A Queen's Counsel, or King's Counsel during the reign of a king, is an eminent lawyer, appointed by the monarch to be one of "Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the law." The term is recognised as an honorific. The position exists in some Commonwealth jurisdictions around the world, but other Commonwealth countries have either abolished the position, or re-named it to eliminate monarchical connotations, such as "Senior Counsel" or "Senior Advocate". Queen's Counsel is an office, conferred by the Crown, recognised by courts. Members have the privilege of sitting within the bar of court; as members wear silk gowns of a particular design, appointment as Queen's Counsel is known informally as taking silk, hence QCs are colloquially called silks. Appointments are made from within the legal profession on the basis of merit rather than a particular level of experience. However, successful applicants tend to be barristers, or advocates with 15 years of experience or more; the Attorney General, Solicitor-General and King's Serjeants were King's Counsel in Ordinary in the Kingdom of England.
The first Queen's Counsel Extraordinary was Sir Francis Bacon, given a patent giving him precedence at the Bar in 1597, formally styled King's Counsel in 1603. The new rank of King's Counsel contributed to the gradual obsolescence of the more senior serjeant-at-law by superseding it; the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General had succeeded the King's Serjeants as leaders of the Bar in Tudor times, though not technically senior until 1623 and 1813, respectively. But the King's Counsel emerged into eminence only in the early 1830s, prior to when they were few in number, it became the standard means to recognise a barrister as a senior member of the profession, the numbers multiplied accordingly. It became of greater professional importance to become a KC, the serjeants declined; the KCs inherited the prestige of their priority before the courts. The earliest English law list, published in 1775, lists 165 members of the Bar, of whom 14 were King's Counsel, a proportion of about 8.5%. As of 2010 the same proportion existed, though the number of barristers had increased to about 12,250 in independent practice.
In 1839 the number of Queen's Counsel was seventy. In 1882, the number of Queen's Counsel was 187; the list of Queen's Counsel in the Law List of 1897 gave the names of 238, of whom hardly one third appeared to be in actual practice. In 1959, the number of practising Queen's Counsel was 181. In each of the five years up to 1970, the number of practising Queen's Counsel was 208, 209, 221, 236 and 262, respectively. In each of the years 1973 to 1978, the number of practising Queen's Counsel was 329, 345, 370, 372, 384 and 404, respectively. In 1989, the number of practising Queen's Counsel was 601. In each of the years 1991 to 2000, the number of practising Queen's Counsel was 736, 760, 797, 845, 891, 925, 974, 1006, 1043, 1072, respectively; the title traditionally depends on the sex of the sovereign. The current Queen, Elizabeth II has had a long reign, few if any people appointed as King's Counsel survive, it can be assumed that, should the Queen die and the reign pass to a descendant, holders of the title will again become KC, as the next three in line to the throne are male heirs.
Queen's Counsel and serjeants were prohibited, at least from the mid-nineteenth century onward, from drafting pleadings alone. They were not permitted to appear in court without a junior barrister, they had to have chambers in London. From the beginning, they were not allowed to appear against the Crown without a special licence, but this was given as a formality; this stipulation was important in criminal cases, which are brought in the name of the Crown. The result was that, until 1920 in England and Wales, King's and Queen's Counsel had to have a licence to appear in criminal cases for the defence; these restrictions had a number of consequences: they made the taking of "silk" something of a professional risk, because the appointment abolished at a stroke some of the staple work of the junior barrister. By the end of the twentieth century, all of these rules had been abolished one by one. Appointment as QC is now a matter of prestige only, with no formal disadvantages. Queen's Counsel were traditionally selected from barristers, rather than from lawyers in general, because they were counsel appointed to conduct court work on behalf of the Crown.
Although the limitations on private instruction were relaxed, QCs continued to be selected from barristers, who had the sole right of audience in the higher courts. The first woman appointed King's Counsel was Helen Kinnear in Canada in 1934; the first women to be appointed as King's Counsel in the United Kingdom were Helena Normanton and Rose Heilbron in 1949. In 1994 solicitors of England and Wales became entitled to gain rights of audience in the higher courts, some 275 were so entitled in 1995. In 1995, these solicitors alone became entitled to apply for appointment as Queen's Counsel, the first two solicitors were appointed on 27 March 1997, out of 68 new QCs; these were Arthur Marriott, partner of the London office of the American law firm of Wilmer Cutler and Pickering based in Washington, D. C. and Law
Penrhyn Castle is a country house in Llandygai, Gwynedd, North Wales, in the form of a Norman castle. It was a medieval fortified manor house, founded by Ednyfed Fychan. In 1438, Ioan ap Gruffudd was granted a licence to crenellate and he founded the stone castle and added a tower house. Samuel Wyatt reconstructed the property in the 1780s; the present building was created between about 1822 and 1837 to designs by Thomas Hopper, who expanded and transformed the building beyond recognition. However a spiral staircase from the original property can still be seen, a vaulted basement and other masonry were incorporated into the new structure. Hopper's client was George Hay Dawkins-Pennant, who had inherited the Penrhyn Estate on the death of his second cousin, The 1st Baron Penrhyn, who had made his fortune from slavery in Jamaica and local slate quarries; the eldest of George's two daughters, married an aristocratic Grenadier Guard, Edward Gordon Douglas, who, on inheriting the estate on George's death in 1840, adopted the hyphenated surname of Douglas-Pennant.
Edward, the grandson of The 14th Earl of Morton, was created The 1st Baron Penrhyn in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1866. The cost of the construction of this vast'castle' is disputed, difficult to work out as much of the timber came from the family's own forestry, much of the labour was acquired from within their own workforce at the slate quarry, it cost the Pennant family an estimated £150,000. This is the current equivalent to about £49,500,000. Penrhyn is one of the most admired of the numerous mock castles built in the United Kingdom in the 19th century; the castle is a picturesque composition that stretches over 600 feet from a tall donjon containing family rooms, through the main block built around the earlier house, to the service wing and the stables. It is built in a sombre style which allows it to possess something of the medieval fortress air despite the ground-level drawing room windows. Hopper designed all the principal interiors in a rich but restrained Norman style, with much fine plasterwork and wood and stone carving.
The castle has some specially designed Norman-style furniture, including a one-ton slate bed made for Queen Victoria when she visited in 1859. The 4th Baron Penrhyn died in June 1949, the castle and estate passed to his niece, Lady Janet Pelham, who, on inheritance, adopted the surname of Douglas-Pennant. In 1951, the castle and 40,000 acres of land were accepted by the treasury in lieu of death duties from Lady Janet, it now is open to the public. The site received 109,395 visitors in 2017. Penrhyn's attractions include a formal walled garden, extensive informal gardens, an adventure playground, picnic areas and woodland walks; the Penrhyn Castle Railway Museum, a narrow gauge railway museum. In the nineteenth century, Penrhyn Castle was the home of the Pennant family, owners of the Penrhyn slate quarry at Bethesda; the quarry was associated with the development of industrial narrow-gauge railways, in particular the Penrhyn Quarry Railway, one of the earliest industrial railways in the world.
The PQR ran close to Penrhyn Castle, when the castle was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1951 a small museum of industrial railway relics was created in the stable block. The first locomotive donated to the museum was Charles, one of the three remaining steam locomotives working on the PQR. Over the years a number of other significant British narrow-gauge locomotives and other artifacts have been added to the collection, it houses one of the finest art collections in Wales, with works by artists such as Canaletto, Richard Wilson, Carl Haag, Perino del Vaga, Palma Vecchio. The collection included a Rembrandt -; the family began collecting paintings from the early years of the 19th century. The castle has stunning views over the Menai Strait and Puffin Island. In 2014, David Haneke from the Welsh National Opera chose Penrhyn Castle as the location for the video design for the company's summer performance of Debussy's infamous The Fall of The House of Usher. Scenes filmed at the location were projected onto three separate screens during the performances.
A parkrun takes place in the grounds of the castle each Saturday morning and finishing at the castle gates. The fee to enter the castle grounds is waived for runners. Castles in Great Britain and Ireland List of castles in Wales List of gardens in Wales Penrhyn Castle information at the National Trust Illustrated Guide to Penrhyn Castle
Sir Love Jones-Parry, 1st Baronet
For his father, see Love Jones-Parry. Sir Thomas Duncombe Love Jones-Parry, 1st Baronet, was a British landowner, Liberal and one of the founders of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia. Love Jones-Parry inherited the Madryn estate near Nefyn from Sir Love Jones-Parry, he was educated at Rugby School and Oxford University, was High Sheriff of Caernarvonshire in 1854. He was a prominent figure in eisteddfodic circles, where he had the bardic name "Elphin". Jones-Parry rose to prominence in politics when he won the Caernarvonshire seat in the 1868 election, defeating the Tory candidate, Douglas Pennant, he lost this seat at the next election, but won the Caernarvon Boroughs seat at a by-election in 1882 and held it until 1886. He was made a baronet by Gladstone for his services to the Liberal Party. Towards the end of 1862 Captain Love Jones-Parry, accompanied by Lewis Jones, left for Patagonia to decide whether it was a suitable area for Welsh emigrants; the trip was financed by Jones-Parry, who paid at least £750 from his own pocket.
They first visited Buenos Aires where they held discussions with the Interior Minister Guillermo Rawson having come to an agreement, they headed south. They reached Patagonia in a small ship named the Candelaria, were driven by a storm into a bay which they named "Porth Madryn" after Jones-Parry's estate in Wales; the town which grew near the spot where they landed is now named Puerto Madryn. Following a favourable report from Jones-Parry and Lewis Jones, a group of 162 Welsh emigrants departed for Patagonia in the ship Mimosa in 1865. There was criticism that the report had given too favourable an impression of the area, though the criticism was directed at Lewis Jones rather than Love Jones-Parry. Dictionary of Welsh Biography Leigh Rayment's list of baronets Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs Project-Hiraeth – Documents the stories of the Welsh colony in Patagonia, Argentina through film and illustration. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Love Jones-Parry Photograph of Love Jones-Parry, c.1865
Strike action called labor strike, labour strike, or strike, is a work stoppage, caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became common during the Industrial Revolution, when mass labor became important in factories and mines. In most countries, strike actions were made illegal, as factory owners had far more power than workers. Most Western countries legalized striking in the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Strikes are sometimes used to pressure governments to change policies. Strikes destabilize the rule of a particular political party or ruler. Notable examples are the 1980 Gdańsk Shipyard, the 1981 Warning Strike, led by Lech Wałęsa; these strikes were significant in the long campaign of civil resistance for political change in Poland, were an important mobilizing effort that contributed to the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end of communist party rule in eastern Europe. The use of the English word "strike" was first seen in 1768, when sailors, in support of demonstrations in London, "struck" or removed the topgallant sails of merchant ships at port, thus crippling the ships.
Official publications have used the more neutral words "work stoppage" or "industrial dispute". The first certain account of strike action was towards the end of the 20th dynasty, under Pharaoh Ramses III in ancient Egypt on 14 November 1152 BC; the artisans of the Royal Necropolis at Deir el-Medina walked off their jobs because they had not been paid. The Egyptian authorities raised the wages. An early predecessor of the general strike may have been the secessio plebis in ancient Rome. In The Outline of History, H. G. Wells characterized this event as "the general strike of the plebeians, their first strike occurred because they "saw with indignation their friends, who had served the state bravely in the legions, thrown into chains and reduced to slavery at the demand of patrician creditors." The strike action only became a feature of the political landscape with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. For the first time in history, large numbers of people were members of the industrial working class.
By the 1830s, when the Chartist movement was at its peak in Britain, a true and widespread'workers consciousness' was awakening. In 1842 the demands for fairer wages and conditions across many different industries exploded into the first modern general strike. After the second Chartist Petition was presented to Parliament in April 1842 and rejected, the strike began in the coal mines of Staffordshire and soon spread through Britain affecting factories, mills in Lancashire and coal mines from Dundee to South Wales and Cornwall. Instead of being a spontaneous uprising of the mutinous masses, the strike was politically motivated and was driven by an agenda to win concessions; as much as half of the industrial work force were on strike at its peak – over 500,000 men. The local leadership marshalled a growing working class tradition to politically organize their followers to mount an articulate challenge to the capitalist, political establishment. Friedrich Engels, an observer in London at the time, wrote: by its numbers, this class has become the most powerful in England, woe betide the wealthy Englishmen when it becomes conscious of this fact...
The English proletarian is only just becoming aware of his power, the fruits of this awareness were the disturbances of last summer. As the 19th century progressed, strikes became a fixture of industrial relations across the industrialized world, as workers organized themselves to collectively bargain for better wages and standards with their employers. Karl Marx has condemned the theory of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon criminalizing strike action in his work The Poverty of Philosophy. In 1937 there were 4,740 strikes in the United States; this was the greatest strike wave in American labor history. The number of major strikes and lockouts in the U. S. fell by 97% from 381 in 1970 to 187 in 1980 to only 11 in 2010. Companies countered the threat of a strike by threatening to move a plant. International Covenant on Economic and Cultural Rights adopted in 1967 ensure the right to strike in Article 8 and European Social Charter adopted in 1961 ensure the right to strike in Article 6; the Farah Strike, 1972–1974, labeled the "strike of the century," and it was organized and led by Mexican American women predominantly in El Paso, Texas.
Most strikes are undertaken by labor unions during collective bargaining as a last resort. The object of collective bargaining is for the employer and the union to come to an agreement over wages and working conditions. A collective bargaining agreement may include a clause which prohibits the union from striking during the term of the agreement, known as a "no-strike clause." No-strike clauses arose in the United States following World War II. Some in the labor movement consider no-strike clauses to be an unnecessary detriment to unions in the collective bargaining process. Strikes are rare: according to the News Media Guild, 98% of union contracts in the United States are settled each of the 67 years without a strike. Workers decide to strike without the sanction of a labor union, either because the union refuses to endorse such a tactic, or because the workers concerned are non-unionized; such strikes are described as unofficial. Strikes without formal union authorization are known as wildcat strikes
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, domestically as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, the House of Commons; the two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London. The House of Lords includes two different types of members: the Lords Spiritual, consisting of the most senior bishops of the Church of England, the Lords Temporal, consisting of life peers, appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister, of 92 hereditary peers, sitting either by virtue of holding a royal office, or by being elected by their fellow hereditary peers.
Prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2009, the House of Lords performed a judicial role through the Law Lords. The House of Commons is an elected chamber with elections to 650 single member constituencies held at least every five years under the first-past-the-post system; the two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster in London. By constitutional convention, all government ministers, including the Prime Minister, are members of the House of Commons or, less the House of Lords and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature. Most cabinet ministers are from the Commons, whilst junior ministers can be from either House. However, the Leader of the House of Lords must be a peer; the Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union by Acts of Union passed by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, both Acts of Union stating, "That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament to be styled The Parliament of Great Britain".
At the start of the 19th century, Parliament was further enlarged by Acts of Union ratified by the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland that abolished the latter and added 100 Irish MPs and 32 Lords to the former to create the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 formally amended the name to the "Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", five years after the secession of the Irish Free State in 1922. With the global expansion of the British Empire, the UK Parliament has shaped the political systems of many countries as ex-colonies and so it has been called the "Mother of Parliaments". However, John Bright – who coined the epithet – used it in reference to the political culture of "England" rather than just the parliamentary system. In theory, the UK's supreme legislative power is vested in the Crown-in-Parliament. However, the Crown acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the powers of the House of Lords are limited to only delaying legislation.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was created on 1 January 1801, by the merger of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union 1800. The principle of ministerial responsibility to the lower House did not develop until the 19th century—the House of Lords was superior to the House of Commons both in theory and in practice. Members of the House of Commons were elected in an antiquated electoral system, under which constituencies of vastly different sizes existed. Thus, the borough of Old Sarum, with seven voters, could elect two members, as could the borough of Dunwich, which had completely disappeared into the sea due to land erosion. Many small constituencies, known as pocket or rotten boroughs, were controlled by members of the House of Lords, who could ensure the election of their relatives or supporters. During the reforms of the 19th century, beginning with the Reform Act 1832, the electoral system for the House of Commons was progressively regularised.
No longer dependent on the Lords for their seats, MPs grew more assertive. The supremacy of the British House of Commons was reaffirmed in the early 20th century. In 1909, the Commons passed the so-called "People's Budget", which made numerous changes to the taxation system which were detrimental to wealthy landowners; the House of Lords, which consisted of powerful landowners, rejected the Budget. On the basis of the Budget's popularity and the Lords' consequent unpopularity, the Liberal Party narrowly won two general elections in 1910. Using the result as a mandate, the Liberal Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith, introduced the Parliament Bill, which sought to restrict the powers of the House of Lords; when the Lords refused to pass the bill, Asquith countered with a promise extracted from the King in secret before the second general election of 1910 and requested the creation of several hundred Liberal peers, so as to erase the Conservative majority in the House of Lords. In the face of such a threat, the House of Lords narrowly passed the bill.
The Parliament Act 1911, as it became, prevented the Lords from blocking a money bill, allowed them to delay any other bill for a maximum of three sessions, after which it could become law over their objections. However, regardless of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, t
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
House of Commons of the United Kingdom
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House; the Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved; the House of Commons of England started to evolve in 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century; the "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as she or he retains the confidence of a majority of the Commons. Although it does not formally elect the prime minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. By convention, the prime minister is answerable to, must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of the House, or, most to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, while the leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since 1963, by convention, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Commons may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a motion of confidence or by passing a motion of no confidence. Confidence and no confidence motions are phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government." Many other motions were until recent decades considered confidence issues though not explicitly phrased as such: in particular, important bills that were part of the Government's agenda. The annual Budget is still considered a matter of confidence; when a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another MP who can command confidence, or to request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election. Parliament sits for a maximum term of five years. Subject to that limit, the prime minister could choose the timing of the dissolution of parliament, with the permission of the Monarch. However, since the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, terms are now a fixed five years, an early general election is brought about by a two-thirds majority in favour of a motion for a dissolution, or by a vote of no confidence, not followed within fourteen days by a vote of confidence.
By this second mechanism, the UK's government can change its political composition without an intervening general election. Only four of the eight last Prime Ministers have attained office as the immediate result of a general election; the latter four were Jim Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and the current Prime Minister Theresa May. In such circumstances there may not have been an internal party leadership election, as the new leader may be chosen by acclaim, having no electoral rival. A prime minister will resign after party defeat at an election if unable to lead a coalition, or obtain a confidence and supply arrangement, she or he may resign after a motion of no confidence or for health reasons. In such cases, the premiership goes to, it has become the practice to write the constitution of major UK political parties to provide a set way in which to appoint a new leader. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no fixed mechanism for this, it fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new prime minister, after taking the consensus of cabinet ministers.
By convention, ministers are members of the House of House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who were outside Parliament, but in most cases they entered Parliament in a by-election or by receiving a peerage. Exceptions include Peter Mandelson, appointed Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in October 2008 before his peerage. Since 1902, all prime ministers have been members of the Commons; the new session of Parliament was delayed to await the outcome of his by-election, which happened