Government 01
Queen Elizabeth II is the head of Parliament.

Government 01

This KS3 Citizenship quiz takes a first look at government. Britain is a monarchy. The queen or king is officially the head of Parliament but it is the Government that rules the country. The Government is split into two 'houses', the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It is the House of Commons that decides on laws and policies. Politicians form political parties, these are groups of people who have similar ideas about how the country should be run. The number and names of the parties change over time, for example, the party that was called the Whigs (pronounced wigs) in the nineteenth century is now called the Liberal Democrats.

The politicians who make up the Government are called MPs, which stands for Members of Parliament. Each MP represents a community which is called their constituency.

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Normally, an MP belongs to a political party, but those who don't are called independent MPs. At the moment, there are six hundred and fifty constituencies in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England so there are six hundred and fifty MPs. The Government is led by the Prime Minister who is the leader of the party that has the largest number of MPs. Occasionally, one party only has a small majority. When this happens, they can join together with another party to form a Coalition Government.

The Government cannot run the day-to-day services like refuse collection, road mending etc. in counties and towns. These are managed by local governments which are usually referred to as councils or local authorities.

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  1. Local governments are commonly known as what?
    They are also called the local authority and have the responsibility to manage the day-to-day running of services e.g. libraries in their area
  2. Which of these is NOT a local government?
    There are other types of local government for example, a unitary authority which is a form of local government that combines the roles of the District Council and County Council
  3. What are the names of those who run councils?
    Councillors are elected volunteers
  4. Local governments are responsible for which of the following?
    The others would be dealt with by the National Government
  5. Who is the head of Parliament?
    Even though the monarch is the Head of Parliament, they cannot take part in law making because they are not elected by the people of Britain
  6. Parliament has two houses. What is the upper house known as?
    Some Lords are hereditary (that means they are lords because of who their parents are) and others are honorary (that means they have been awarded their title)
  7. What is the lower house known as?
    Parliament is 'bicameral' which is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. The Queen is the third component of the legislature
  8. Where do the two houses meet?
    Westminster Palace was the residence of the kings of England since King Canute. The version we see today was built after the previous palace burnt down in 1834
  9. Which famous bell is situated at Westminster?
    Many people also use the name Big Ben to refer to the clock and the clock tower as well as the bell. The tower was really called the Clock Tower, but was renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II
  10. What is MP short for?
    Members of Parliament are elected by the people of Great Britain

Author: Frank Evans

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