Parliament Key terms

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Backbencher

An Mp who doesn't have a shadow ministerial or ministerial role.

They commonly sit on the back benches in House of commons.

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Frontbencher

An Mp who has a ministerial or shadow ministerial role.

They commonly sit on the front benches in the House of commons.

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Private members bill

A bill that's proposed by an Mp who isn't a member of government. These ussually occur through an annual ballot.

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Head of state

The leading representative of the state,who personally embodies the state's power and authority.

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Parliamentary rebellion

A division in which Mps vote against their party whip.

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Act

A legislative proposal that has completed the legislative process and entered in to law.

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Green paper

A government document setting out various options for legislation and inviting comment.

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Public bill

A bill concerning a general issue of public body,introduced by a government minister.

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White Paper

A government document setting out a detailed proposal for legislation.

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Peer

A member of the House of Lords.

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Division

A vote in parliament.

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Whip

A party official responsible for ensuring that Mps turn up to parliamentary votes and follow party instructions on how to vote. It can also be defined as an instruction to vote that is issued to Mps by political parties.

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Motion of no confidence

A parliamentary motion of which, if passed,requires the resignation of the government and dissolution of parliament.

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Legislature

The branch of government responsible for passing laws.

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Parliament

An assembly that has the power to debate and make laws.

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Scrutiny

Examining something in a close or detailed way.

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