Civilisation/British Isles Politics

From Quiz Revision Notes

Robert Walpole was Whig Prime Minster from 1721 to 1742. Earl of Orford. South Sea bubble. Walpole was nicknamed ‘cock robin’. Country seat was Houghton Hall in Norfolk. South Sea Buble 1720; Resigned after a failing performance in dealing with the War of Jenkins' Ear, which began in 1739

Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington was Whig Prime Minister from 1742 to 1743. Died in office. Served continuously in government from 1715 until his death. He served as the nominal head of government from 1742 until his death in 1743, but was merely a figurehead for the true leader of the government, Lord Carteret. Only Prime Minister who also served as Speaker of the House of Commons

Henry Pelham was Whig Prime Minister from 1743 to 1754. Died in office. Entered and saw to completion British involvement in the War of the Austrian Succession from 1744 to 1748; Jacobite Rising from 1745–1746

Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle was Whig Prime Minister from 1754 to 1756. Took over government from after his brother died in office; Controversially attempted to reduce interest on National Debt; Led Britain into the French and Indian War in 1754

William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire was Whig Prime Minister from 1756 to 1757. The government was largely run by William Pitt the Elder until dismissed for his opposition to the course of the continental war and the execution of Admiral Byng

Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle was Whig Prime mMinister from 1757 to 1762. Focused on the Seven Years War

John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute was Tory Prime Minister from 1762 to 1763. First Scottish Prime Minister. Ended the dominance of the Whigs; Treaty of Paris (1763) ending the Seven Years' War; resigned after fierce criticism of Treaty of Paris concessions

George Grenville was Whig Prime Minister from 1763 to 1765

Sugar Act (1764) imposed taxes on commodities imported into the colonies

Stamp Act (1765) required that taxes be paid on all paper goods

Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham was Whig Prime Minister from 1765 to 1766. Repealed the Stamp Act

William Pitt the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham was Whig Prime Minister from 1766 to 1768. Under his ministry, the Chancellor Charles Townshend, acting largely independently, brought forth the Townshend Acts, which inflamed the situation in the American colonies

William Pitt the Elder was known as “the Great Commoner”

“You cannot conquer America” – Pitt the Elder

Townshend Acts (1767) – laws placed a tax on common products imported into the American Colonies

Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton was Whig Prime Minister from 1768 to 1770. Attempted to reconcile with the American colonies

Frederick North, Lord North was Tory Prime Minister from 1770 to 1782. Led Great Britain into the American Revolution; the Gordon Riots; attempted reform in Ireland; resigned after a vote of no confidence against the will of the King

Intolerable Acts or the Coercive Acts are names used to describe a series of laws passed in 1774 relating to Britain's colonies in North America. The acts sparked outrage and resistance in the Thirteen Colonies and were important developments in the growth of the American Revolution. Four of the acts were issued in direct response to the Boston Tea Party of 1773

Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham was Whig Prime Minister in 1782 (March – July). Died in office

Earl of Shelburne was Britain’s first Home Secretary (1782)

Charles James Fox was a prominent British Whig politician. He is noted as an anti-slavery campaigner, a supporter of American independence from Britain, and as a supporter of the French Revolution. He held several senior government offices. When the Marquess of Rockingham then became Prime Minister in 1782, Fox was made the first Foreign Secretary

William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne was Whig Prime Minister from 1782 to 1783. First Irish-born Prime Minister

William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland was Whig Prime Minister in 1783 (April – December). Titular head of the Fox–North Coalition. Attempted to reform the British East India Company, but was blocked by George III

William Pitt the Younger was Tory Prime Minister from 1783 to 1801. youngest Prime Minister, aged 24. First PM to live at 10 Downing Street. Formed the Triple Alliance; Act of Union 1800

London Corresponding Society was a moderate-radical body formed in 1792. The creators of the group were John Frost and Thomas Hardy. The aim of the society was parliamentary reform, especially the expansion of the representation of working class people

The Orange Institution, more commonly known as the Orange Order, is a Protestant fraternal organization based predominantly in Northern Ireland and Scotland. It was founded in Loughgall, County Armagh in 1795; its name is a tribute to Dutch-born Protestant king of Britain, William III of England of the House of Orange-Nassau

Income tax was first implemented by William Pitt the Younger in his budget of December 1798 to pay for weapons and equipment in preparation for the Napoleonic Wars. Pitt's new graduated (progressive) income tax began at a levy of 2 old pence in the pound (1/120) on incomes over £60 and increased up to a maximum of 2 shillings (10%) on incomes of over £200

Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Pitt resigned in 1801 as George III would not let him repeal the Penal Laws, which remained until 1829

First UK census was in 1801

Henry Addington was Tory Prime Minister from 1801 to 1804. First Speaker of the House of Commons to become Prime Minister. Negotiated the Treaty of Amiens with France in 1802

William Pitt the Younger was Tory Prime Minister from 1804 to 1806. Died in office. Battle of Trafalgar; Battle of Ulm; Battle of Austerlitz

William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville was Whig Prime Minister from 1806 to 1807. Second and most recent Speaker of the House of Commons to become Prime Minister. Abolition of the slave trade

Ministry of All the Talents was a national unity government formed by Grenville on his appointment as Prime Minister. With the country at war, Grenville aimed to form the strongest possible government and so included most leading politicians from almost all groupings

William Grenville was the son of Whig Prime Minister George Grenville

William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland was Tory Prime Minister from 1807 to 1809. Although Portland described himself as a Whig, he was invited to head a Tory government

Viscount Castlereagh challenged George Canning to a duel in 1809 over an incident in the Napoleonic Wars known as the Walcheren Campaign, in the Netherlands

Spencer Perceval was Tory Prime Minister from 1809 to 1812. Only Prime Minister to be assassinated. Killed by John Bellingham, a merchant with a grievance against the Government, who shot him dead in the lobby of the House of Commons

Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool was Tory Prime Minister from 1812 to 1827. Napoleonic Wars; The War of 1812; Peterloo Massacre in 1819; return to the Gold Standard in 1819; the Cato Street Conspiracy to assassinate Liverpool in 1820

Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (known as Viscount Castlereagh) was Foreign Secretary, and committed suicide in 1822

Fianna Fail – founded in 1926 by Eamon de Valera

George Canning was Tory Prime Minister in 1827 (April – August). Died in office

George Canning's total period in office in 1827 remains the shortest of any Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 119 days

Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich was Tory Prime Minister from 1827 to 1828

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington was Tory Prime Minister from 1828 to 1830. Second Irish-born Prime Minister (after Lord Shelburne) and only British Prime Minister to have been a general; Catholic Emancipation Bill

Hansard – transcripts of parliamentary debates first printed by Thomas Hansard in 1829

Lord Winchilsea and Nottingham is famous for his duel with the Duke of Wellington, who was Prime Minister at the time. The duel, which was over the issue of Catholic emancipation, took place in 1829. Both men deliberately aimed wide

Duke of Wellington, then Prime Minister, attended opening of Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830

Lord Palmerston blockaded Greece, and secured independence of Belgium in 1830

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey was Whig Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834. Reform Act 1832; reform of the Poor Laws; abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire

The rise of manufacturing industry saw many company owners cashing in on their workers by paying them in full or in part with tokens, rather than coin of the realm. These tokens were exchangeable for goods at the company store, often at highly-inflated prices. The Truck Act 1831 made this practice illegal in many trades, and the law was extended to cover nearly all manual workers in 1887

Representation of the People Act 1832, commonly known as the Great Reform Act 1832, was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system. The Act disfranchised the 57 rotten boroughs and redistributed representation in Parliament to new major population centres. There were further Reform Acts in 1867 and 1884

Anatomy Act of 1832 stated that anyone intending to practice anatomy must obtain a license from the Home Secretary

Slavery Abolition Act 1833 was an Act of Parliament abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire

Fianna Gael – United Ireland party, founded in 1933. Current leader – Enda Kenny

The Tamworth Manifesto was a political manifesto issued by Sir Robert Peel in 1834 in Tamworth, which is widely credited by historians as having laid down the principles upon which the modern British Conservative Party is based

William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne was Whig Prime Minister in 1834 (July – November). The last Prime Minister to be dismissed by a king (William IV) shortly after taking office. William Lamb served as Home Secretary from 1830 to 1834, and was a mentor of Queen Victoria. Married to Lady Caroline Lamb

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington was Tory Prime Minister in 1834 (November – December). Caretaker government while Sir Robert Peel was located and returned to London

Robert Peel was Conservative Prime Minister from 1834 to 1835. Minority government

William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne was Whig Prime Minister from 1835 to 1841

Register Offices were set up by Act of Parliament in 1837. Bedchamber Crisis; Treaty of Waitangi

Benjamin Disraeli won a seat in the House of Commons in 1837 representing the constituency of Maidstone

Disraeli described the Tory government as “an organized hypocrisy”

Chartism was a movement for political and social reform, between 1838 and 1850. It takes its name from the People's Charter of 1838. Fought for votes for all men and ballots

Bedchamber crisis occurred in 1839 after Whig politician Lord Melbourne had resigned as Prime Minister. Queen Victoria invited Tory politician Robert Peel to form a new government. Peel accepted the invitation on the condition that Queen Victoria dismiss some of her ladies of the bedchamber, many of whom were wives or relatives of leading Whig politicians

Robert Peel was Conservative Prime Minister from 1841 to 1846. Mines Act 1842; Factory Act 1844; Railway Act 1844

In 1841 the Liberals lost office to the Conservatives under Sir Robert Peel, but their period in opposition was short, because the Conservatives split over the repeal of the Corn Laws, a free trade issue, and a faction known as the Peelites (but not Peel himself), defected to the Liberal side

The 1841 Census, conducted by the General Register Office, was the first to record the names of everyone in a household or institution

Shaftesbury Act of 1842 prohibited employment of children in coal mines

In 1842 Peel reintroduced income tax, at 7d in the pound. It remains a temporary tax, reapplied by Parliament every April under the Finance Act

Robert Peel repealed the Corn Laws in 1846, in an attempt to alleviate the Irish Potato Famine

Lord John Russell was Whig Prime Minister from 1846 to 1852. Minority government

Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby was Conservative Prime Minister in 1852 (February – December). Government collapsed when his Chancellor's Budget was defeated

George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen was Peelite Prime Minister from 1852 to 1855. Led the country into the Crimean War; resigned after defeat in the vote for an inquiry into the conduct of the war

Peelites were a breakaway faction of the Conservative Party, existing from 1846 to 1859, who joined with the Whigs and Radicals to form the Liberal Party

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston was Whig Prime Minister from 1855 to 1858. Responded to the Indian mutiny of 1857

Public Libraries Act 1850 gave local boroughs the power to establish free public libraries

James Sadleir was expelled from the House of Commons for his role in the crash of Tipperary Joint Stock Bank in 1857

Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby was Conservative Prime Minister from 1858 to 1859. Government of India Act 1858, transferring ownership of the East India Company to the Crown; Jews Relief Act, allowing Jews to become MPs

The formal foundation of the Liberal Party is traditionally traced to 1859 and the formation of Palmerston's second government

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston was Liberal Prime Minister from 1859 to 1865. Died in office

Cobden–Chevalier Treaty was a Free Trade treaty signed between the United Kingdom and France in 1860. It is named after the main British and French originators of the treaty, Richard Cobden MP and Michel Chevalier

Contagious Diseases Acts were passed by Parliament in 1864

Viscount Palmerston was notably xenophobic. He was the last Prime Minister to die in office, aged 80, in 1865

Lord John Russell was Liberal Prime Minister from 1865 to 1866

Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby was Conservative Prime Minister from 1866 to 1868

Reform Act 1867, considered to be the father of the modern Conservative Party

Benjamin Disraeli was Conservative Prime Minister in 1868 (February – December). Only ethnically Jewish Prime Minister

When Disraeli became Prime Minister he said "I have climbed to the top of the greasy pole”

William Ewart Gladstone was Liberal Prime Minister from 1868 to 1874. Last Prime Minister to concurrently serve as Chancellor of Exchequer

Gladstone was born in Liverpool

Gladstone had taken up the “Irish Question” in part to win the general election of 1868 by uniting the Liberal Party behind this single issue. The shock of Fenian violence, especially in England, as well as the growing awareness of the potency of nationalist feelings from European politics was a second reason for Gladstone tackling the Irish Question, as well as a sincere desire to bring peace to Ireland. His mission was to ‘pacify Ireland’

Irish Land Act of 1870 aimed to reform land ownership and weaken the dominance of landlords by restricting evictions, and offering government assistance for tenants to but land. However, evictions and rent increases continued

Elementary Education Act 1870, commonly known as Forster's Education Act, set the framework for schooling of all children between ages 5 and 12 in England and Wales. It was drafted by William Forster, a Liberal MP, and it was introduced in 1870 after campaigning by the National Education League

Married Women's Property Act of 1870 allowed married women to retain their earnings

Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the first Bank Holidays in the United Kingdom. Introduced by Liberal politician and banker Sir John Lubbock

Aberdare Act of 1872 tried to restrict opening hours for pubs

Shortest budget speech – Disraeli, 45 minutes

Longest budget speech – Gladstone, 4 hours 45 minutes

Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield was Conservative Prime Minister from 1874 to 1880. Only Prime Minister to hold the office from Houses of Commons and Lords successively; Zulu War

Disraeli acquired 44% of the shares in the Suez Canal in 1875

Disraeli made Queen Victoria “Empress of India” in 1876

Disraeli was elevated to the House of Lords in 1876 when Queen Victoria made him Earl of Beaconsfield and Viscount Hughenden

Disraeli stated that he had brought back Peace with Honour from the Berlin Conference of 1878

Irish Land League was a political organization of the late 19th century which sought to help poor tenant farmers. Its primary aim was to abolish landlordism in Ireland and enable tenant farmers to own the land they worked on. Founded in 1879

William Ewart Gladstone was Liberal Prime Minister from 1880 to 1885. First Boer War; Reform Act 1884; failure to rescue General Gordon in Khartoum, Sudan

Gladstone alienated Queen Victoria. Advocated Irish Home Rule, introduced free education for all. Known as the “Grand Old Man”

Charles Bradlaugh was a political activist and one of the most famous English atheists of the 19th century. He founded the National Secular Society in 1866. In 1880 Bradlaugh was elected MP for Northampton but forfeited his seat as he refused to take the oath

In 1881 the Isle of Man granted the vote to women who owned property

Primrose League was an organisation for spreading Conservative principles. It was founded in 1883 and active until the mid-1990s. It was wound up in 2004

The Fabian Society, founded in 1884 is a British socialist intellectual movement, whose purpose is to advance the socialist cause by reformist, rather than revolutionary, means. It is best known for its initial ground-breaking work beginning in the late 19th century and then up to World War I. The society laid many of the foundations of the Labour Party during this period

The first working class MPs were affiliated to the Liberals, and were known as “Lib-Labs”. By 1885 there were 12 Lib-Lab MPs

Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury was Conservative Prime Minister from 1885 to 1886. Minority government

Marquess of Salisbury was a member of the Cecil family, descended from Elizabeth I’s advisor Lord Burghley. He established Rhodesia, and the capital was named after him

Viscount Cranborne, Baron Cecil – subsidiary titles of Marquess of Salisbury

William Ewart Gladstone was Liberal Prime Minister in 1886 (February – July). First introduction of the Home Rule Bill for Ireland, which split the Liberal Party

Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury was Conservative Prime Minister from 1886 to 1892. Creation of Rhodesia; opposed Irish home rule

William Ewart Gladstone was Liberal Prime Minister from 1892 to 1894. Elected aged 82. Reintroduction of the Home Rule Bill, which was passed by the House of Commons but rejected by the House of Lords leading to his fourth and final resignation

Kier Hardie – born in North Lanarkshire. MP for West Ham and Merthyr Tydfil. In 1893, Hardie and others formed the Independent Labour Party

Kier Hardie – first Labour candidate, was a miner

Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery was Liberal Prime Minister from 1894 to 1895. Imperialist; plans for expanding the Royal Navy caused disagreement within the Liberal Party

Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury was Conservative Prime Minister from 1895 to 1902. Last Prime Minister to serve from the House of Lords throughout his term, and last not to be concurrently First Lord of the Treasury

David Lloyd George opposed the Second Boer War

1900 General Election was known as the Khaki Election, as it took place during the Boer War

In 1901 the Taff Vale Railway Company successfully sued the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants for damages due to losses accrued during a strike by their members (who were seeking to compel the company to recognise the union). The Company was awarded £23,000 in a landmark decision, shattering the belief that unions were immune to damages due to the actions of their members. It led, following the election of the Liberal Party in the general election of 1906, to the Trade Disputes Act 1906, guaranteeing union immunity from damages

Arthur Balfour was Conservative Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905. MP for Manchester East. Entente Cordiale; Education Act 1902

Balfour was the last unmarried Prime Minister before Edward Heath

In1903 a secret Lib-Lib pact was made between Gladstone and MacDonald

Balfour was Foreign Secretary from 1916 to 1919

Balfour Declaration of 1917 led to the creation of the state of Israel thirty years later

Representation of the People Act 1918 was an Act of Parliament passed to reform the electoral system in the United Kingdom. It is sometimes known as the Fourth Reform Act. It widened suffrage by abolishing practically all property qualifications for men and by enfranchising women over 30 who met minimum property qualifications

Henry Campbell-Bannerman was Liberal Prime Minister from 1905 to 1908. MP for Stirling Burghs. Born in Glasgow. First person to be called ‘Prime Minister’. Only serving Prime Minsister to be Father of the House

Aliens Act 1905 was the first act of parliament to introduce immigration controls and registration in the UK

Sinn Fein was founded by Arthur Griffith in 1905

Herbert Gladstone, the youngest son of William Ewart Gladstone, was Home Secretary from 1905 to 1910

During a Liberal rally at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, in October 1905, Annie Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst interrupted a political meeting to ask Churchill and Sir Edward Grey if they believed women should have the right to vote

From 1906 to 1910 Hilaire Belloc was a Liberal Party MP for Salford South

Miner's Federation voted to affiliate itself with Labour in1908, making the Lib-Lab pact redundant

Henry Campbell-Bannerman resigned on 3 April 1908 and died just nineteen days later on 22 April 1908, while still resident in 10 Downing Street

Herbert Henry Asquith was Liberal Prime Minister from 1908 to1916. MP for East Fife. People's Budget; Old Age Pensions Act 1908 and National Insurance Act 1911; Parliament Act 1911; Suffragettes and the Cat and Mouse Act; Home Rule Act 1914; Easter Rising

Herbert Asquith – wife Margot, mistress Venetia Stanley

Herbert Asquith was known as “Old Squiffy”

Asquith was chancellor from 1905 to 1908

Asquith was the last Prime Minister to concurrently serve as War Secretary

The Old Age Pensions Act 1908 provided for a non-contributory old age pension for persons over the age of 70. It was enacted in January 1909 and paid a weekly pension of 5s a week (7s 6d for married couples)

Town Planning Act 1909 forbade the building of back-to-back housing, symbolic of the poverty of the industrial cities, and allowed local authorities to prepare schemes of town planning

Three Conciliation bills were put before the House of Commons, one each year in 1910, 1911 and in 1912 which would extend the right of women to vote in the United Kingdom to around 1 million wealthy, property-owning women

People’s Budget – tax the rich. Rejected by House of Lords

Two elections in 1910–11. 1) on People’s budget, 2) to reduce power of House of Lords

London dock strike 1911 was led by Ben Tillett. Churchill was Home Secretary. Strike spread to Liverpool

Edward Carson – leader of Ulster Unionist Party from 1910 to 1921

The first Parliament Act, the Parliament Act 1911, asserted the supremacy of the House of Commons by limiting the legislation-blocking powers of the House of Lords

Parliament Act 1911 reduced the maximum lifespan of a Parliament from seven years to five years

MPs were given a salary (£400) for the first time in 1911

Winston Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 to 1915

The Cat and Mouse Act (officially the Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act 1913) was an Act of Parliament passed under Asquith's Liberal government. It made legal the hunger strikes that Suffragettes were undertaking at the time and stated that they would be released from prison as soon as they became ill

Defence of the Realm Act was passed in 1914, during the early weeks of World War I. It gave the government wide-ranging powers during the war period, such as the power to requisition buildings or land needed for the war effort, or to make regulations creating criminal offences. Some of the things the British public were not allowed to do included flying a kite, lighting a bonfire, buying binoculars, and feeding wild animals bread

Home Rule Act of 1914 was intended to provide self-government (Home Rule) for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Liberal MPs John Morley and John Burns resigned from cabinet as they opposed British entry in to World War I

Arthur Henderson was the first Labour cabinet minister in 1915, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1934 and, uniquely, served three separate terms as Leader of the Labour Party in three different decades

John Simon held senior Cabinet posts from the beginning of the First World War to the end of the Second. He is one of only three people to have served as Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, the others being R.A. Butler and James Callaghan. He also served as Lord Chancellor

David Lloyd George was Liberal Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922. MP for Caernarvon Boroughs. Paris Peace Conference; aided in ending the Irish War of Independence and the establishment of the Irish Free State by means of the Anglo-Irish Treaty

National Liberal coalition

David Lloyd George – chancellor from 1908 to 1915. Needed money for “welfare and warfare”

Lloyd George became the first Minister of Munitions in 1915 and then war secretary in 1916

Lloyd George was known as the “Welsh Wizard”. He made his mistress (Frances Stevenson) his wife. Born in Manchester

Lloyd George is the only British Prime Minister to have been Welsh and to have spoken English as a second language, with Welsh being his first

David Lloyd George remarked that the Lords had become “not the watchdog of the Constitution, but Mr. Balfour's poodle”

George Cave – last Lord who was Home Secretary (1916 to 1919)

Full-time conscription in the United Kingdom was first introduced in 1916, and lasted from 1916 to 1919 and from 1939 to 1960. From 1948 it was generally known as National Service – during the First and Second World Wars it was usually known as War Service or Military Service

Lloyd George formed a coalition with Bonar Law in 1916

Lloyd George's negotiations with Sinn Fein led to the creation of the Irish Free State

Lloyd George sold honours for cash

Max Aitkin, Lord Beaverbrook sat in cabinet during both world wars

At the 1918 election, Lloyd George and Bonar Law identified candidates who agreed to support them with a letter of endorsement, signed by both, and known as a ‘coupon’. This election is often called the coupon election

Clause IV historically refers to part of the 1918 text of the Labour Party constitution which set out the aims and values of the party. Sidney Webb wrote the original Clause IV. Revised in 1995 by Tony Blair

Constance, Countess Markiewicz was an Irish politician, revolutionary nationalist and suffragette. She was also the first woman elected to the British House of Commons though she did not take her seat, and the first in Europe to hold a cabinet position (Minister of Labour of the Irish Republic, 1919–1922)

Housing and Town Planning Act 1919 was also known as the Addison Act after Dr. Christopher Addison, the then Minister for Housing. The Act was passed to allow the building of new houses after the First World War

Ministry of Transport Act 1919 created a classification system for the important routes connecting large population centres or for through traffic, which were designated as Class I, and roads of lesser importance, which were designated as Class II

Lady Nancy Astor – first woman to take her seat in parliament, in 1919. MP for Plymouth Sutton. Member of Conservative party

The Social Credit Party of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was a political party founded in 1920 that grew out of the Kibbo Kift youth organisation

Communist Party of Great Britian (CPGB) existed from 1920 to 1991

Railways Act 1921 was an enactment by the government of David Lloyd George intended to stem the losses being made by many of the country's 120 railway companies and move the railways away from internal competition

Andrew Bonar Law was Conservative Prime Minister from 1922 to1923. MP for Glasgow Central. De facto last Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Born in the crown colony of New Brunswick, Andrew Bonar Law is the only British Prime Minister to have been born outside the British Isles. He was also the shortest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century, spending 211 days in office. Died six months after leaving office. Buried in Westminster Abbey

1922 Committee of Conservative MPs was formed in 1923, but takes its name from the 1922 general election. The name does not stem from a famous October 1922 meeting in which Conservative MPs successfully demanded that the party withdraw from the coalition government of David Lloyd George

Stanley Baldwin was Conservative Prime Minister from 1923 to 1924. MP for Bewdley

Baldwin called a general election to gain a mandate for protectionist tariffs but failed to gain a majority

Ramsay MacDonald was Labour Prime Minister in 1924 (January – November). MP for Aberavon. First Labour Prime Minister

Ramsay MacDonald became leader of the Labour Party in 1911

Ramsay MacDonald was the last Prime Minister to hold post of Foreign Secretary at the same time, in 1924

Ramsay MacDonald settled reparations with Germany following World War I

The ‘Zinoviev Letter’ is thought to have been instrumental in the Conservative Party's victory in the general election, 1924, which ended the country's first Labour government. The letter was allegedly addressed from Grigori Zinoviev, president of the presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (Comintern), and Arthur MacManus, the British representative on the presidium, to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain. It purported to advocate intensified Communist agitation in Britain, not least in the armed forces

William Joynson-Hicks became Home Secretary in 1924. Closed down night clubs

Churchill became Chancellor under Baldwin, and took Britain back to the Gold Standard in 1925, which made exports more expensive. One of the causes of the General Strike of May 1926. UK left the revised Gold Standard in 1931

Stanley Baldwin was Conservative Prime Minister from 1924 to 1929. MP for Bewdley. Treaty of Locarno; signatory of the Kellogg-Briand Pact; Pensions Act 1925; General Strike of 1926. enfranchisement of women over 21;

Baldwin was De jure last Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Plaid Cymru – founded in 1925. First president was John Saunders-Lewis

John Gilmour became the first Secretary of State for Scotland when the post was upgraded in 1926

The Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act 1927 was passed in response to the General Strike of 1926. The Act declared unlawful secondary strike action and any strike whose purpose was to coerce the government of the day

SNP founded in 1928. Hugh MacDiarmid was a founding member

Representation of the People Act 1928 expanded on the act of the same name of a decade earlier. It widened suffrage by giving women electoral equality with men – women were now able to vote from the age of 21

Stanley Baldwin fought the 1929 general election on a “Safety First” ticket

Ramsay MacDonald was Labour Prime Minister from 1929 to 1931 and National Labour Prime Minister from 1931 to 1935. MP for Seaham

Philip Snowden was the first Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, a position he held in 1924 and again between 1929 and 1931

Margaret Bondfield was an English Labour politician and feminist, the first woman Cabinet minister and one of the first three female Labour MPs. She was appointed Minister of Labour by Ramsay MacDonald in 1929. MP for Northampton, then Wallsend

Oswald Mosley resigned from Labour Party as Chancellor Philip Snowden blocked his plans for job creation in 1930

Housing Act 1930 required all slum housing to be cleared in designated improvement areas

“Ulster will fight, Ulster will be right” – Randolph Churchill, 1931

Ramsay MacDonald was expelled from the Labour party conference in 1931

Financial crisis led to a National Government in 1931. MacDonald led the coalition, but the government was Conservative in all but name

Statute of Westminster established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire and the United Kingdom, with a few residual exceptions, notably excluding India. The Statute applied to the six dominions which existed in 1931: the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Irish Free State, the Dominion of Newfoundland, the Dominion of New Zealand, and the Union of South Africa

Oswald Mosley founded the New Party in 1931. Married Diana Mitford in Goebbel’s home in 1936. Hitler was a guest at the wedding

The British Union of Fascists (BUF) was formed in 1932 by ex-Conservative Party MP, and Labour government minister Sir Oswald Mosley. The flag of the British Union of Fascists shows the ‘Flash and Circle’ symbolic of ‘action within unity’. Known as ‘Blackshirts’

Last election in UK not on a Thursday was in 1931 (held on a Tuesday)

George Lansbury was leader of the Labour Party from 1932 to 1935

National Government is in an abstract sense used to refer to a coalition of some or all UK major political parties. In a historical sense it usually refers primarily to the governments of Ramsay MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain which held office from 1931 until 1940

Ramsay MacDonald died on holiday on a liner crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 1937

In 1935 Foreign Secretary Samuel Hoare dealt with the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. Together with French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval, he developed the so-called Hoare-Laval Agreement, which would have granted Italy considerable territorial concessions in Ethiopia. Hoare was succeeded by Eden as Foreign Secretary

Stanley Baldwin was Conservative Prime Minister from 1935 to 1937. MP for Bewdley

Government of India Act 1935 was the last pre-independent constitution of India

The Public Order Act 1936 was passed to control extremist political movements in the 1930s such as the British Union of Fascists

Baldwin is the only Prime Minister to have served under three monarchs

Neville Chamberlain was Conservative Prime Minister from 1937 to 1940. MP for Birmingham Edgbaston

Chamberlain resigned after failing to form a coalition government, and died six months after leaving office

Eamon De Valera was Taoiseach of Ireland from 1937 to 1948, 1951 to 1954, and 1957 to 1959

Samuel Hoare was Home Secretary from 1937 to 1939

Law passed in 1938 to give workers a week’s paid holiday

Douglas Hyde served as the first President of Ireland from 1938 to 1945. He founded the Gaelic League

John Anderson was Home Secretary from 1939 to 1940

Stafford Cripps was expelled from Labour party in 1939 for advocating an anti-fascist popular front with the communists

Churchill said “there but for the grace of God goes God” about Stafford Cripps

Norway Debate, sometimes called the Narvik Debate, took place in May 1940. It led to the formation of a widely-based National Government led by Winston Churchill. The debate, ostensibly on the progress of the Norwegian campaign, brought to a head widespread dissatisfaction with the adequacy of the existing government, led by Neville Chamberlain, to the challenges of waging war

Chamberlain was the last Prime Minister to hold office without involvement of a General Election

Lord Halifax served as Foreign Secretary from 1938 to 1940. As such he is often regarded as one of the architects of the policy of appeasement prior to World War II. During the war, he served as British Ambassador in Washington

In May 1940, when the Chamberlain government fell and a coalition was to be formed there were two candidates for Prime Minister: Lord Halifax and Winston Churchill. Halifax had the support of the great mass of the Conservative party, of the royal family, and was acceptable to the Labour party. But at a meeting with Neville Chamberlain, at which Churchill was also present, Halifax did not press his claim, presumably recognizing in Churchill a set of skills better suited to the challenge

Winston Churchill was Conservative Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945. MP for Epping

Churchill appointed Max Aitkin, Lord Beaverbrook, as Minister of Aircraft Production and later Minister of Supply

Winston Churchill was Chancellor from 1924 to 1929

Herbert Morrison was Home Secretary from 1940 to 1945

During World War II Stafford Cripps served in a number of positions in the wartime coalition, including Ambassador to the Soviet Union and Minister of Aircraft Production

Ernest Bevin served as general secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union from 1922 to 1945, as Minister of Labour in the war-time coalition government, and as Foreign Secretary in the post-war Labour Government

Churchill appointed Ernest Bevin to the position of Minister for Labour and National Service, although Bevin was not actually an MP at the time. During the war Bevin was responsible for diverting nearly 48,000 military conscripts to work in the coal industry (these workers became known as the Bevin Boys). Bevin introduced conscription for women in 1941

William Beveridge is best known for his 1942 report ‘Social Insurance and Allied Services’ (known as the ‘Beveridge Report’) which served as the basis for the post-World War II Labour government's Welfare State, including especially the National Health Service

Michael Foot was appointed editor of the Evening Standard in 1942

John Anderson was Chancellor from 1943 to 1945. Anderson shelters are named after him

Following the ending of his all-party coalition, Churchill formed a "caretaker" government. However after two months it was defeated in the 1945 general election

As Under-Secretary of State for Air in 1944 Harold Balfour was instrumental in the establishment of London Heathrow Airport

Education Act 1944 changed the education system for secondary schools in England and Wales. Called the Butler Act after the Conservative politician R.A. Butler, it introduced the Tripartite System of secondary education and made all schooling – especially secondary education, free for all pupils

Clement Attlee was Labour Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951. MP for Limehouse, then Walthamstow West. Introduced nationalisation of Bank of England and utilities; extended national insurance scheme; Independence of India and the end of the British role in Palestine

Attlee defeated Herbert Morrison to become Labour leader in 1935, and was leader until 1955. Became MP for Limehouse in 1922

Clement Attlee became Viscount Prestwood of Walthamstow

Attlee was the last Prime Minister to be buried at Westminster Abbey

In the 1945 general election two Communists were elected as members of parliament, Willie Gallacher and Phil Piratin. Harry Pollitt, the General Secreatary of The Communist Party of Great Britian failed by only 972 votes to take the Rhondda East constituency. Both Communist MPs lost their seats at the 1950 general election

Harry Pollitt was the head of the trade union department of the Communist Party of Great Britain and the General Secretary of the party for more than 20 years

Child benefit was first implemented in August 1946 as ‘family allowances’ under the Family Allowances Act 1945

Hugh Gaitskell was elected Labour MP for Leeds South in the Labour landslide victory of 1945. He quickly rose through the ministerial ranks, becoming Minister of Fuel and Power in 1947

Hugh Dalton served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1945 to 1947. He pushed his cheap money policy too hard, and mishandled the sterling crisis of 1947. He was implicated in a political scandal involving budget leaks, and was succeeded by Stafford Cripps

Ellen Wilkinson served as Minister of Education from 1945 until her death in 1947. MP for Jarrow. Second woman cabinet minister, after Margaret Bondfield

‘Hard labour’ – abolished in 1946

New Towns Act 1946 allowed the government to designate areas as new towns, and passing development control functions to a Development Corporation. Several new towns were created in the years following its passing

Town and Country Planning Act 1947 established that planning permission was required for land development; ownership alone no longer conferred the right to develop the land

Poor Law system was not formally abolished until the National Assistance Act 1948 with parts of the law remaining on the statute book until 1967

British Nationality Act 1948 created the status of ‘Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies’ (CUKC) as the national citizenship of the United Kingdom and its colonies

The first Parliament Act was amended by the second Parliament Act, the Parliament Act 1949, which further limited the power of the Lords by reducing the time that they could delay bills, from two years to one

National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 provided the framework for the creation of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Legal aid was originally established by the Legal Aid and Advice Act 1949

Gaitskell became Chancellor in 1950, succeeding Stafford Cripps

Churchill described Attlee as “a modest little man who has a great deal to be modest about” and as “a sheep in sheep’s clothing”

Clement Attlee was the first person to hold the office of Deputy Prime Minister, under Winston Churchill in the wartime coalition government

Clement Attlee presided over the birth of the NHS

In the 1950 and 1951 general elections Margaret Thatcher was the Conservative candidate for the safe Labour seat of Dartford. She lost both times to Norman Dodds

Jo Grimond – MP for Orkney and Shetland from 1950 to 1983. Leader of the Liberal Party from 1956 to 1967 and again briefly on an interim basis in 1976

Harold Wilson and Aneurin Bevan resigned from the government in 1951 in protest at the introduction of NHS medical charges to meet the financial demands imposed by the Korean War

Winston Churchill was Conservative Prime minister from 1951 to 1955. MP for Woodford

Churchill won 1951 election, aged 76

Bow Group was founded in 1951 by Conservatives

Selwyn Lloyd served under Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from 1951 to 1954. He then served as Minister of Supply (1954–1955) and Minister of Defence (1955), before becoming himself Foreign Secretary in the same year

Gwilym Lloyd George, a younger son of David Lloyd George, served as Home Secretary from 1954 to 1957

Deputy PM did not exist between 1951 and 1962, or between 1963 and 1979

Selwyn Lloyd served as Foreign Secretary from 1955 to 1960, then as Chancellor of the Exchequer until 1962. He was Speaker of the House of Commons from 1971 to 1976

Mr Butskell – a composite figure of Rab Butler and Hugh Gaitskell in 1954, as their policies were so similar

Churchill died in 1965. State funeral at St Paul's cathedral. Buried at Blaydon, near Blenheim

Anthony Eden was Conservative Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957. MP for Warwick and Leamington. Egyptian nationalisation of the Suez Canal; which sparked the Suez Crisis. Resigned due to ill health

Anthony Eden was Foreign Secretary for three periods between 1935 and 1955, including during the Second World War

Anthony Eden was Secretary of State for War from May 1940 until December 1940

Anthony Eden is the only Prime Minister to be divorced

Eden was created 1st Earl of Avon in 1961

Hugh Gaitskell beat Aneurin Bevan and Herbert Morrison in 1955 Labour party election

In November 1956, Eden left London for a recuperative break in Jamaica. Rab Butler and

Clean Air Act 1956 was passed in response to London's Great Smog of 1952. It was in effect until 1964

The Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution (better known as the Wolfenden report, after Lord Wolfenden, the chairman of the committee) was published in Britain in 1957 after a succession of well-known men, including Peter Wildeblood, were convicted of homosexual offences. The committee recommended that ‘homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence’

Harold Macmillan was Conservative Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963. MP for Bromley

Harold Macmillan served with distinction as a captain in the Grenadier Guards during the First World War, and was wounded on three occasions. During the Battle of the Somme, he spent an entire day wounded and lying in a slit trench with a bullet in his pelvis, reading the classical playwright Aeschylus in the original Greek

Macmillan had talks with Eisenhower in Bermuda in 1957

Harold Macmillan negotiated the British retreat from Egypt

Premium bonds introduced by Macmillan in 1956

Robert Boothby had a long affair with Dorothy Macmillan, wife of his fellow Conservative politician Harold Macmillan and they had a daughter Sarah, who was raised by the Macmillans as their own daughter

1957 White Paper on Defence was produced by Duncan Sandys, the Minister of Defence. The paper stated that the aircraft industry should reorganize; several smaller companies becoming a few larger ones. New contracts would only be given to such merged firms, including the only new aircraft project, what would become the TSR-2

Life Peerages Act 1958 established the modern standards for the creation of life peers. Life peers are barons and are members of the House of Lords for life, but their titles and membership in the Lords are not inherited by their children

Ian Harvey resigned in 1958 after being caught with a guardsman in St James’ Park

Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan was the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 1959 until his death in 1960. He represented Ebbw Vale for 31 years. His most famous accomplishment came when, as Minister of Health in the post-war Attlee government, he spearheaded the establishment of the NHS

Bevan referred to the Tories as “lower than vermin” in a 1948 speech

“You've never had it so good” – speech by Harold Macmillan in Bedford in 1959

“The wind of change is blowing through this continent” – Macmillan in Cape Town, 1960

Macmillan resigned on the grounds of ill health after the Profumo affair

Harold Macmillan married Lady Dorothy Cavendish, the daughter of the 9th Duke of Devonshire, in 1920

“We will fight, fight and fight again to save the party we love” – Gaitskell, 1960

The Monday Club was founded in 1961 during the Conservative Party's internal debate over decolonization

Night of the Long Knives was a major Cabinet reshuffle that took place in 1962. Harold Macmillan dismissed seven members of his Cabinet, one-third of the total

Alec Douglas-Home was Conservative Prime Minister from 1963 to 1964. MP for Kinross and Werstern Perthshire. . Oversaw the independence of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Alec Douglas-Home was the 14th Earl of Home when he became Prime Minister, and renounced his peerage in 1963 in order to stand for the House of Commons

Alec Douglas-Home was Foreign Secretary before becoming PM, and after being PM

Alec Douglas-Home is the only British Prime Minister to have played first-class cricket. Amongst other clubs, he represented the MCC, Middlesex CCC and Oxford University Cricket Club at first-class level, playing under the name ‘Lord Dunglass’

Alec Douglas-Home – first UK Prime Minister born in 20th century

Alec Douglas-Home – only 20th century politician to hold a cabinet post after becoming Prime Minister

Peerage Act 1963 allowed the disclaiming of hereditary peerages, and permitted female and Scottish hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords. Tony Benn was instrumental in the creation of the Act

Lord Sutch's first election was in 1963, when he contested the by-election in Stratford-upon-Avon caused by the resignation of John Profumo. Died in 1999

Lord Denning released the government's official report into the Profumo Affair in September 1963

Eugene Ivanov – Soviet naval attaché involved in Profumo Affair

The post of Secretary of State for Defence was created in 1964 and replaced the previous office of Minister of Defence. First holder was Peter Thorneycroft

Harold Wilson was Labour Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970. MP for Huyton

Harold Wilson was born in Huddersfield

Harold Wilson entered parliament in 1945 as MP for Ormskirk

Harold Wilson referred to financiers and financial centres as the “gnomes of Zurich” in 1956

“White heat of technology” speech – Harold Wilson at 1963 Labour Party conference at Scarborough

Frank Cousins – first former TUC leader to join cabinet. He served as Minister of Technology in Harold Wilson's Labour government from 1964 until his resignation in 1966

Manny Shinwell was a trade union official and Labour politician and was one of the leading figures of Red Clydeside. As Minister of Fuel and Power, he presided over the nationalization of the mining industry. He also served as Secretary of War and as Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party from 1964 to 1967

Robert Maxwell was Labour MP for Buckingham from 1964 to 1970

After the Conservative Party lost the general election of 1964, the defeated Home changed the party leadership rules to allow for an MP ballot vote, and then resigned. The following year Heath won the party's leadership contest, gaining 150 votes to Reginald Maudling's 133 and Enoch Powell's 15

James Griffiths was first Secretary of State for Wales, in 1964

Members of the “magical circle” of old Etonians chose not to contend the 1965 Tory leadership election

Gwynfor Evans – first Plaid Cymru MP, in 1966

Barbara Castle introduced the breathalyser in 1967

Barbara Castle sometimes wore a red wig

The Plowden Report is the unofficial name for the 1967 report of the Central Advisory Council For Education (England) into Primary education in England. The report, entitled ‘Children and their Primary Schools’ reviewed Primary education in a wholesale fashion. The Council was chaired by Lady Bridget Plowden after whom the report is named

Civic Amenities Act 1967 first introduced the concept of conservation areas before being superseded by the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990

Ten Minute Rule is a procedure for the introduction of Private Member's Bills in addition to the 20 per session normally permissible. It is one of the ways in which a bill may receive its first reading

In 1968, HMS Fearless was the venue for talks between Harold Wilson and Ian Smith over the future of Rhodesia

Enoch Powell made the “Rivers of Blood” speech in the Midland Hotel, Birmingham in 1968. “River Tiber foaming with much blood” – quote by the Sybil, not Virgil

Voting age reduced from 21 to 18 in 1969

“A week is a long time in politics” – Harold Wilson

Irish politician David O’Connell was known as “The Liberator”. Co-founder of provisional wing of IRA in 1969

Harold Wilson said that Tony Benn ‘immatures with age’

The title of Postmaster General was abolished under the Post Office Act of 1969. A new public authority governed by a chairman was established under the name of the ‘Post Office’. The position of Postmaster General was replaced with ‘Minister of Posts and Telecommunications’. The last Postmaster General was John Stonehouse

Jack Straw was president of the NUS from 1969 to 1971

Gerry Fitt formed the SDLP in 1970

Edward Heath was Conservative Prime Minister from 1970 to 1974. MP for Bexley. Called early election in backfiring attempt to confront striking miners

Margaret Thatcher was Secretary of State for Education and Science from 1970 to 1974

Ian Macleod was chancellor for a month before his death in July 1970. He is credited for coining the term nanny state. Succeeded by Anthony Barber

Ian Paisley entered parliament in 1970 as MP for North Antrim

In his first Budget in 1971, Anthony Barber proposed to replace purchase tax and selective employment tax with value added tax, and also relaxed exchange controls; both were prerequisites to membership of the EEC

Parliament voted to join EEC in 1971

Social Contract – in return for the repeal of 1971 Industrial Relations Act, food subsides and a freeze on rent increase, the TUC would be able to persuade its members to cooperate in a programme of voluntary wage restraint

Reginald Maudling resigned in 1972 after the John Poulson scandal. Robert Carr became Home Secretary after Maudling resigned

When the then government first introduced VAT in 1973, it was levied at a standard rate of 10%. A year later, embarrassed by the abundance of revenue the tax raked in, Chancellor Anthony Barber cut the rate to 8%

Sunningdale Agreement – signed by Edward Heath and Liam Cosgrave in 1973

Lord Lambton was forced to resign in 1973 after being found in bed with two call girls

Office of Fair Trading established in 1973

Edward Heath dubbed Tiny Rowland’s Lonrho “the unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism”

Edward Heath is the only Chief Whip to become PM

Margo MacDonald won the Glasgow Govan by-election, 1973, as a Scottish National Party candidate

Selsdon Group is a free-market economics pressure group, closely associated with the Conservative Party. Created in 1973

Erskine Hamilton Childers served as the fourth President of Ireland from 1973 until his death in 1974. His father Robert Erskine Childers, a leading Irish republican and author of the espionage thriller The Riddle of the Sands, was executed during the Irish Civil War

John Stonehouse faked his death off a beach in Miami in 1974

Harold Wilson was Labour Prime minister from 1974 to 1976. MP for Huyton. Social Contract with trade unions over the economy; Health and Safety at Work Act; renegotiated terms for EC membership

Elections in February and October 1974

Jeffrey Archer resigned as MP for Louth in 1974 when faced with bankruptcy

Robert Kilroy-Silk was Labour MP for Ormskirk from 1974 to 1983 and for Knowsley North from 1983 to 1986. He was appointed Shadow Home Affairs spokesman, but resigned in 1985

Cyril Smith described the House of Commons as ‘The longest running farce in the West End’

Michael Howard married Sandra Paul in 1975

Sex Discrimination Act 1975

Equal Pay Act 1970 was passed by Parliament in the aftermath of the 1968 Ford sewing machinists strike and came into force in 1975

Harold Wilson buried in Scilly Isles in 1995

James Callaghan was Labour Prime Minister from 1976 to 1979. MP for Cardiff South East. International Monetary Fund loan to support the pound; Race Relations Act 1976; the Lib-Lab pact; Winter of Discontent

Ted Dexter stood against James Callaghan in Cardiff South East in the 1964 general election, but lost

James Callaghan resigned as Chancellor when the pound was devalued in 1967

James Callaghan was the last Prime Minister to serve in WWII

James Callaghan is the only politician in British history who has served in all four ‘Great Offices of State’

Baroness Jay of Paddington is the daughter of James Callaghan

Dennis Healy asked IMF for a loan in 1976

Race Relations Act 1976

Foreign Secretary Anthony Crosland died in office in 1977

David Owen became Foreign Secretary in 1977 after the death of Anthony Crosland

The West Lothian question examines whether it is just that members of the UK Parliament elected from Scotland can vote on issues only affecting England, but English MPs, in turn, cannot vote on these same aspects in relation to Scotland. The question was first posed in 1977 by Tam Dalyell, Labour MP for West Lothian, during a House of Commons debate over Scottish and Welsh devolution

Reg Prentice became the most senior Labour figure ever to defect to the Conservative party, in 1977

Roy Jenkins was President of the European Commission from 1977 to 1981

Roy Jenkins has written biographies of Gladstone, Churchill, Asquith and Baldwin

Warnock Report of 1978 coined the term ‘special educational needs’

Labour Chancellor Denis Healey in 1978 claimed an attack from Geoffrey Howe was "like being savaged by a dead sheep”

The Lancaster House Agreement was the independence agreement for Zimbabwe, signed in 1979

A vote of no confidence in the Labour Government of James Callaghan occurred on 28 March 1979. The vote was brought by Margaret Thatcher and was lost by the Labour Government by one vote (311 votes to 310). One crucial vote was lost by Labour backbencher Sir Alfred Broughton who was unable to attend the vote due to ill health

Lord Callaghan of Cardiff died in 2005, aged 92

Margaret Thatcher was Conservative Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. MP for Finchley

Margaret Thatcher was a barrister

Margaret Thatcher beat Willie Whitelaw in the Conservative leadership election of 1975

Chris Patten was MP for Bath from 1979 to 1992

Quentin Hogg – Lord Hailsham, was Lord Chancellor from 1979 to 1987

United Country Party was formed by Edmund Iremonger, a member of the Conservative Party and the Freedom Association; Patrick Moore was party chairman

Limehouse Declaration – 1981. In this document the 'Gang of Four' signaled their intent to leave the Labour Party

The British Nationality Act 1981 has been the basis of British nationality law since 1 January 1983

John Tyndall led the National Front in the 1970s and founded the contemporary British National Party (BNP) in 1982

Jill Craigie was married to Michael Foot

“Just rejoice at that news and congratulate our forces and the marines” – Margaret Thatcher on the liberation of South Georgia in 1982

Robin Day referred to John Nott as a “here-today gone-tomorrow politician”

Peter Carrington – last Lord who was Foreign Secretary (1979 to 1982)

Francis Pym took up the role of Tory foreign secretary during the Falklands War in 1982 following Lord Carrington's resignation, but was removed from this role by Margaret Thatcher in 1983

“Economic with the actualite” – Alan Clark, who lied in the Matrix Churchill case in 1982

Gerald Kaufman called the 1983 Labour party manifesto “the longest suicide note in history”

Keith Joseph was known as the “mad monk”

Nigel Lawson – Lord Lawson of Blaby

Douglas Hurd is a writer of political thrillers

Malcolm Rifkind succeeded Michael Portillo as MP for Kensington and Chelsea

Willie Whitelaw was first Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Clive Ponting sent two documents to Labour MP, Tam Dalyell in 1984, about the sinking of an Argentine naval warship General Belgrano. The documents revealed that the General Belgrano had been sighted a day earlier than officially reported, and was steaming away from the Royal Navy taskforce, and was outside the exclusion zone, when the cruiser was attacked and sunk

Sarah Tisdall was a Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) clerical officer who was jailed for leaking British government documents to a newspaper in 1983. She anonymously sent The Guardian photocopied documents detailing when American cruise missile nuclear weapons would be arriving in the United Kingdom

Michael Howard – formerly a barrister, was elected MP for Folkestone & Hythe in 1983

Margaret Beckett elected as MP for Derbyshire South in 1983

Nigel Lawson was Secretary of State for Energy before becoming Chancellor in 1983

Cecil Parkinson was Trade and Industry Secretary in 1983

Centre Forward – pressure group founded by Francis Pym in 1983

Neil Kinnock was born in Tredegar

Neil Kinnock is Baron of Bedwellly (in Gwent)

Neil Kinnock is the longest serving leader of a national party in Britain never to become Prime Minister

Britain left UNESCO in 1985, and rejoined in 1997

Red Wedge – formed by Billy Bragg, Paul Weller and Jimmy Somerville in 1985

Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed at Hillsborough Castle in 1985

Capital Transfer Tax was replaced by Inheritance Tax in 1986

The Boundary Commissions are currently established under Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (as amended by the Boundary Commissions Act 1992), although they were first established under early legislation after the Second World War

Sir Robert Armstrong coined the phrase ‘economical with the truth’ in the Spycatcher affair

Mo Mowlem was MP for Redcar from 1987 to 2001

David Steel and Robert Maclennan became joint interim leaders of the newly-merged Liberal and Social Democrats in 1988

Paddy Ashdown defeated Alan Beith in Liberal leadership election in 1988. MP for Yeovil

Paddy Ashdown was a commando in the SBS (Special Boat Squadron)

Margaret Thatcher had iron gates installed at the entrance to Downing Street in 1989

Iron Lady –coined by Captain Yuri Gavrilov in 1976 in the Soviet newspaper Red Star

Anthony Mayer, MP for Clywd, stood against Thatcher in 1989

Monster Raving Loony Party beat SDP in 1990 Bootle by-election

SDP folded in 1990

Poll Tax riots were in 1990

Geoffrey Howe resigned as Deputy PM on 1 November 1990

John Major took over from Nigel Lawson as chancellor in 1989, and appointed Norman Lamont as his successor when he became Prime Minister in 1990

Norman Fowler resigned from the cabinet as Employment Secretary in 1990, becoming the first politician to cite "to spend more time with my family" as his reasoning

The cricket test or Tebbit test was a controversial phrase coined in 1990 by Norman Tebbit in referring to the ‘loyalty’ or ‘lack of loyalty’ of immigrants and their children from certain parts of Asia and the Caribbean to the England cricket team. Tebbit suggested that those immigrants who root for their native countries rather than Great Britain in sports might not be sufficiently loyal to their new country

Baroness Young was the only woman ever appointed to the Cabinet by Margaret Thatcher

John Major was Conservative Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997. MP for Huntingdon

Oliver Cromwell was also MP for Huntingdon

John Major was an Old Boy of Rutledge School, Merton

Mary Robinson was president of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and was replaced by Mary McAleese. This is the only occasion a woman has succeeded another woman as president

Mary Robinson served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002

Minister for Culture, Media and Sport – post created in 1992. Replaced department of National Heritage

John Major presented only one Budget, the first one to be televised live, in 1990

Patrick Mayhew – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 1992–1997

Maastricht Treaty was signed in 1992. It created the European Union and led to the creation of the single European currency, the euro

Black Wednesday refers to 16 September 1992 when the government was forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) after it was unable to keep the pound above its agreed lower limit in the ERM. George Soros, the most high profile of the currency market investors, made over £1 billion profit by short selling sterling

Unitary authorities – local authorities set up by the Local Government Act 1992 which form a single tier of local government, and are responsible for almost all local government functions within their areas. This is opposed to the two-tier system of local government which still exists in most of England, where local government functions are divided between county councils and district councils

Scott Report – 1992 report into arms sales to Iraq in the 1980’s

Liam Fox studied medicine at the University of Glasgow and worked as a GP and Civilian Army Medical Officer before being elected as an MP in 1992

Iain Duncan-Smith succeeded Norman Tebbitt as MP for Chingford in 1992

Sebastian Coe served as Leader of the Opposition William Hague's chief of staff. MP for Falmouth and Camborne from 1992 to 1997

Asil Nadir, CEO of Polly Peck, absconded to Cyprus in 1993. Northern Ireland Minister Michael Mates was forced to resign after receiving money from Nadir to ask questions in the House of Commons

Back to Basics was a political campaign announced by John Major at the Conservative Party conference of 1993. Intended as a nostalgic appeal to traditional values, it subsequently backfired when a succession of Conservative ministers were caught up in scandals

British Rail was privatized in 1993

Downing Street Declaration was a joint declaration issued in 1993 by John Major and Albert Reynolds, the Taoiseach of Ireland. It affirmed the right of the people of Northern Ireland to self-determination

John Major sued New Statesman and Scallywag in 1993 for libel, for suggesting he was having an affair with Downing Street caterer Clare Latimer

Michael Howard succeeded Kenneth Clarke as Home Secretary in 1993

Anne Widdecombe said Michael Howard had ‘something of the night about him’

Kenneth Clarke is MP for Rushcliffe, near Nottingham. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1993 until 1997, and a minister throughout all 18 years of Conservative rule. He contested the party leadership three times

UKIP was founded in 1993 by Alan Sked and other members of the cross-party Anti-Federalist League, a political party set up in 1991 with the aim of fielding candidates opposed to the Maastricht Treaty

After John Smith died in 1994, Margaret Beckett took over as interim leader

John Prescott became deputy leader of the Labour party in 1994. Married to Pauline

Sunday Trading Act 1994 is an Act of the Parliament governing the right of shops in England and Wales to trade on a Sunday. Buying and selling on Sunday had previously been illegal, with exceptions, under the Shops Act 1950

Michael Portillo – last Secretary of State for Employment (1994–1995)

Gillian Shepherd – first Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1995–1997)

In 1995 Alan Howarth defected from the Conservative Party to the Labour Party, the first MP to defect directly from the Conservatives to Labour, and the first former Conservative MP to sit as a Labour MP since Sir Oswald Mosley

Tony Blair was Labour Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007. MP for Sedgefield

Referendum Party was formed by James Goldsmith to fight the 1997 election

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair was born in Edinburgh in 1953. Married Cherie Booth. Children – Euan, Nicky, Kathryn and Leo

Tony Blair was shadow Home Secretary from 1992 to 1997

Tony Blair attended Fettes College in Edinburgh

Tony Blair read law at St John’s College, Oxford

George Gardiner was the first MP for the Referendum party, after defecting from the Tories in 1997

Jonathan Powell – Chief of Staff to Tony Blair

Peter Thomson was an Australian Anglican priest, best known for influencing Tony Blair, while they were both at St John's College, Oxford

Tony Blair was in the pop group Ugly Rumours

Stephen Twigg served as Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate from 1997 to 2005, winning the seat from Michael Portillo

David Shayler is a former MI5 officer who was prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act after passing documents to the Mail on Sunday newspaper in 1997 that alleged that MI5 was paranoid about socialists and that it had previously investigated Labour Party ministers Peter Mandelson, Jack Straw and Harriet Harman

Jack Dromey is MP for Birmingham Erdington and the husband of Harriet Harman

Peter Mandelson resigned over the Hinduja passport scandal

Tony Blair lost Beaconsfield by-election in May1982

Minister for Women – post created by Labour in 1997

Ruth Rendall – life peerage in 1997. Sits on Labour benches

Mary McAleese was the first person born in Northern Ireland to be elected as the President of the Irish Republic, in 1997

Tony Banks, Baron Stratford (1943–2006), was a British politician and Labour Party MP and member of the House of Lords. He was formerly the Member of Parliament for West Ham and served as Sports Minister from 1997 to 1999

Bertie Ahern replaced John Bruton as Taoiseach of Ireland in 1997

Paul Boateng – Britain’s first black cabinet minister, in 1998

John Hume won the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize and the 2001 Gandhi Peace Prize

All-day opening reintroduced in 1998 in UK

The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament which aims to ‘give further effect’ in UK law to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights

Stephen Timms was Financial Secretary to the Treasury, with responsibility for Digital Britain

Good Friday Agreement was signed in Belfast in 1998

Michael Portillo won the Kensington and Chelsea by-election in 1999

Robin Cook used to write a weekly racing column in the Glasgow Herald

Ethical foreign policy – associated with Robin Cook

Dana (Rosemary Scallon) was MEP for Connacht and Ulster from 1999 to 2004

Charles Kennedy was leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1999 to 2006

Donald Dewar was the first First Minister of Scotland from 1999 until his death in 2000. He was the first person to hold the position of First Minister following the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999

First Minister of Scotland – Donald Dewar (1999–2000), Henry McLeish (2000–2001), Jack McConnell (2001–2007), Alex Salmond (2007–2014), Nicola Sturgeon (2014 - )

First Secretaries of Wales – Alan Michael and Rhodri Morgan

First Minister for Wales – Rhodri Morgan (2000–2009), Carwyn Jones (2009 - )

London mayoral election (2000) – Ken Livingstone defeated Frank Dobson (Labour), Steven Norris (Tory) and Susan Kramer (Liberal)

Freedom of Information Act – passed in 2000

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CRoW Act) applies to England and Wales only and provides a new right of public access on foot to certain types of land

The stop-and-search powers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act (2000) have been ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – the full provisions of the act came into force on 1 January 2005

Department for Work and Pensions was created in 2001 from the merger of the employment part of the Department for Education and Employment and the Department of Social Security

Iain Duncan-Smith – first Tory leader (2001–2003) not to fight an election since Neville Chamberlain

Estelle Morris resigned as Education Secretary in 2002, as she ‘had not been as effective as she might have been’

Shirley Williams served the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords from 2001 to 2004

Ann Taylor was Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee from 2001 to 2005

Jo Moore worked as an advisor to Transport Secretary Stephen Byers. Martin Sixsmith was Director of Communications. Said that 9/11 was ‘a good day to bury bad news’

Lord Wakeham stepped down as Chairman of PCC in 2002 over his involvement with Enron

Lembit Opik was born in Estonia

Lembit Opik has been variously described as ‘the human anagram’, ‘the minister for anagrams’ and ‘the walking Scrabble hand’

Peter Mandelson is the grandson of Herbert Morrisson

Peter Mandelson – was MP for Hartlepool. He managed the Labour Party's 1987 general election campaign

Alan Johnson – MP for West Hull and Hessle

Cheriegate – in 2002, Cherie Blair purchased two flats in Bristol with the assistance of Peter Foster, a convicted Australian conman and boyfriend of Blair's friend Carole Caplin, who negotiated a discount for Blair

Emyr Parry Jones replaced Jeremy Greenstock as British ambassador to UN in 2003

Baroness Amos – first black leader of the House of Lords, in 2003

Hilary Benn succeeded Baroness Amos as secretary of state for International Affairs

Extradition Act 2003 concerns itself with extradition to and from the UK in respect of all territories and in particular implements into UK law the 2003 US-UK Extradition Treaty

Inland Revenue merged with Customs and Excise in 2004

Peter Tatchell tried to arrest Robert Mugabe in London in 2004

Alex Salmond regained leadership of the SNP from John Swinney in 2004

Kimberley Quinn had a love-child with David Blunkett which led to his resignation as Home Secretary in 2004

In 2004, it was alleged that Blunkett abused his position to assist his ex-lover's Filipina nanny, Leoncia ‘Luz’ Casalme, by speeding up her residence visa application

In 2004 Alan Johnson became the first trade union leader to become a Cabinet minister since Frank Cousins in 1964

The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism is a book written by a group of prominent Liberal Democrat politicians in 2004

Beverley Hughes resigned as Immigration Minister after a passport scandal in 2004

Brian Sedgemore defected from Labour to Liberal Democrats before the 2005 election

Between 2005 and 2011 Gus O’Donnell served as the Cabinet Secretary, the highest official in the British Civil Service

Turner Report – on pensions, published in 2005

Lord Ashcroft became Tory deputy chairman in 2005

Since 2005, David Mundell has been the only Conservative MP representing a Scottish constituency (Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale) at Westminster

Michael McDowell replaced Mary Harney as Tanaiste (deputy Irish PM) in 2006

Baroness Hayman was elected as first Speaker of the House of Lords in 2006

Gordon Brown was Labour Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010. MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

James Gordon Brown was born in Giffnock, Renfrewshire in 1951. Married Sarah Macauley. Childen – Jennifer (deceased), John and James Fraser

Alex Salmond replaced Jack McConnell as first minister of Scotland in 2007

Jacqui Smith replaced John Read as Home Secretary in June 2007

Following the St Andrews Agreement and the Assembly election in 2007, Martin McGuinness became deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Ian Paisley becoming First Minister on 8 May 2007

Jack Straw replaced Barbara Castle as MP for Blackburn

Jack Straw was appointed Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain and Secretary of State for Justice on the first full day of Gordon Brown's ministry, 28 June 2007. He was the first Lord Chancellor since the sixteenth century to serve in the role whilst a member of the House of Commons

Margaret Beckett – first female Foreign Secretary, in 2006

Margaret Beckett was sacked as Foreign Secretary by Gordon Brown but returned to the Cabinet in October 2008 when she was made Housing Minister

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is a ministerial department created in 2009 by the merger of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR)

Gordon Brown dated Princess Marguerite of Romania for five years

Ed and David Miliband were the first brothers to serve in Cabinet since Edward and Oliver Stanley in 1938

Ralph Miliband was a Belgian-born British sociologist known as a prominent Marxist thinker. Father of David and Ed

David Miliband was Britain's third youngest Foreign Secretary and the youngest person to be appointed to the post since David Owen. He was the last Labour foreign secretary

Nick Clegg was MP for Sheffield Hallam. Married to Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, a partner of international legal practice DLA Piper

Shahid Malik was Britain’s first Muslim to serve as a minister in the British government

David Cameron was Conservative Prime Minister from 2010 to 2016. MP for Witney

David William Donald Cameron was born in 1966 and is a direct descendent of King William IV. Studied PPE at Oxford. Married to Samantha (nee Sheffield). Children – Ivan (deceased), Nancy, Arthur and Florence. At the age of 43, Cameron became the youngest British Prime Minister in 198 years (Lord Liverpool was 42 when he became PM in 1812), leading the first coalition government in the United Kingdom since the National Unity Government of World War II

David Cameron was a member of the Bullingdon dining club at Oxford

David Cameron defeated David Davies to become Tory leader

The Prime Minister alone decides which Minister or Secretary of State is to occupy Dorneywood. In 2010, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, took occupancy of the house

John Lewis List was the name given to the list of expenses that MPs could claim before 2010, after which the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) was set up to administer MPs' business expenses

Draft Communications Data Bill (nicknamed the Snooper's Charter) is draft legislation proposed by Theresa May in 2012 which would require Internet service providers and mobile phone companies to maintain records (but not the content) of each user's internet browsing activity (including social media), email correspondence, voice calls, internet gaming, and mobile phone messaging services and store the records for 12 months

David Cameron won the general election in 2015 and following a manifesto pledge the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, commonly referred to as the Brexit referendum, took place on 23 June 2016. The result was Leave 52% Remain 48%. David Cameron resigned and was succeeded by Theresa May on 13 July 2016

Jeremy Corbyn has been the MP for Islington North since the general election of 1983. He defeated Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall in the 2015 leadership election. Appointed John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor, Andy Burnham as Shadow Home Secretary, Hilary Benn as Shadow Foreign Secretary, and Angela Eagle as Shadow First Secretary of State

Ruth Davidson was leader of Scottish conservatives

Chris Grayling was appointed Lord Chancellor in 2012. He is the first non-lawyer to have served as Lord Chancellor for at least 440 years

George Osborne’s father, Sir Peter Osborne, 17th Baronet, co-founded the firm of fabric and wallpapers designers Osborne & Little

Theresa May was Conservative Prime Minister from 2016 to 2019

Theresa May was born Theresa Brasier in 1956. She married investment manager Philip May in 1980. May served as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016 and has been MP for Maidenhead since 1997

After Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement was rejected by Parliament, she resigned and was succeeded by Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson was Conservative Prime Minister from 2019 to 2022

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was born in 1964 in New York. He is the great-grandson of Ali Kemal, a Turkish journalist. He read Classics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was a Brackenbury scholar, and President of the Oxford Union. Johnson was MP for Henley from 2001 to 2008, and has been MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015

Boris Johnson was Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016 and Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018

Boris Johnson resigned following a series of scandals and a mass resignation of ministers from his government

Liz Truss was Conservative Prime Minister for a short period in 2022


House of Commons has 650 MPs

‘Ayes’ and ‘Noes’ in House of Commons, ‘Content’ or ‘Not-Content’ in House of Lords

The term National Government is in an abstract sense used to refer to a coalition of some or all UK major political parties. In a historical sense it usually refers primarily to the governments of Ramsay MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain which held office from 1931 until 1940. The all-party coalitions of Herbert Henry Asquith and David Lloyd George in the First World War and of Winston Churchill in Second World War were sometimes referred to as National Governments at the time, but are now more commonly called Coalition Governments. Churchill's brief 1945 ‘Caretaker Government’ also called itself a National Government

Crown Servants – civil servants that work in the Palace of Westminster

An adjournment debate is a short half hour debate that is introduced by a backbencher at the end of each day's business in the House of Commons

Appointment to the office of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern is used as a device allowing a Member of the United Kingdom Parliament (MP) to resign his or her seat. The office is allocated in rotation with that of Steward of the Manor of Northstead. A hundred is a traditional division of an English county, and the three hundreds of Stoke, Desborough, and Burnham, are in Buckinghamshire

Early Day Motion – a motion, expressed as a single sentence, tabled by Members of Parliament that formally calls for debate ‘on an early day’. In practice, they are rarely debated in the House and their main purpose is to draw attention to particular subjects of interest

Erskine May: Parliamentary Practice (full title: Erskine May's Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament; original title: A Treatise upon the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament) is a parliamentary authority originally written by British constitutional theorist and Clerk of the House of Commons, Thomas Erskine May. It is sometimes called the ‘Parliamentary bible’

A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing in the person's name

Most MPs are referred to as ‘the Honourable Member for...’ followed by the name of their constituency or as either ‘the Honourable gentleman’ or ‘the Honourable lady’

If the MP being addressed is a member of the same party they are referred to as ‘my Honourable friend’

If the MP is a practising lawyer he or she is referred to as ‘Honourable and Learned’

If a member is a past or present member of the armed forces they may be addressed as ‘Honourable and Gallant’, although this is very rarely used in the Commons nowadays

‘Right Honourable’ indicates a member of the Privy Council – normally a past or present minister

In the House of Lords, peers refer to each other as ‘my Noble friend’, ‘the Noble Lord’, ‘the Noble and Gallant Lord’, or ‘the Noble and Learned Lord’

The Lord Chancellor is a member of the Cabinet and, by law, is responsible for the efficient functioning and independence of the courts. Formerly he was also the presiding officer of the House of Lords, and the head of the judiciary in England and Wales, but the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 transferred these roles to the Lord Speaker and the Lord Chief Justice respectively

Control order – an order made by the Home Secretary to restrict an individual's liberty for the purpose of ‘protecting members of the public from a risk of terrorism’

The Senedd, also known as the National Assembly building, houses the debating chamber and three committee rooms for the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff

Although part of the EU under the British Treaty of accession, Gibraltar had not voted in elections for the European Parliament. Gibraltar is included in the South West England Region for the purposes of European Parliament elections, and first voted in the 2004 election

Woolsack is the seat of the Lord Speaker in the House of Lords

Privy Council – a body of advisors to the British Sovereign. Its members are largely senior politicians, who were or are members of either the House of Commons or House of Lords

Members of the Privy Council are addressed as Right Honourable

Chancellor of the Exchequer is Second Lord of the Treasury

Single Transferable Vote – a system of preferential voting designed to minimize ‘wasted’ votes and provide proportional representation while ensuring that votes are explicitly expressed for individual candidates rather than for party lists. It typically achieves this by using multi-seat constituencies (voting districts) and by transferring all votes that would otherwise be wasted to other eligible candidates

Third Way is a term that has been used to describe a political position which attempts to transcend left-wing and right-wing politics by advocating a mix of some left-wing and right-wing policies

Private member's bill – a proposed law introduced by a backbencher

Chief Whip – Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury

Factory Acts were a series of Acts passed by Parliament to limit the number of hours worked by women and children first in the textile industry, then later in all industries

D'Hondt method (mathematically but not operationally equivalent to Jefferson's method) is a highest averages method for allocating seats in party-list proportional representation. Used in UK elections for European Parliament

White papers are issued by the government and lay out policy, or proposed action, on a topic of current concern

Green papers, also known as consultation documents, may merely propose a strategy to be implemented in the details of other legislation or they may set out proposals on which the government wishes to obtain public views and opinion

The Father of the House is a title that is by tradition bestowed on the senior Member of the House of Commons who has the longest unbroken service. The sole mandatory duty of the Father of the House is to assume the Speaker's chair and preside over the election of a new Speaker whenever that office becomes vacant. The current Father of the House of Commons (November 2014) is Sir Peter Tapsell

The current Father of the House of Lords (November 2014) is Lord Carrington, who entered the House on his 21st birthday in 1940

Baby of the House is the unofficial title given to the youngest member of a parliamentary house. The current Baby of the House (November 2014) is Pamela Nash

Badge Messengers man the entrance to the House of Commons

House of Commons sittings start with prayers

Oireachtas is the national parliament of Ireland. The Oireachtas consists of: The President of Ireland and The two Houses of the Oireachtas – Dail Eireann (Lower house) and Seanad Eireann (Upper house)

Leinster House – the building housing the Oireachtas

Crossbencher – member of the House of Lords who demonstrates political neutrality

Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, generally shortened to just Black Rod, is an official in the parliaments of a number of Commonwealth countries. The position originates in the House of Lords of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. His equivalent in the House of Commons is the Serjeant at Arms. As secretary to the Lord Great Chamberlain he is responsible as the usher and doorkeeper at meetings of the Order of the Garter

The Yeoman Usher of the Black Rod acts as the deputy to the Gentleman Usher

of the Black Rod and assists him with his duties

The Serjeant at Arms is responsible for security matters concerning the House of Commons. The Serjeant, whilst in the Commons overseeing proceedings, can also escort MPs out of the chamber by order of the Speaker of the House. The post dates back to 1415

Black Rod acts as a messenger between Lords and Commons

House of Commons – chief legislative authority in UK

The Scottish Parliament is made up of 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs)

Scottish Parliament building cost £431 million. Original budget was £55 million

The National Assembly for Wales is a devolved assembly with power to make legislation in Wales. The Assembly comprises 60 members, who are known as Assembly Members, or AMs. Members are elected for four year terms

Collective Responsibility – members of the Cabinet must publicly support all governmental decisions made in Cabinet, even if they do not privately agree with them

Crossing the floor – moving from one political party to another

Deputy Speaker – also known as Chairman of Ways and Means

COBRA – government’s national emergency committee (Cabinet Office Briefing Room A)

Chevening House, in Kent, is the country residence of the Foreign Secretary

9 Downing Street is the Downing Street entrance to the Privy Council Office and currently houses the Chief Whip's office

First Lord of the Treasury – words on the letter box of 10 Downing Street

11 Downing Street is the official residence of the Second Lord of the Treasury in Britain, who in modern times has always been the Chancellor of the Exchequer

12 Downing Street houses the Prime Minister’s Press Office

Full Privy Council summoned when a sovereign intends to marry, and on accession of a new sovereign

The predecessor of Parliament, the Curia Regis (Royal Council), met in Westminster Hall

The House of Keys is the directly elected lower branch of Tynwald, the parliament of the Isle of Man, the other branch being the Legislative Council

Mebyon Kernow (Cornish for ‘Sons of Cornwall’, often abbreviated MK) is a political party. The main objective of MK is to establish greater autonomy in Cornwall, through the establishment of a legislative Cornish Assembly

Office of Foreign Secretary – 1, Carlton Gardens, London SW1

Foreign Secretary (UK) – same as Secretary of State (US)

Secretary of State for Scotland – office at Bute House, Edinburgh

Symbol of Liberal Democrats is a yellow bird

UKIP logo features a pound sign (£)

‘Another place’ or ‘the other place’ is a euphemism used in many bicameral parliaments, e.g. House of Commons and House of Lords

Chancellor’s ‘Golden Rule’ – borrow only for investment

Scilly Isles and Lands End represented by MP for St Ives

Local government elections take place in May

Boundary Commission reviews all constituencies every 8 to 12 years

£500 deposit for general election. Deposit is lost if candidate wins less than 5% of votes

Lord Chancellor – gets highest salary

Chairman of Ways and Means is the principal Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, presiding over the House in the Speaker's absence

A member of the Dail is known as a Teachta Dala, TD or Deputy

Nolan Committee – reports on standards in public life (sleaze)

The original Budget briefcase was first used by William Ewart Gladstone in 1860 and continued in use until 1965 when James Callaghan was the first Chancellor to break with tradition when he used a newer box. In 1997, Gordon Brown became the second Chancellor to use a new box for the Budget