or hide the answer
Position held by Winston Churchill, from the day war was declared (3 September 1939) until he became Prime Minister (10–11 May 1940) – also from 1911 to 1915 Click to show or hide the answer
First Secretary to the Treasury: also known as Click to show or hide the answer
Government front bencher, arranges the business of the House of Commons; deputises for the Prime Minister, if necessary, at Question Time Click to show or hide the answer
Senior Cabinet minister without official duties Click to show or hide the answer
Officially represents the House of Commons to the sovereign Click to show or hide the answer
Chairman of the House of Commons Ways & Means Committee Click to show or hide the answer
Senior official of the House of Commons Click to show or hide the answer
Popular name for the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (who investigates complaints against the Government, on behalf of the private citizen) Click to show or hide the answer
Master of the Mint Click to show or hide the answer
Personal attendant of the sovereign in the House of Lords; also the Serjeant–at–Arms, Keeper of the Doors of the House, and secretary to the Lord Great Chamberlain; summons the members of the Commons to the Lords to hear the sovereign's speech Click to show or hide the answer
Responsible for security, ceremonial and accommodation in the House of Commons; the equivalent of Black Rod (sharing one of the latter's official titles) Click to show or hide the answer

Official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer Click to show or hide the answer
Official residence of the Government Chief Whip Click to show or hide the answer
Location of the Speaker's House (official residence of the Speaker) Click to show or hide the answer

Acts of Parliament

Acts of Supremacy: established Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, respectively, as 'supreme governors' of the Church of England (the first was repealed by Mary I) Click to show or hide the answer
Act of Uniformity establishes the use of the Book of Common Prayer, and makes attendance at church obligatory – together with the Act of Supremacy of the same year, making up the Elizabethan Religious Settlement Click to show or hide the answer
Turnpike Act – to raise money for road improvement Click to show or hide the answer
Toleration Act establishes freedom of religious worship Click to show or hide the answer
Act of Settlement – prevents a catholic from taking the British throne (established the Electress Sophia of Hanover, and her protestant successors, as heirs) Click to show or hide the answer
Act of Union between England and Scotland Click to show or hide the answer
Stamp Act – imposing tax on documents produced in the American colonies Click to show or hide the answer
Combination Laws – prohibiting Trade Unions Click to show or hide the answer
Union with Ireland Act Click to show or hide the answer
The first Factories Act Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Slave Trade Act – outlawing the slave trade in the British Empire (see 1833) Click to show or hide the answer
Importation Act 1815 – establishes the Corn Laws, which prohibit foreign imports when the domestic price fell below a certain figure Click to show or hide the answer
Catholic Relief Act, effecting emancipation of Roman Catholics – allowing them to sit in Parliament Click to show or hide the answer
The "First" Reform Act – proposed by the Whigs under Earl Grey – abolishing the Rotten Boroughs Click to show or hide the answer
Slavery Abolition Act – abolishing slavery altogether in the British Empire Click to show or hide the answer
Corn Laws Act repeals the Corn Laws (established in 1815) Click to show or hide the answer
Elementary Education Act (commonly known as Forster's Education Act, after William Edward Forster) introduces compulsory education for children under 13 Click to show or hide the answer
A further Elementary Education Act imakes attendance compulsory from 5 to 10 years Click to show or hide the answer
Parliament Act reduces the Lords' power to that of delaying legislation Click to show or hide the answer
National Insurance Act introduces unemployment benefit Click to show or hide the answer
MPs were first paid (£400 p.a.) Click to show or hide the answer
Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act – popularly known as the Cat and Mouse Act – passed under Asquith, aimed at Suffragettes, allowing hunger strikers to be released and re–imprisoned Click to show or hide the answer
Representation of the People Act gives the vote to women over 30, provided they are (or are married to someone who is) "a member of the Local Government Register" – in other words, a ratepayer – which covered about 8.4 million women Click to show or hide the answer
A further Education Act – known as the Fisher Act after Herbert Fisher – enforces compulsory education from 5 to 14 years Click to show or hide the answer
Equal Franchise Act gives equal voting rights to men and women, allowing everyone over 21 to vote Click to show or hide the answer
Statute of Westminster formally recognises the independence of the dominions within the Empire Click to show or hide the answer
Rab Butler's Education Act raises the school leaving age to 15 (effective from 1948); also intruduces free school meals and milk for all shool pupils under 18 Click to show or hide the answer
National Assistance Act allows anyone of working age to apply for Income Support Click to show or hide the answer
NHS established Click to show or hide the answer
A further Parliament Act (see 1911) reduces the power of the House of Lords to delay certain types of legislation – specifically public bills other than money bills Click to show or hide the answer
Life Peers first created Click to show or hide the answer
National Assistance replaced by Supplementary Benefit Click to show or hide the answer
Wilson government withdraws free milk from secondary schools Click to show or hide the answer
UK voting age reduced from 21 to 18 Click to show or hide the answer
First UK general election at which 18–year–olds could vote Click to show or hide the answer
Margaret Thatcher, as Education Secretary under Edward Heath, withdraws free school milk from children over 7 Click to show or hide the answer
School leaving age increased to 16 Click to show or hide the answer
Purchase Tax replaced by VAT (at 10%) Click to show or hide the answer
Capital Transfer Tax replaced by Inheritance Tax Click to show or hide the answer
Supplementary Benefit replaced by Income Support Click to show or hide the answer
Jobseeker's Allowance introduced – long–term jobseekers can no longer claim Income Support Click to show or hide the answer
VAT introduced in the UK (at 10%) Click to show or hide the answer
UK VAT rate reduced to 8%, but then increased to 25% on petrol Click to show or hide the answer
The last year with two general elections; the first of the two was the last to produce no overall majority Click to show or hide the answer
Chancellor Norman Lamont increases the UK VAT rate to 17.5% Click to show or hide the answer
Welfare Reform Act introduces Universal Credit, to replace six means–tested benefits, and the so–called 'bedroom tax' Click to show or hide the answer

Elections

Percentage of vote required by a candidate to reclaim his or her deposit Click to show or hide the answer
Formerly Click to show or hide the answer
Polling booths open Click to show or hide the answer
Lowest number of votes polled in an election since universal suffrage (Commander William Banks, Public Safety White Monarchist, Glasgow Hillhead, 1982) Click to show or hide the answer
Declared at 22:42 in the 2001 general election – the fastest ever Click to show or hide the answer

Mayor of London

2000–8 Click to show or hide the answer 2008–16 Click to show or hide the answer 2016– Click to show or hide the answer

Miscellaneous

Readings in the House of Commons required for a Bill to be passed Click to show or hide the answer
British Government records may now be opened after Click to show or hide the answer
Number of electronic signatures required for an online petition to be considered for debate in Parliament Click to show or hide the answer
The last half hour of each day's sitting; also used by the Government to allow debate on a topical subject such as flooding Click to show or hide the answer
Normally performs the coronation ceremony (exceptions including William I, Edward II, Mary I, Elizabeth I, James II) Click to show or hide the answer
Leading civil officers in Jersey and Guernsey Click to show or hide the answer
Popular name for the under–occupancy penalty imposed on housing benefits, under the terms of the Welfare Reform Act of 2012 Click to show or hide the answer
HMSO publication that contains the UK's national accounts Click to show or hide the answer
Statutory body which oversees the extents of parliamentary constituencies Click to show or hide the answer
Informal sitting of the Commons, to discuss and amend a bill Click to show or hide the answer
Passage of a Bill: between first and second readings Click to show or hide the answer
Council Tax was introduced in 1993 to replace Click to show or hide the answer
Department that replaced the Lord Chancellor's Department in 2003 Click to show or hide the answer
Popular title of the British royal court (to which foreign ambassadors are officially accredited) – after the official residence of the sovereign, before Buckingham Palace Click to show or hide the answer
Official legal status of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man Click to show or hide the answer
Department which collects VAT Click to show or hide the answer
Motion to publicise an MP's own views, put down for no specific day Click to show or hide the answer
A tentative government report of a proposal, without any commitment to action; the first step in changing the law; may lead to a white paper Click to show or hide the answer
Ill–fated post–war scheme to supplement Britain's cooking oil supply Click to show or hide the answer
1679 Act ruling that accused persons must be swiftly brought to trial Click to show or hide the answer
Official daily report of the proceedings of Parliament Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
In the House of Commons, "Another Place" is the term used to refer to the Click to show or hide the answer
Speaker of the House can vote Click to show or hide the answer
Term used by MPs (prior to 1998) to initiate a vote as to whether a debate should be held in private Click to show or hide the answer
Ceremony at which the Prime Minister accepts the seals of office from the sovereign Click to show or hide the answer
Parliamentary office that commands the highest salary (more than the PM); the department that he led was replaced in 2003 by the Dept. of Constitutional Affairs Click to show or hide the answer
Title granted to Oliver Cromwell 1653–8, and to his son Richard from September 1658 to May 1659 Click to show or hide the answer
State Opening of Parliament takes place in Click to show or hide the answer
Bill read in the Commons at the beginning of each session of parliament, after the sovereign's speech – to reassert the right of the Commons to set its own business regardless of the sovereign's wishes Click to show or hide the answer
A light above Big Ben indicates that Click to show or hide the answer
Longest standing member of the Privy Council (appointed 1951) Click to show or hide the answer
Bill introduced by an individual member rather than the Govt. Click to show or hide the answer
Consists of the Cabinet, former Cabinet ministers, and others appointed by the sovereign; rules the UK between the resignation of one government and the appointment of a replacement; meets on the accession of a new sovereign, or when the sovereign announces an intention to marry; members use the title 'Right Honourable' Click to show or hide the answer
Announcement made by the sovereign (in the House of Lords) to end a parliamentary session Click to show or hide the answer
Set up in 1861 to ensure that public money is spent as Parliament intended Click to show or hide the answer
Replaced by VAT in 1973 Click to show or hide the answer
Between second and third readings Click to show or hide the answer
Responsible for running a constituency election, supervising the count and announcing the result Click to show or hide the answer
Last formality by which a Bill becomes an Act Click to show or hide the answer
Presiding officer of the House of Commons; represents the house to the sovereign Click to show or hide the answer
Committee Stage: amendments to public bills are debated and considered by Click to show or hide the answer
Ceremony to mark the opening of each session of parliament Click to show or hide the answer
Not an MP or House of Commons official, present at a debate Click to show or hide the answer
Votes in Parliament (and at elections) are counted by Click to show or hide the answer
Strict instruction to MPs from their party to make sure they attend for a vote in the House Click to show or hide the answer
Introduced by the 2012 Welfare Reform Act to replace income–based Jobseeker's Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, income–based Employment and Support Allowance, and Income Support Click to show or hide the answer
Official report stating government policy on a matter which is (or may be) before Parliament – also in Canada, New Zealand etc. Click to show or hide the answer
Introduced 1696 under the Act of Making Good the Deficiency of the Clipped Money; repealed 1851 and replaced by House Duty Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017