of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
, which also comprises the Sovereign
and the House of Lords
(the upper house
). Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster
. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members (since 2010 General Election), who are known as Members of Parliament
(MPs). Members are elected through the first-past-the-post
system by electoral districts known as constituencies
. They hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved
(a maximum of five years after the preceding election).
A House of Commons of England
evolved at some point in England during the 14th century and, in practice, has been in continuous existence since, becoming the House of Commons of Great Britain
after the political union with Scotland, and also, during the nineteenth century, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
after the political union with Ireland, finally reaching its current title after independence was given to the Irish Free State
The House of Commons was originally far less powerful than the House of Lords, but today its legislative powers greatly exceed those of the Lords.
1791 A Constitutional Act is introduced by the British House of Commons in London which envisages the separation of Canada into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario).
1812 Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons, London.
1892 Dadabhai Naoroji is elected as the first Indian Member of Parliament in Britain.
1901 Winston Churchill makes his maiden speech in the House of Commons.
1914 The United Kingdom's House of Commons passes the Home Rule Act for devolution in Ireland.
1941 World War II: The House of Commons in London is damaged by the Luftwaffe in an air raid.
1947 The "Indian Independence Bill" is presented before British House of Commons, suggesting bifurcation of British India into two sovereign countries – India and Pakistan.
1979 The British House of Commons passes a vote of no confidence against James Callaghan's government, precipitating a general election.
1992 Betty Boothroyd becomes the first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons in its 700-year history.
2007 British House of Commons votes to make the upper chamber, the House of Lords, 100% elected.