An introduction to Parliament



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Healthcare, education, the environment, international aid, crime.

Issues affecting all our lives are shaped and driven by Parliament.

But how did it all begin, what does Parliament do all day and how do you fit in?

Parliament has evolved throughout its long history to become what it is today, changing over time to meet the needs of the people.

Two key historical events began this process.

In 1215, King John put his seal on Magna Carta, and agreed to a list of 63 rules set out by a group of barons.

This ensured for the first time that no-one, not even the king, was above the law.

Fifty years later, Simon de Montfort, for the first time, invited representatives of the towns and shires to his 1265 parliament.

These events established the foundations for the representative democracy we have today, and from this point onwards, the power to make decisions for the nation passed, over time, from the monarch to Parliament.

Let's take a closer look at the UK Parliament today.