Field marshal (United Kingdom)
Field Marshal has been the highest rank in the British Army since 1736. A five-star rank with NATO code OF-10, it is equivalent to an Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy or a Marshal of the Royal Air Force in the Royal Air Force. A Field Marshal's insignia consists of two crossed batons surrounded by yellow leaves below St Edward's Crown. Like Marshals of the RAF and Admirals of the Fleet, Field Marshals traditionally remain officers for life, though on half-pay when not in an appointment; the rank has been used sporadically throughout its history and was vacant during parts of the 18th and 19th centuries. After the Second World War, it became standard practice to appoint the Chief of the Imperial General Staff to the rank on his last day in the post. Army officers occupying the post of Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of all the British Armed Forces, were promoted to the rank upon their appointment. In total, 141 men have held the rank of field marshal; the majority led careers in the British Army or the British Indian Army, rising through the ranks to become a field marshal.
Some members of the British Royal Family—most Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Charles, Prince of Wales—were promoted to the rank after shorter periods of service. Three British monarchs—George V, Edward VIII, George VI— assumed the rank on their accessions to the throne, while Edward VII was a field marshal, two British consorts—Albert, Prince Consort and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh—were appointed by their respective queens. Other ceremonial appointments were made as diplomatic gestures. Twelve foreign monarchs held the honour, though three were stripped of it when their countries became enemies of Britain and her allies in the two world wars. Awarded the rank were one Frenchman and one Australian, honoured for their contributions to World War I and World War II and one foreign statesman. A report commissioned by the Ministry of Defence in 1995 made a number of recommendations for financial savings in the armed forces' budget, one of, the abolition of the five-star ranks. Part of the rationale was that these ranks were disproportionate to the size of the forces commanded by these officers and that none of the United Kingdom's close allies, such as the United States, used such ranks.
The recommendation was not taken up in full, but the practice of promoting service chiefs to five-star ranks was stopped and the ranks are now reserved for special circumstances. Sir Peter Inge was, in the last active officer to be promoted to the rank. Inge relinquished the post of Chief of the Defence Staff in 1997 and his successor, Sir Charles Guthrie, was the first officer not to be promoted upon appointment as CDS; the most recent promotions to field marshal came in 2012, eighteen years after the moratorium on routine promotions to the rank, when Queen Elizabeth II promoted Prince Charles, her son and heir apparent, to the five-star ranks in all three services, in recognition of support provided for her in her capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces. At the same time, who relinquished the post of CDS and retired from active service in 2001, was promoted to honorary field marshal. In June 2014 former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Walker of Aldringham was promoted to honorary field marshal.
Although the rank of field marshal is not used in the Royal Marines, the insignia is used on the uniform of the Captain General, the ceremonial head of the corps. The rank insignia of a field marshal in the British Army comprises two crossed batons in a wreath of oak leaves, with a crown above. In some other countries under the sphere of British influence, an adapted version of the insignia is used for field marshals with the crown being replaced with an alternative cultural or national emblem. On appointment, British field marshals are awarded a gold-tipped baton which they may carry on formal occasions; the vast majority of officers to hold the rank of field marshal were professional soldiers in the British Army, though eleven served as officers in the British Indian Army. At least fifty-seven field marshals were wounded in battle earlier in their careers, of whom 24 were wounded more than once, eight had been prisoners of war. Fifteen future field marshals were present at the Battle of Vitoria, where the Duke of Wellington earned the rank, ten others served under Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo.
However, only thirty-eight held independent commands in the field, just twelve served as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces or Chief of the Imperial General Staff during a major war. Four field marshals—Sir Evelyn Wood, Sir George White, Earl Roberts, Lord Gort—had received the Victoria Cross, the United Kingdom's highest and most prestigious award for gallantry "in the face of the enemy". Wood, a famously injury-prone officer, was awarded the VC for two actions in 1858 in which he first attacked a group of rebels in India and rescued an informant from another group of rebels. White, a cavalry officer, led two charges on enemy guns in Afghanistan in 1879, while Gort, of the Grenadier Guards, commanded a series of attacks while wounded during the First World War in 1918. Roberts received his VC for actions during the Indian Mutiny. Wellington, 44 at the time of his promotion, was the youngest non-royal officer to earn the ra
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
Parliament of Great Britain
The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. The Acts created a new unified Kingdom of Great Britain and dissolved the separate English and Scottish parliaments in favour of a single parliament, located in the former home of the English parliament in the Palace of Westminster, near the City of London; this lasted nearly a century, until the Acts of Union 1800 merged the separate British and Irish Parliaments into a single Parliament of the United Kingdom with effect from 1 January 1801. Following the Treaty of Union in 1706, Acts of Union ratifying the Treaty were passed in both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, which created a new Kingdom of Great Britain; the Acts dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new parliament, referred to as the'Parliament of Great Britain', based in the home of the former English parliament. All of the traditions and standing orders of the English parliament were retained, as were the incumbent officers, members representing England comprised the overwhelming majority of the new body.
It was not considered necessary to hold a new general election. While Scots law and Scottish legislation remained separate, new legislation was thereafter to be enacted by the new parliament. After the Hanoverian King George I ascended the British throne in 1714 through the Act of Settlement of 1701, real power continued to shift away from the monarchy. George was a German ruler, spoke poor English, remained interested in governing his dominions in continental Europe rather than in Britain, he thus entrusted power to a group of his ministers, the foremost of whom was Sir Robert Walpole, by the end of his reign in 1727 the position of the ministers — who had to rely on Parliament for support — was cemented. George I's successor, his son George II, continued to follow through with his father's domestic policies and made little effort to re-establish monarchical control over the government, now in firm control by Parliament. By the end of the 18th century the monarch still had considerable influence over Parliament, dominated by the English aristocracy, by means of patronage, but had ceased to exert direct power: for instance, the last occasion on which the Royal Assent was withheld was in 1708 by Queen Anne.
At general elections the vote was restricted to freeholders and landowners, in constituencies that had changed little since the Middle Ages, so that in many "rotten" and "pocket" boroughs seats could be bought, while major cities remained unrepresented, except by the Knights of the Shire representing whole counties. Reformers and Radicals sought parliamentary reform, but as the French Revolutionary Wars developed the British government became repressive against dissent and progress towards reform was stalled. George II's successor, George III, sought to restore royal supremacy and absolute monarchy, but by the end of his reign the position of the king's ministers — who discovered that they needed the support of Parliament to enact any major changes — had become central to the role of British governance, would remain so after. During the first half of George III's reign, the monarch still had considerable influence over Parliament, which itself was dominated by the patronage and influence of the English nobility.
Most candidates for the House of Commons were identified as Whigs or Tories, but once elected they formed shifting coalitions of interests rather than dividing along clear party lines. At general elections the vote was restricted in most places to property owners, in constituencies which were out of date and did not reflect the growing importance of manufacturing towns or shifts of population, so that in the rotten and pocket boroughs seats in parliament could be bought from the rich landowners who controlled them, while major cities remained unrepresented. Reformers like William Beckford and Radicals beginning with John Wilkes called for reform of the system. In 1780, a draft programme of reform was drawn up by Charles James Fox and Thomas Brand Hollis and put forward by a sub-committee of the electors of Westminster; this included calls for the six points adopted by the Chartists. The American Revolutionary War ended in the defeat of a foreign policy seeking to forcibly restore the thirteen American colonies to British rule which King George III had fervently advocated, in March 1782 the king was forced to appoint an administration led by his opponents which sought to curb royal patronage.
In November 1783 he took the opportunity to use his influence in the House of Lords to defeat a bill to reform the British East India Company, dismissed the government of the day, appointed William Pitt the Younger to form a new government. Pitt had called for Parliament to begin to reform itself, but he did not press for long for reforms the king did not like. Proposals Pitt made in April 1785 to redistribute seats from the "rotten boroughs" to London and the counties were defeated in the House of Commons by 248 votes to 174. In the wake of the French Revolution of 1789, Radical organisations such as the London Corresponding Society sprang up to press for parliamentary reform, but as the French Revolutionary Wars developed the government took extensive repressive measures against feared domestic unrest aping the democratic and egalitarian ideals of the French Revolution and progress toward reform was stalled for decades. In 1801, the Parliament of the United Kingdom was created when the Kingdom of Great Britain was merged with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union 1800.
List of Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain List of Parliaments of Great Britain First Parliament of Great Br
Thomas Grosvenor (British Army officer)
Field Marshal Thomas Grosvenor was a British Army officer. After serving as a junior officer defending the Bank of England during the Gordon Riots he took part in the Flanders Campaign including the retreat into Germany during the French Revolutionary Wars, he served as a brigade commander at the Battle of Copenhagen and was deployed to Walcheren in the Netherlands where he served as deputy commander of a division led by Sir Eyre Coote during the disastrous Walcheren Campaign. Born the third son of Thomas Grosvenor and Deborah Grosvenor, Grosvenor was educated at Westminster School and commissioned into the 1st Foot Guards on 1 October 1779, he was in charge of security at the Bank of England during the Gordon Riots in 1780. Promoted to captain on 20 April 1784 and lieutenant-colonel on 25 April 1793, he took part in the Flanders Campaign including the retreat into Germany in Spring 1795 during the French Revolutionary Wars. Grosvenor succeeded his father as Whig Member of Parliament for Chester in 1795.
He took part in the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland in August 1799 and was promoted to brigadier-general while serving under Sir Ralph Abercromby in Holland on 18 November 1800. In parliament he opposed the bill against bull-baiting introduced in 1802. Promoted to major-general on 29 April 1802, Grosvenor held various brigade commands in Southern England between 1803 and 1805, he had a keen interest in horse racing and his horse, won The Oaks in June 1807. Grosvenor served as a brigade commander at the Battle of Copenhagen in August 1807 for which he was rewarded with promotion to lieutenant-general on 25 April 1808. However, in Autumn 1809 he was deployed to Walcheren in the Netherlands where he served as deputy commander of a division led by Sir Eyre Coote during the disastrous Walcheren Campaign which ended in failure when many of the British troops died of malaria. In January 1810 he spoke in Parliament in support of Lord Porchester's demands for an inquiry into the disastrous expedition that had taken place the previous year and with which Grosvenor had been so associated.
Grosvenor was promoted to full general on 12 August 1819. In 1820 he had a fortunate escape during the Cato Street Conspiracy when an angry mob overturned his carriage into the River Dee. Around the same time he started renting the Warren House in Loughton as it was on the way to Newmarket Racecourse, he stood down as Member of Parliament for Chester in 1826 to make way for his cousin's son, Robert Grosvenor, instead became Member of Parliament for Stockbridge. In June 1825 another of Thomas Grosvenor's horses, won the Epsom Oakes, he retired from parliament in 1830. Grosvenor served as honorary colonel of the 97th Regiment of Foot in 1807 and as honorary colonel of the 65th Regiment of Foot from 1814 to his death, he was promoted to field marshal on 9 November 1846 and died at his home, Mount Ararat at Richmond Hill on 20 June 1851. In 1797 Grosvenor married Elizabeth Heathcote. There were no children from either marriage. Heathcote, Tony; the British Field Marshals, 1736–1997: A Biographical Dictionary.
Barnsley: Leo Cooper. ISBN 0-85052-696-5. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Thomas Grosvenor
City of Chester (UK Parliament constituency)
The City of Chester is a constituency created in 1545 and represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2015 by Chris Matheson of the Labour Party. The constituency covers the English city of Chester on the border of Wales and parts of the surrounding Cheshire West and Chester unitary authority, including the villages of: Aldford, Christleton, Guilden Sutton, Newtown and Saughall. Much of the city of Chester itself is residential of varying characteristics, with more middle-class areas such as Upton and the large rural former council estate of Blacon which is, except where purchased under the right to buy. 1918-1950: The County Borough of Chester, the Urban District of Hoole, the Rural District of Chester. 1950-1974: As prior but with redrawn boundaries. 1974-1983: The County Borough of Chester, the Rural District of Chester. Hoole Urban District had been absorbed by the County Borough of Chester in 1954, but the constituency boundaries remained unchanged. 1983-1997: The City of Chester wards of Blacon Hall, Boughton Heath, College, Dee Point, Grosvenor, Newton, Plas Newton, Upton Grange, Upton Heath, Vicars Cross, Westminster.
1997-2010: The City of Chester wards of Blacon Hall, Boughton Heath, College, Dee Point, Grosvenor, Mollington, Plas Newton, Sealand, Upton Grange, Upton Heath, Vicars Cross, Westminster. 2010-present: The City of Chester wards of Blacon Hall, Blacon Lodge, Boughton Heath, City and St Anne's, College and Westminster, Handbridge and St Mary's, Hoole All Saints, Hoole Groves, Lache Park, Newton Brook, Newton St Michael's, Upton Grange, Upton Westlea, Vicars Cross. Pre 1918As part of a county palatine with a parliament of its own until the early-sixteenth century, Chester was not enfranchised until an Act of 1543 since which it returned two MPs to Parliament as a parliamentary borough until the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 was passed. For most of the nineteenth century, the seat was held by the Whigs and the Liberals until 1900 when results were in line with the landslide victories of the first decade of the century and more marginal. Since 1918From 1910-1997, Chester returned Conservative Party MPs.
At most elections, majorities were in relative terms medium but the party's MPs won marginal majorities at the 1929 general election over the Liberal candidate and at the 1992 general election over the Labour candidate, when the Conservatives had a small parliamentary majority. Christine Russell of the Labour Party gained the seat from Gyles Brandreth at the 1997 general election after 87 years of Conservative control, retained it until 2010, her majority over the Conservatives had been reduced to under 1,000 votes at the 2005 general election. Stephen Mosley of the Conservatives gained the seat from Labour at the 2010 general election. However, Mosley narrowly lost his seat five years to Chris Matheson of the Labour Party in 2015 by 93 votes; the 2015 general election result gave the constituency the most marginal majority of Labour's 232 seats won that year. Matheson was re-elected at the 2017 general election, with a increased majority of 9,176 votes, it was one the largest swings to Labour in the election and is no longer considered a marginal seat.
At 56.8% it is the highest share of the vote that Labour has had in the constituency. † Smith and Gamull were Both disabled from serving in 1644. Constituency suspended Caused by Dodson's appointment as President of the Local Government BoardSuccession of Earl Grosvenor to the peerage as Marquess of Westminster. Caused by Jervis' resignation after his appointment as Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. Caused by Grosvenor's resignation, by accepting the office of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds, in order to contest a by-election at MiddlesexCaused by Grosvenor's appointment as Treasurer of the HouseholdCaused by Jervis' appointment as Solicitor-General for England and Wales List of Parliamentary constituencies in Cheshire Notes References nomis Constituency Profile for City of Chester — presenting data from the ONS annual population survey and other official statistics
Charborough House known as Charborough Park, is a grade I listed building, the manor house of the ancient manor of Charborough. The house is situated between the villages of Sturminster Marshall and Bere Regis in Dorset, England; the grounds, which include a deer park and gardens, adjoin the villages of Winterborne Zelston, Newton Peveril and Lytchett Matravers: they are Grade II* listed in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, have been called the most splendid parkland in Dorset. The estate is listed as a manor in the Domesday Book of 1086; the Erle family originated in east Devon and moved to neighbouring Dorset in about 1500, but died out in the male line on the death of General Thomas III Erle without male progeny. His daughter and sole heiress. Female heiresses subsequently brought the Erle/Ernle estates to various other families. Charborough was acquired during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I by Walter I Erle, an officer of the Privy Chamber to King Edward VI and to his sisters Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I.
He married Mary Weekes, one of the 5 daughters and co-heiresses of Richard Weekes of Bindon in the parish of Axmouth, Devon. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries he purchased the manor of Axmouth a possession of Syon Abbey. Thomas Erle, eldest son, whose large effigy dressed in full-armour and kneeling on one knee in prayer, survives in St Mary's Church, Dorset, the parish church of Charborough House. In 1581 at Shute in Devon, he married Dorothy Pole, a daughter of his father's near neighbour William Pole, Esquire, MP, of Shute House in the parish of Shute, near Colyton, Devon. Dorothy's brother was the Devon antiquary and historian Sir William Pole whose principal seat was Colcombe House in the parish of Colyton, the former residence of Walter Erle of which mansion house and deerpark a lease had been granted to him by Queen Catherine Parr. Pole describes various of the Erle family's landholdings in his work Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon. Dorothy's mother was the sister of John Popham, Lord Chief Justice.
Dorothy survived her husband and remarried to Sir Walter Vaughan, of Falstone in the parish of Bishopstone, Sheriff of Wiltshire in 1599-1600 and a Member of Parliament for Wiltshire in 1606. Thomas Erle commenced building a pier at Axmouth. Col. Sir Walter Erle of Charborough, eldest surviving son and heir, a Member of Parliament and a vigorous opponent of King Charles I in the Parliamentary cause both before and during the English Civil War, he married Ann Dymoke, a daughter of Francis Dymoke, sister of Sir Henry Dymoke, through her acquired the manors of Erckington and Pipe, which he sold to Sir Walter Devereux, Baronett. Thomas Erle, son, an MP in the Long Parliament with his father, he served as a Member of Parliament for Milborne Port in the Short Parliament and for Wareham for the Long Parliament in November 1640. He married a daughter of William Fiennes, 3rd Viscount Saye and Sele. Lieutenant-General Thomas Erle, PC, Governor of Portsmouth and a Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance, he was elected a Member of Parliament for Wareham in 1679, 1681, 1685 and 1689 and in 1685 he was made Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset.
He was a main promoter of the Glorious Revolution as in 1686 he hosted a group of conspirators who met at Charborough House to plan the overthrow of "the tyrant race of Stuarts". This meeting lead to the Invitation to William, signed by the Immortal seven. In 1675 he married Elizabeth Wyndham, a daughter of Sir William Wyndham, 1st Baronet of Orchard Wyndham in Somerset. After his retirement from the military he made alterations to Charborough House, including the addition of a new staircase hall with mural paintings by Sir James Thornhill, the laying out of a formnal garden on the west side, he died without male progeny, when his heiress became his daughter Frances Erle, who married Sir Edward Ernle, 3rd Baronet. Charborough House thus passed to the Ernle family. Sir Edward Ernle, 3rd Baronet of Etchilhampton, married Frances Erle, heiress of Charborough, but died without male progeny, leaving a daughter and heiress Elizabeth Ernle, wife of Henry Drax. Henry Drax of Ellerton Abbey in Yorkshire, a Member of Parliament, in about 1719 married Elizabeth Ernle, his first cousin and heiress of Charborough.
He was the son of Pope's Common, Hertfordshire, by his wife Elizabeth Drax. Thomas changed his surname to Drax, having become the heir of his wealthy childless uncle Col. Henry Drax, a sugar planter of Drax Hall in Barbados and of Ellerton Abbey. Henry Drax was a favourite of Prince of Wales, whose secretary he became. Drax built a new wing onto Charbrough House to accommodate the Prince during his visit in 1741. Thomas Erle Drax, son, a Member of Parliament for Wareham and Corfe Castle. In 1754 he married Mary St. John, a daughter of John St John, 11th Baron St John of Bletso, but died without progeny and was succeeded by his brother Edward Drax. In 1775 he rebuilt the parish church next to Charborough House. Edward Drax of Charborough, who in 1762 married Mary Churchill, a daughter of Awnsham Churchill of Henbury, he died without male progeny, leaving as his heiress his daughter Sarah Frances Drax, wife of Richard Grosvenor. In 1790 he buil
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