East of England
The East of England is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics from 1999, it includes the ceremonial counties of Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk. Essex has the highest population in the region, its population at the 2011 census was 5,847,000. Bedford, Basildon, Southend-on-Sea, Ipswich, Colchester and Cambridge are the region's most populous towns; the southern part of the region lies in the London commuter belt. The region has the lowest elevation range in the UK. North Cambridgeshire and the Essex Coast have most of the around 5% of the region, below 10 metres above sea level; the Fens are in North Cambridgeshire, notable for the lowest point in the country in the land of the village of Holme 2.75 metres below mean sea level, once Whittlesey Mere. The highest point is at Clipper Down at 817 ft, in the far south-western corner of the region in the Ivinghoe Hills. Basildon and Harlow, with Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead, were main New Towns in the 1950s and 1960s, with much industry located there.
In the late 1960s, the Roskill Commission considered Thurleigh in Bedfordshire, Nuthampstead in Hertfordshire and Foulness in Essex as a possible third airport for London. The East of England succeeded the standard statistical region East Anglia; the East of England civil defence region was identical to today's region. England between the Wash and just south of the town of Colchester has since post-Roman times been and continues to be known as East Anglia, including the county traversing the west of this line, Cambridgeshire; the inclusion of Essex as part of East Anglia is open to debate, notably because it was a Saxon kingdom, separate from the kingdom of the East Angles. Essex, despite meaning East-Saxons formed part of the South East England, as did Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, a mixture of definite and debatable Home Counties; the earliest use of the term is from 1695. Charles Davenant, in An essay upon ways and means of supplying the war, wrote, "The Eleven Home Counties, which are thought in Land Taxes to pay more than their proportion..." cited a list including these four.
The term does not appear to have been used in taxation since the 18th century. East Anglia is one of the driest parts of the United Kingdom with average rainfall ranging from 450 mm to 750 mm; this is because low pressure systems and weather fronts from the Atlantic have lost a lot of their moisture over land by the time they reach Eastern England. However the Fens in Cambridgeshire are prone to flooding. Winter is cool but non-prevailing cold easterly winds can affect the area from the continent, these can bring heavy snowfall if the winds interact with a low pressure system over the Atlantic or France. Northerly winds can be cold but are not as cold as easterly winds. Westerly winds bring milder and wetter weather. Southerly winds bring mild air but chill if coming from further east than Spain. Spring is a transitional season that can be chilly to start with but is warm by late-April/May; the weather at this time is changeable and showery. Summer is warm and continental air from mainland Europe or the Azores High leads to at least a few weeks of hot, balmy weather with prolonged warm to hot weather.
The number of summer storms from the Atlantic, such as the remnants of a tropical storm coincides with the location of the jet stream. The East tends to receive much less of their rain than the other regions. Autumn is mild with some days being unsettled and rainy and others warm. At least part of September and early October in the East have warm and settled weather but only in rare years is there an Indian summer where fine weather marks the entire traditional harvest season; the most deprived districts, according to the Indices of deprivation 2007 in the region are, in descending order, Great Yarmouth, Luton and Ipswich. At county level, after Luton and Peterborough, which have a similar level of deprivation, in descending order there is Southend-on-Sea Thurrock; the least deprived districts, in descending order, are South Cambridgeshire, Mid Bedfordshire, East Hertfordshire, St Albans, Rochford, Huntingdonshire, Mid Suffolk, North Hertfordshire, Three Rivers, South Norfolk, East Cambridgeshire and Suffolk Coastal.
At county level, the least deprived areas in the region, in descending order, are Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, with all three having a similar level of deprivation Essex. The region has the lowest proportion of jobless households in the UK – 0.5%. In March 2011 the region's unemployment claimant count was 3.0%. Inside the region, the highest rate is Great Yarmouth with 6.2%, followed by Peterborough and Southend-on-Sea on 4.7%. In the 2015 general election, there was an overall swing of 0.25% from the Conservatives to Labour, the Liberal Democrats lost 16% of its vote. All of Hertfordshire and Suffolk is now Conservative; the region's electorate voted 49% Conservative, 22% Labour, 16% UKIP, 8% Liberal Democrat and 4% Green. Like other regions, the division of seats favours th
English law is the common law legal system of England and Wales, comprising criminal law and civil law, each branch having its own courts and procedures. England's most authoritative law is statutory legislation, which comprises Acts of Parliament, regulations and by-laws. In the absence of any statutory law, the common law with its principle of stare decisis forms the residual source of law, based on judicial decisions and usage. Common law is made by sitting judges who apply both statutory law and established principles which are derived from the reasoning from earlier decisions. Equity is the other historic source of judge-made law. Common law can be repealed by Parliament. Not being a civil law system, English law has no comprehensive codification. However, most of its criminal law has been codified from its common law origins, in the interests both of certainty and of ease of prosecution. For the time being, murder remains a common law crime rather than a statutory offence. Although Scotland and Northern Ireland form part of the United Kingdom and share Westminster as a primary legislature, they have separate legal systems outside of English Law.
International treaties such as the European Union's Treaty of Rome or the Hague-Visby Rules have effect in English law only when adopted and ratified by Act of Parliament. Adopted treaties may be subsequently denounced by executive action.. Unless the denouncement or withdraw would affect rights enacted by parliament. In this case executive action cannot be used due to the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty; this principle was established in the case of Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union in 2017. Criminal law is the law of punishment whereby the Crown prosecutes the accused. Civil law is concerned with tort, families, companies and so on. Civil law courts operate to provide a party who has an enforceable claim with a remedy such as damages or a declaration. In this context, civil law is the system of codified law, prevalent in Europe. Civil law is founded on the ideas of Roman Law. By contrast, English law is the archetypal common law jurisdiction, built upon case law.
In this context, common law means the judge-made law of the King's Bench. Equity is concerned with trusts and equitable remedies. Equity operates in accordance with the principles known as the "maxims of equity"; the reforming Judicature Acts of the 1880s amalgamated the courts into one Supreme Court of Judicature, directed to administer both law and equity. The neo-gothic Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand, were built shortly afterwards to celebrate these reforms. Public Law is the law governing relationships between the state. Private law encompasses relationships between other private entities. A remedy is "the means given by law for the recovery of a right, or of compensation for its infringement". Most remedies are available only from the court. Most civil actions claiming damages in the High Court were commenced by obtaining a writ issued in the Queen's name. After 1979, writs have required the parties to appear, writs are no longer issued in the name of the Crown. Now, after the Woolf Reforms of 1999 all civil actions other than those connected with insolvency, are commenced by the completion of a Claim Form as opposed to a Writ, Originating Application, or Summons.
In England, there is a hierarchy of sources, as follows: Legislation The case law rules of common law and equity, derived from precedent decisions Parliamentary conventions General Customs Books of authority Primary legislation in the UK may take the following forms: Acts of Parliament Acts of the Scottish Parliament Acts and Measures of the National Assembly for Wales Statutory Rules of the Northern Ireland AssemblyOrders in Council are a sui generis category of legislation. Secondary legislation in England includes: Statutory Instruments and Ministerial Orders Bye-laws of metropolitan boroughs, county councils, town councilsStatutes are cited in this fashion: "Short Title Year", e.g. Theft Act 1968; this became the usual way to refer to Acts from 1840 onwards. For example, the Pleading in English Act 1362 was referred to as 36 Edw. III c. 15, meaning "36th year of the reign of Edward III, chapter 15".. Common law is a term with historical origins in the legal system of England, it denotes, in the first place, the judge-made law that developed from the early Middle Ages as described in a work published at the end of the 19th century, The History of English Law before the Time of Edward I, in which Pollock and Maitland expanded the work of Coke and Blackstone.
The law developed in England's Court of Common Pleas and other common law courts, which became the law of the colonies settled under the crown of England or of the United Kingdom, in North America and elsewhere.
Politics of England
The Politics of England forms the major part of the wider politics of the United Kingdom, with England being more populous than all the other countries of the United Kingdom put together. As England is by far the largest in terms of area and GDP, its relationship to the UK is somewhat different from that of Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland; the English capital London is the capital of the UK, English is the dominant language of the UK. Dicey and Morris list the separate states in the British Islands. "England, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Sark.... is a separate country in the sense of the conflict of laws, though not one of them is a State known to public international law." But this may be varied by statute. The United Kingdom is one state for the purposes of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882. Great Britain is a single state for the purposes of the Companies Act 1985. Traditionally authors referred to the legal unit or state of England and Wales as "England" although this usage is becoming politically unacceptable in the last few decades.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom is located in London, as is its civil service, HM Treasury and most of the official residences of the monarchy. In addition, the state bank of the UK is known as the "Bank of England". Though associated with England for some purposes, the Isle of Man and Guernsey have their own parliaments, are not part of the United Kingdom, the European Union or England. Prior to the Union, in 1707, England was ruled by the Parliament of England. Since the Union, England has not had its own government; the English Parliament traces its origins to the Anglo-Saxon Witenagemot. Hollister argues that: In an age lacking precise definitions of constitutional relationships, the ingrained custom that the king governed in consultation with the Witan, implicit in every important royal document of the period, makes the Witenagemot one of Anglo-Saxon England's fundamental political institutions. In 1066, William of Normandy brought a feudal system, where he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws.
In 1215, the tenants-in-chief secured the Magna Carta from King John, which established that the king may not levy or collect any taxes, save with the consent of his royal council, which developed into a parliament. In 1265, Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester summoned the first elected Parliament; the franchise in parliamentary elections for county constituencies was uniform throughout the country, extending to all those who owned the freehold of land to an annual rent of 40 shillings. In the boroughs, the franchise varied across the country; this set the scene for the so-called "Model Parliament" of 1295 adopted by Edward I. By the reign of Edward II, Parliament had been separated into two Houses: one including the nobility and higher clergy, the other including the knights and burgesses, no law could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses as well as of the Sovereign; the Laws in Wales Acts of 1535–42 annexed Wales as part of England and brought Welsh representatives to Parliament.
When Elizabeth I was succeeded in 1603 by the Scottish King James VI, the countries both came under his rule but each retained its own Parliament. James I's successor, Charles I, quarrelled with the English Parliament and, after he provoked the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, their dispute developed into the English Civil War. Charles was executed in 1649 and under Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth of England the House of Lords was abolished, the House of Commons made subordinate to Cromwell. After Cromwell's death, the Restoration of 1660 restored the House of Lords. Amidst fears of a Roman Catholic succession, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 deposed James II in favour of the joint rule of Mary II and William III, whose agreement to the English Bill of Rights introduced a constitutional monarchy, though the supremacy of the Crown remained. For the third time, a Convention Parliament, i.e. one not summoned by the king, was required to determine the succession. Treaty of Union agreed by commissioners for each parliament on 22 July 1706.
Acts of Union 1707, passed by both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. Act of Union 1800, passed by both the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Once the terms of the Treaty of Union were agreed in 1706, Acts of Union 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 of the Kingdom of Great Britain based in the former home of the English parliament. All the traditions and standing orders of the English parliament were retained, as were the incumbent officers, English members 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 for both former kingdoms was now dealt with by the new parliament.
After the Hanoverian George I ascended the throne in 1714 through an Act of Parliament, power began to shift from the Sovereign, by the end of his reign the position of the ministers — who had to rely on Parliament for support — was cemented. Towards the end of the 18th century the monarch still had considerable influence over Parliament, dominated by the Englis
Monarchy of the United Kingdom
The monarchy of the United Kingdom referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and its overseas territories. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952; the monarch and their immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties. As the monarchy is constitutional, the monarch is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours and appointing the Prime Minister; the monarch is commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. Though the ultimate executive authority over the government is still formally by and through the monarch's royal prerogative, these powers may only be used according to laws enacted in Parliament and, in practice, within the constraints of convention and precedent; the British monarchy traces its origins from the petty kingdoms of early medieval Scotland and Anglo-Saxon England, which consolidated into the kingdoms of England and Scotland by the 10th century.
England was conquered by the Normans in 1066, after which Wales too came under control of Anglo-Normans. The process was completed in the 13th century when the Principality of Wales became a client state of the English kingdom. Meanwhile, Magna Carta began a process of reducing the English monarch's political powers. From 1603, the English and Scottish kingdoms were ruled by a single sovereign. From 1649 to 1660, the tradition of monarchy was broken by the republican Commonwealth of England, which followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms; the Act of Settlement 1701 excluded Roman Catholics, or those who married them, from succession to the English throne. In 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland were merged to create the Kingdom of Great Britain, in 1801, the Kingdom of Ireland joined to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the British monarch was the nominal head of the vast British Empire, which covered a quarter of the world's surface at its greatest extent in 1921. In the early 1920s the Balfour Declaration recognised the evolution of the Dominions of the Empire into separate, self-governing countries within a Commonwealth of Nations.
After the Second World War, the vast majority of British colonies and territories became independent bringing the Empire to an end. George VI and his successor, Elizabeth II, adopted the title Head of the Commonwealth as a symbol of the free association of its independent member states; the United Kingdom and fifteen other independent sovereign states that share the same person as their monarch are called Commonwealth realms. Although the monarch is shared, each country is sovereign and independent of the others, the monarch has a different and official national title and style for each realm. In the uncodified Constitution of the United Kingdom, the monarch is the head of state; the Queen's image is used to signify British sovereignty and government authority—her profile, for instance, appearing on currency, her portrait in government buildings. The sovereign is further both mentioned in and the subject of songs, loyal toasts, salutes. "God Save the Queen" is the British national anthem. Oaths of allegiance are made to her lawful successors.
The monarch takes little direct part in government. The decisions to exercise sovereign powers are delegated from the monarch, either by statute or by convention, to ministers or officers of the Crown, or other public bodies, exclusive of the monarch personally, thus the acts of state done in the name of the Crown, such as Crown Appointments if performed by the monarch, such as the Queen's Speech and the State Opening of Parliament, depend upon decisions made elsewhere: Legislative power is exercised by the Queen-in-Parliament, by and with the advice and consent of Parliament, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Executive power is exercised by Her Majesty's Government, which comprises ministers the prime minister and the Cabinet, technically a committee of the Privy Council, they have the direction of the Armed Forces of the Crown, the Civil Service and other Crown Servants such as the Diplomatic and Secret Services. Judicial power is vested in the various judiciaries of the United Kingdom, who by constitution and statute have judicial independence of the Government.
The Church of England, of which the monarch is the head, has its own legislative and executive structures. Powers independent of government are granted to other public bodies by statute or Statutory Instrument such as an Order in Council, Royal Commission or otherwise; the sovereign's role as a constitutional monarch is limited to non-partisan functions, such as granting honours. This role has been recognised since the 19th century; the constitutional writer Walter Bagehot identified the monarchy in 1867 as the "dignified part" rather than the "efficient part" of government. Whenever necessary, the monarch is responsible for appointing a new prime minister. In accordance with unwritten constitutional conventions, the sovereign must appoint an individual who commands the support of the House of Commons the leader of the party or coalition that has a majority in that House; the prime minister takes office by attending the monarch in private audience, after "kissing hands" that appointment is effective without any other f
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
North West England
North West England, one of nine official regions of England, consists of the five counties of Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside. The North West had a population of 7,052,000 in 2011, it is the third-most populated region in the United Kingdom after the South Greater London. The largest settlements are Manchester, Warrington and Blackpool. North West England is bounded to the west by the Irish Sea; the region extends from the Scottish Borders in the north to the West Midlands region in the south. To its southwest is North Wales. Amongst the better known of the North West's physiographical features are the Lake District and the Cheshire Plain; the highest point in North West England is Cumbria, at a height of 3,209 feet. Windermere is the largest natural lake in England. Broad Crag Tarn on Broad Crag is England's highest lake. Wast Water is England's deepest lake, being 74m deep. A mix of rural and urban landscape, two large conurbations, centred on Liverpool and Manchester, occupy much of the south of the region.
The north of the region, comprising Cumbria and northern Lancashire, is rural, as is the far south which encompasses parts of the Cheshire Plain and Peak District. The region includes parts of three National parks and three areas of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the official region consists of the following subdivisions: *metropolitan county After abolition of the Greater Manchester and Merseyside County Councils in 1986, power was transferred to the Metropolitan Boroughs making them Unitary Authorities. In April 2011, Greater Manchester gained a top-tier administrative body in the form of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which means the 10 Greater Manchester Boroughs are once again second-tier authorities. Source: Office for National Statistics Mid Year Population Estimates North West England's population accounts for just over 13% of England's overall population. 37.86% of the North West's population resides in Greater Manchester, 21.39% in Lancashire, 20.30% in Merseyside, 14.76% in Cheshire and 7.41% live in the largest county by area, Cumbria.
According to 2009 Office for National Statistics estimates, 91.6% of people in the region describe themselves as'White': 88.4% White British, 1.0% White Irish and 2.2% White Other. During the Industrial Revolution hundreds of thousands of Welsh people migrated to the North West of England to work in the coal mines. Parts with notably high populations with Welsh ancestry as a result of this include Liverpool, Widnes, Wallasey, Ashton-in-Makerfield and Birkenhead; the Mixed Race population makes up 1.3% of the region's population. There are 323,800 South Asians, making up 4.7% of the population, 1.1% Black Britons. 0.6% of the population are Chinese and 0.5% of people belong to another ethnic group. North West England is a diverse region, with Manchester and Liverpool amongst the most diverse cities in Europe. 19.4% of Blackburn with Darwen's population are Muslim, the third-highest among all local authorities in the United Kingdom and the highest outside London. Areas such as Moss Side in Greater Manchester are home to a 30%+ Black British population.
In contrast, the town of St. Helens in Merseyside, unusually for a city area, has a low percentage of ethnic minorities with 98% identifying as White British; the City of Liverpool, over 800 years old, is one of the few places in Britain where ethnic minority populations can be traced back over dozens of generations: being the closest major city in England to Ireland, it is home to a significant ethnic Irish population, with the city being home to one of the first Afro-Caribbean communities in the UK, as well as the oldest Chinatown in Europe. Summarised There are around 400,000 people living in the North West of any Asian ethnicity Around 125,000 people from the North West are of full or partial Sub-African and/or Caribbean descent The single largest non-white ethnic group in the North West are Pakistanis, numbering at least 144,400 The list below is not how many people belong to each ethnic group; the fifteen most common countries of birth in 2001 for North West citizens were as follows England – 6,169,753 Scotland – 109,163 Wales – 73,850 Ireland – 56,887 Pakistan – 46,529 Northern Ireland – 34,879 India – 34,600 Germany – 19,931 China and Hong Kong – 15,491 Bangladesh – 13,746 South Africa – 7,740 United States – 7,037 Jamaica – 6,661 Italy – 6,325 Australia – 5,880 Poland – The table below is based on the 2011 UK Census.
One in five of the population in the North West is Catholic, a result of large-scale Irish emigration in the nineteenth century as well as the high number of English recusants in Lancashire. For top-tier authorities, Manchester has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the region. For council districts, Burnley has the highest rate followed by Hyndburn, both in Lancashire. Of the nine regions of the England, the North West has the fourth-highest GVA per capita—the highest outside southern England. Despite this the region has above average multiple deprivation with wealth concentrated on affluent areas like rural Cheshire, rural Lancashire, south Cumbria; as measured by the Indices of deprivation 2007, the
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