• Research Briefing

    Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011

    The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 creates a five year period between general elections. Early elections may only be held in specified circumstances. A joint committee has been appointed to undertake a statutory review of the Act and undertake pre-legislative scrutiny of Government proposals to repeal the Act.

  • Research Briefing

    Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme

    The House debated the Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy Programme Team’s Delivery Report on 19 July 2018 and agreed a new parliament-wide Behaviour Code. Procedures for making complaints and obtaining support have been put in place. This briefing note reviews the debate, the report, the background to it and subsequent developments. Inquiries by Dame Laura Cox and Gemma White, and the implementation of their recommendations are also discussed.

  • Research Briefing

    Short Money

    This House of Commons Library briefing paper provides details of the current levels of 'Short money' allocated to opposition parties for parliamentary duties and a brief history of the scheme. Figures for the corresponding scheme in the House of Lords (Cranborne money) are provided. The note also provides details of allocations made under the Representative Money scheme.

  • Research Briefing

    Proxy voting in divisions in the House

    On 23 September 2020, the House agreed to make the proxy voting scheme permanent, following the Procedure Committee's review of the pilot scheme. It also extended the proxy arrangements for public health reasons relating to the pandemic.

  • Research Briefing

    Recall elections

    Recall is used to describe a process where the electorate in an area can trigger a special election to remove an elected representative before the end of their term. A recall procedure was introduced in the UK in 2015. It only applies to Members of Parliament.

  • Research Briefing

    Members and Constituency Etiquette

    This note discusses the conventions that have developed as a result of the relationship between individual Members and their constituencies. It covers the issues of constituency casework, raising matters relating to another Member’s constituency in the House, and visits and speaking engagements in other constituencies. The Note deals also with the related matter of local precedence.