Norman Peter Lamb is a British Liberal Democrat politician and solicitor. He has been the Member of Parliament for North Norfolk since 2001 and chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee since 2017. Lamb was a candidate in the 2015 Liberal Democrats leadership election, he served most as Minister of State for Care and Support in the Department of Health, as Minister of State for Employment Relations in the Department for Business and Skills, earlier as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government. Lamb was born in Watford, the son of climatologist Professor Hubert Lamb and the great-grandson of the mathematician Sir Horace Lamb, he went to Wymondham College in Norfolk the University of Leicester, graduating with an LLB. After his graduation, Lamb worked as a solicitor, he began to specialise in employment law whilst working for Co Solicitors. His book, Remedies in the Employment Tribunal: Damages for Discrimination and Unfair Dismissal was published in 1998.
Lamb worked for a year as a researcher for Labour MP Greville Janner in the early 1980s. A meeting with Shirley Williams in Parliament at this time, shortly after the formation in 1981 of the SDP-Liberal Alliance, spurred Lamb into front line active politics and he was elected to Norwich City Council where he led the Lib Dem group until he stood down in 1991 in order to pursue his Westminster ambitions. Having first stood for election in North Norfolk in 1992, when the Conservative majority was reduced, he came close to a major shock in the 1997 general election when he reduced a Conservative majority of 12,545 to only 1,293 votes, he was elected in 2001, at the third attempt, narrowly defeating the incumbent Conservative MP David Prior by 483 votes. He was re-elected in 2005 with a increased majority of 10,606, despite an effort by the Conservatives and their candidate Iain Dale to unseat him in what was one of their foremost target seats, he was re-elected for a second time in 2010 with a majority of 11,626.
Norman Lamb's first appointment, after being elected, was as a Liberal Democrat spokesman on International Development. Soon after this, he was chosen by party leader Charles Kennedy to act as his Parliamentary Private Secretary. After the 2005 general election, Lamb was promoted and appointed Liberal Democrat Trade spokesman, securing the endorsement of the Liberal Democrat Spring 2006 Conference for a policy to part-privatise the Royal Mail, to use the proceeds to invest in a publicly owned Post Office network. In March 2006, he moved to the post of Chief of Staff to the newly elected leader, Sir Menzies Campbell. In December 2006, he became the party's Health spokesman and was succeeded by Ed Davey as Campbell's Chief of Staff. At the 2010 General Election, Lamb was returned for a third term as North Norfolk's MP. Lamb secured a larger majority than before, both in absolute votes. Following the formation of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat administration in May 2010, Lamb was appointed a parliamentary private secretary to Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nick Clegg.
On 3 February 2012, Norman Lamb was promoted to the role of junior minister in the Department for Business and Skills after Ed Davey was appointed Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change following the resignation of Chris Huhne consequent on his prosecution and resignation from Parliament. In January 2015, The Daily Telegraph highlighted a £497,000 grant to upgrade Sheringham railway station in Lamb's constituency as an example of non-essential money being spent in marginal Coalition constituencies ahead of the General election and accused the government of "electioneering on the taxpayer". Lamb had announced the additional spend as "fantastic news" for the area, with Downing Street subsequently denying that either the funding or Lamb's role in announcing the funding was linked to electoral objectives. At the 2015 General Election, Lamb was returned to Westminster with a reduced majority. At the same election, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party was reduced to eight members. Lamb stood in a contest he lost to Tim Farron in July.
Lamb was re-elected at the 2017 election with a majority of 6.7%. On 12 July 2017, Lamb beat fellow Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson to become the chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee by 343 votes to Swinson's 222. In April 2018, Lamb had a stroke which he attributed to not enough sleep. Shortly after the stroke, Lamb told the Eastern Daily Press. I’ve got to work smarter; when a doctor tells you about the importance of sleep you have to take notice... I am kicking myself. I am determined to learn a lesson'. Lamb is concerned that the number of GP's willing to work in poor areas is falling and Lamb would like doctors paid a patient premium to work with poor patients. Lamb said, “These figures show a disturbing trend given that low-income areas were under-doctored before this latest fall took place”. Lamb is concerned over public spending cuts and a possible no deal Brexit, Lamb wrote, "Outrageous! A homelessness crisis, care for elderly & disabled people close to collapse, funds for special needs children cut, people with mental ill health waiting far too long for treatment - and Gov spends billions on preparing for no deal Brexit, avoidable!"
He married Mary in 1984, they have two sons. They live in Norwich
Reform Act 1867
The Representation of the People Act 1867, 30 & 31 Vict. c. 102 was a piece of British legislation that enfranchised part of the urban male working class in England and Wales for the first time. It received Royal Assent by the British Crown on August 15, 1867, following its passage by UK Parliament to take enactment in stages over the next couple of years, culminating in full enactment on January 1, 1869. Before the Act, only one million of the seven million adult males in England and Wales could vote. Moreover, by the end of 1868 all male heads of household were enfranchised as a result of the end of compounding of rents. However, the Act introduced only a negligible redistribution of seats; the overall intent was to help the Conservative Party, yet it resulted in their loss of the 1868 general election. For the decades after the Great Reform Act of 1832, cabinets had resisted attempts to push through further reform, in particular left unfulfilled the six demands of the Chartist movement. After 1848, this movement declined and elite opinion began to change.
It was thus only 28 years after the initial, quite modest, Great Reform Act that leading politicians thought it prudent to introduce further electoral reform. Lord John Russell, who in 1861 became the first Earl Russell, attempted this in 1860; when Palmerston died in 1865, the floodgates for reform were opened. The Union victory in the American Civil War in 1865 emboldened the forces in Britain that demanded more democracy and public input into the political system, to the dismay of the upper class landed gentry who identified with the US Southern States planters and feared the loss of influence and a popular radical movement. Influential commentators included Walter Bagehot, Thomas Carlyle, Anthony Trollope, Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill. In 1866, the Prime Minister, Lord Russell, introduced a Reform Bill, it was a cautious bill, which proposed to enfranchise "respectable" working men, excluding unskilled workers and what was known as the "residuum", those seen by MPs as the "feckless and criminal" poor.
This was ensured by a £7 householder qualification, calculated to require an income of 26 shillings a week. This entailed two "fancy franchises," emulating measures of 1854, a £10 lodger qualification for the boroughs, a £50 savings qualification in the counties. Liberals claimed that'the middle classes, strengthened by the best of the artisans, would still have the preponderance of power'; when it came to the vote, this bill split the Liberal Party: a split engineered by Benjamin Disraeli, who incited those threatened by the bill to rise up against it. On one side were the reactionary conservative Liberals, known as the Adullamites; the Adullamites were supported by Tories and the liberal Whigs were supported by radicals and reformists. The bill was thus defeated and the Liberal government of Russell resigned; the Conservatives formed a ministry on 26 June 1866, led by Lord Derby as Prime Minister and Disraeli as Chancellor of the Exchequer. They were faced with the challenge of reviving Conservatism: Palmerston, the powerful Liberal leader, was dead and the Liberal Party split and defeated.
Thanks to manoeuvring by Disraeli, Derby's Conservatives saw an opportunity to be a strong, viable party of government. The Adullamites, led by Robert Lowe, had been working with the Conservative Party; the Adullamites were anti-reform, as were the Conservatives, but the Adullamites declined the invitation to enter into Government with the Conservatives as they thought that they could have more influence from an independent position. Despite the fact that he had blocked the Liberal Reform Bill, in February 1867, Disraeli introduced his own Reform Bill into the House of Commons. By this time the attitude of many in the country had ceased to be apathetic regarding reform of the House of Commons. Huge meetings the ‘Hyde Park riots', the feeling that many of the skilled working class were respectable, had persuaded many that there should be a Reform Bill. However, wealthy Conservative MP Lord Cranborne resigned his government ministry in disgust at the bill's introduction; the Reform League, agitating for universal suffrage, became much more active, organized demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people in Manchester and other towns.
Though these movements did not use revolutionary language as some Chartists had in the 1840s, they were powerful movements. The high point came. Thousands of troops and policemen were prepared, but the crowds were so huge that the government did not dare to attack; the Home Secretary, Spencer Walpole, was forced to resign. Faced with the possibility of popular revolt going much further, the government included into the bill amendments which enfranchised far more people; the bill was more far-reaching than any Members of Parliament had thought possible or wanted. An amendment tabled by the opposition trebled the new number entitled to vote under the bill; the bill enfranchised most men. The final proposals were as follows: a borough franchise for all who paid rates in person, extra votes
2010 United Kingdom general election
The 2010 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 6 May 2010, with 45,597,461 registered voters entitled to vote to elect members to the House of Commons. The election took place in 650 constituencies across the United Kingdom under the first-past-the-post system. None of the parties achieved the 326 seats needed for an overall majority; the Conservative Party, led by David Cameron, won the largest number of votes and seats, but still fell 20 seats short. This resulted in a hung parliament where no party was able to command a majority in the House of Commons; this was only the second general election since the Second World War to return a hung parliament, the first being the February 1974 election. Unlike in 1974, the potential for a hung parliament had this time been considered and predicted, both the country and politicians were better prepared for the constitutional process that would follow such a result; the coalition government, subsequently formed was the first coalition in British history to eventuate directly from an election outcome.
The hung parliament came about in spite of the Conservatives managing both a higher vote total and higher share of the vote than the previous Labour government had done in 2005, when it secured a comfortable majority. Coalition talks began between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, lasted for five days. There was an aborted attempt to put together a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition. To facilitate this, Gordon Brown announced on the evening of Monday 10 May that he would resign as Leader of the Labour Party. Realising that a deal with the Conservatives was within reach, the next day on Tuesday 11 May, Brown announced his resignation as Prime Minister, marking the end of 13 years of Labour government; this was accepted by Queen Elizabeth II, who invited David Cameron to form a government in her name and become Prime Minister. Just after midnight on 12 May, the Liberal Democrats emerged from a meeting of their Parliamentary party and Federal Executive to announce that the coalition deal had been "approved overwhelmingly", sealing a coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
None of the three main party leaders had led a general election campaign, a situation which had not occurred since the 1979 election. During the campaign, the three main party leaders engaged in a series of televised debates, the first such debates in a UK general election campaign; the Liberal Democrats achieved a breakthrough in opinion polls after the first debate, in which their leader Nick Clegg was seen as the strongest performer. Nonetheless, on polling day their share of the vote increased by only 1% over the previous general election, they suffered a net loss of five seats; this was still the Liberal Democrats' largest popular vote since the party's creation in 1988, they found themselves in a pivotal role in the formation of the new government. The share of votes for parties other than Labour or the Conservatives was 35%, the largest since the 1918 general election. In terms of votes it was the most "three-cornered" election since 1923, in terms of seats since 1929; the Green Party of England and Wales won its first seat in the House of Commons, the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland gained its first elected member.
The general election saw a 5.1% national swing from Labour to the Conservatives, the third-largest since 1945. The result in one constituency, Oldham East and Saddleworth, was subsequently declared void on petition because of illegal practices during the campaign, the first such instance since 1910; the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, went to Buckingham Palace on 6 April and asked the Queen to dissolve Parliament on 12 April, confirming in a live press conference in Downing Street, as had long been speculated, that the election would be held on 6 May, five years since the previous election on 5 May 2005. The election took place on 6 May in 649 constituencies across the United Kingdom, under the first-past-the-post system, for seats in the House of Commons. Voting in the Thirsk and Malton constituency was postponed for three weeks because of the death of a candidate; the governing Labour Party had campaigned to secure a fourth consecutive term in office and to restore support lost since 2001. The Conservative Party sought to gain a dominant position in British politics after losses in the 1990s, to replace Labour as the governing party.
The Liberal Democrats hoped to make gains from both sides and hoped to hold the balance of power in a hung parliament. Since the televised debates between the three leaders, their poll ratings had risen to the point where many considered the possibility of a Liberal Democrat role in Government. Polls just before election day saw a slight swing from the Liberal Democrats back to Labour and Conservatives, with the majority of final polls falling within one point of Conservatives 36%, Labour 29%, Liberal Democrats 23%. However, record numbers of undecided voters raised uncertainty about the outcome; the Scottish National Party, encouraged by their victory in the 2007 Scottish parliament elections, set itself a target of 20 MPs and was hoping to find itself holding a balance of power. Plaid Cymru sought gains in Wales. Smaller parties which had had successes at local elections and the 2009 European elections looked to extend their representation to seats in the House of Commons; the Democratic Unionist Party looked to maintain, if not extend, its number of seats, having been the fourth largest party in the House of Commons.
The key dates were: This election had an unusually high number of MPs choosing not to seek re-election with
Liberal Democrats (UK)
The Liberal Democrats are a liberal political party in the United Kingdom. They have 11 Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, 96 members of the House of Lords, one member of the European Parliament, five Members of the Scottish Parliament and one member in the Welsh Assembly and London Assembly. At the height of its influence, the party formed a coalition government with the Conservative Party from 2010 to 2015 with its leader Nick Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister, it is led by Sir Vince Cable. In 1981, an electoral alliance was established between the Liberal Party, a group, the direct descendent of the 18th-century Whigs, the Social Democratic Party, a splinter group from the Labour Party. In 1988 this alliance was formalised as the Liberal Democrats. Under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy, the party grew during the 1990s and 2000s, focusing its campaigning on specific seats and becoming the third largest party in the House of Commons. Under its leader Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats were junior partners in a coalition government headed by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, with Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister.
The coalition damaged the Liberal Democrats' electoral prospects: the party was reduced from 57 to 8 seats at the 2015 election. Positioned in the centre ground of British politics, the Liberal Democrats are ideologically liberal. Emphasising stronger protections for civil liberties, the party promotes liberal approaches to issues like LGBT rights, education policy, criminal justice. Different factions take different approaches to economic issues; the party is pro-Europeanist, supporting continued UK membership of the European Union and greater European integration. It calls for electoral reform with a transition from the first-past-the-post voting system to one of proportional representation. Other policies have included further environmental protections and drug liberalisation laws, while it has opposed certain UK military engagements like the Iraq War; the party is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and Liberal International. The Liberal Democrats are strongest in northern Scotland, southwest London, southwest England, mid-Wales.
The Liberal Democrats were formed on 3 March 1988 by a merger between the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party, which had formed a pact nearly seven years earlier as the SDP–Liberal Alliance. The Liberal Party, founded in 1859, were descended from the Whigs and Peelites, while the SDP were a party created in 1981 by former Labour Party members, MPs and cabinet ministers, but gained defections from the Conservative Party. Having declined to third party status after the rise of the Labour Party from 1918 and during the 1920s, the Liberals were challenged for this position in the 1980s when a group of Labour MPs broke away and established the Social Democratic Party; the SDP and the Liberals realised that there was no space for two political parties of the centre and entered into the SDP–Liberal Alliance so that they would not stand against each other in elections. The Alliance was led by Roy Jenkins; the two parties had their own policies and emphases, but produced a joint manifesto for the 1983 and 1987 general elections.
Following disappointing results in the 1987 election, Steel proposed to merge the two parties. Although opposed by Owen, it was supported by a majority of members of both parties, they formally merged in March 1988, with Steel and Robert Maclennan as joint interim leaders; the new party was named Social and Liberal Democrats with the unofficial short form The Democrats being used from September 1988. The name was subsequently changed to Liberal Democrats in October 1989, shortened to Lib Dems; the new party logo, the Bird of Liberty, was adopted in 1989. The minority of the SDP who rejected the merger remained under Owen's leadership in a rump SDP. Michael Meadowcroft joined the Liberal Democrats in 2007 but some of his former followers continue still as the Liberal Party, most notably in a couple of electoral wards of the cities of Liverpool and Peterborough; the then-serving Liberal MP Paddy Ashdown was elected leader in July 1988. At the 1989 European Elections, the party received only 6% of the vote, putting them in fourth place after the Green Party.
They failed to gain a single Member of the European Parliament at this election. Over the next three years, the party recovered under Ashdown's leadership, they performed better at the 1990 local elections and in by-elections—including at Eastbourne in 1990 which saw the first success by a Liberal Democrat standing for parliament. They had further successes in Ribble Valley and Kincardine & Deeside in 1991; the Lib Dems did not reach the share of national votes in the 1990s that the Alliance had achieved in the 1980s. At their first election in 1992, they won 17.8 % of twenty seats. In the 1994 European Elections, the party gained its first two Members of European Parliament. Following the election of Tony Blair as Labour leader in July 1994 after the death of his predecessor John Smith, Ashdown pursued co-operation between the two parties becaus
Hellesdon is a village and suburb of Norwich in the District of Broadland in Norfolk, England. It lies four miles north-west of Norwich and has a population of 11,132, according to the 2011 Census. Norwich International Airport is located near the village. Hellesdon has signs of early settlement. A variety of flint instruments have been unearthed in and around Hellesdon, thought to date back at least 4,000 years. A collection of bronze axe heads were found near Hellesdon Hall, a skeleton dating from around 600 AD was discovered next to Hellesdon Lodge in Low Road; the Dictionary of British Place-names indicates that the name Hellesdon comes from Hægelisdun, meaning'hill of a man named Hægel', with the spelling having changed to Hailesduna by 1086. Hægelisdun is recorded in tradition as the location where King Edmund was killed by Viking invaders in 869, although there is no consensus on the location of this event. Hellesdon was one of several manors owned in the fifteenth century by Sir John Fastolf, the original of Shakespeare's Falstaff, as with other of his properties, his death in 1459 led to something close to a private war between the Paston family and John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk for its possession.
In the 1880s, the railway reached Hellesdon, linking it to nearby Norwich, bur Hellesdon railway station closed in the 1950s. In 1915 Mann Egerton built H1s, Type B seaplanes in Hellesdon. In the 1920s, construction of the Norwich ring road began. From 1930-64, motorcycle speedway team the Norwich Stars raced at the old Firs raceway. Ove Fundin was World Speedway Champion on a number of occasions in the early 1960s; the stadium was sold for housing in 1964. The area has now developed into a major suburb of Norwich. Hellesdon has a number of small independent shops. A large Asda superstore opened in 1983, a petrol filling station was added to the store site in 1990; the area has a B&Q store, six schools, Norwich International Airport. The high school, Hellesdon High School, is a leading-edge academy. Norwich airport is owned by the Rigby Group, flights travel to destinations throughout Europe, as well as the British Isles. There is a library, a community centre for use by local clubs such as Hellesdon Horticultural Association.
The local football team, Hellesdon FC, play at the community centre. The community centre was used to hold the World Cycle Speedway champion ships in 1987. One pub remains in The Whiffler; the former pub The Man On The Moon is now the Hellesdon doctor's surgery. Another former pub, The Bignold Arms, is now a fish restaurant and takeaway, "The Firs" is now a Tesco Express; the Falcon is now a Co-op Daily. Hellesdon has a large psychiatric hospital; the parish church of St Mary is a grade II * listed building. Hellesdon was one of the places in Norfolk depicted by the Norfolk School artist, John Middleton
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
The European Parliament is the only parliamentary institution of the European Union, directly elected by EU citizens aged 18 or older. Together with the Council of the European Union, which should not be confused with the European Council and the Council of Europe, it exercises the legislative function of the EU; the Parliament is composed of 751 members, that will become 705 starting from the 2019–2024 legislature, who represent the second-largest democratic electorate in the world and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world. It has been directly elected by the European citizens every five years and by universal suffrage since 1979. However, voter turnout at European Parliament elections has fallen consecutively at each election since that date, has been under 50% since 1999. Voter turnout in 2014 stood at 42.54% of all European voters. Although the European Parliament has legislative power, as does the Council, it does not formally possess legislative initiative, as most national parliaments of European Union member states do.
The Parliament is the "first institution" of the EU, shares equal legislative and budgetary powers with the Council. It has equal control over the EU budget; the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, is accountable to Parliament. In particular, Parliament elects the President of the Commission, approves the appointment of the Commission as a whole, it can subsequently force the Commission as a body to resign by adopting a motion of censure. The President of the European Parliament is Antonio Tajani, elected in January 2017, he presides over a multi-party chamber, the two largest groups being the Group of the European People's Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. The last union-wide elections were the 2014 elections; the European Parliament has three places of work -- Luxembourg City and Strasbourg. Luxembourg City is home to the administrative offices. Meetings of the whole Parliament take place in Brussels. Committee meetings are held in Brussels; the Parliament, like the other institutions, was not designed in its current form when it first met on 10 September 1952.
One of the oldest common institutions, it began as the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community. It was a consultative assembly of 78 appointed parliamentarians drawn from the national parliaments of member states, having no legislative powers; the change since its foundation was highlighted by Professor David Farrell of the University of Manchester: "For much of its life, the European Parliament could have been justly labelled a'multi-lingual talking shop'."Its development since its foundation shows how the European Union's structures have evolved without a clear "master plan". Some, such as Tom Reid of the Washington Post, said of the union: "nobody would have deliberately designed a government as complex and as redundant as the EU"; the Parliament's two seats, which have switched several times, are a result of various agreements or lack of agreements. Although most MEPs would prefer to be based just in Brussels, at John Major's 1992 Edinburgh summit, France engineered a treaty amendment to maintain Parliament's plenary seat permanently at Strasbourg.
The body was not mentioned in the original Schuman Declaration. It was assumed or hoped that difficulties with the British would be resolved to allow the Council of Europe's Assembly to perform the task. A separate Assembly was introduced during negotiations on the Treaty as an institution which would counterbalance and monitor the executive while providing democratic legitimacy; the wording of the ECSC Treaty demonstrated the leaders' desire for more than a normal consultative assembly by using the term "representatives of the people" and allowed for direct election. Its early importance was highlighted when the Assembly was given the task of drawing up the draft treaty to establish a European Political Community. By this document, the Ad Hoc Assembly was established on 13 September 1952 with extra members, but after the failure of the proposed European Defence Community the project was dropped. Despite this, the European Economic Community and Euratom were established in 1958 by the Treaties of Rome.
The Common Assembly was shared by all three communities and it renamed itself the European Parliamentary Assembly. The first meeting was held on 19 March 1958 having been set up in Luxembourg City, it elected Schuman as its president and on 13 May it rearranged itself to sit according to political ideology rather than nationality; this is seen as the birth of the modern European Parliament, with Parliament's 50 years celebrations being held in March 2008 rather than 2002. The three communities merged their remaining organs as the European Communities in 1967, the body's name was changed to the current "European Parliament" in 1962. In 1970 the Parliament was granted power over areas of the Communities' budget, which were expanded to the whole budget in 1975. Under the Rome Treaties, the Parliament should have become elected. However, the Council was required to agree a uni