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House of Commons

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Presidency module

Parliament name UK Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Commons
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) House of Lords
Title Speaker of the House of Commons
Term - duration: 5 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: death, illness, resignation
Appointment - elected by all Members of the House at the beginning of every new Parliament (or when the incumbent Speaker resigns or dies), before the other Members are sworn in
Eligibility - any Member can be a candidate
Voting system - formal vote with public ballot and simple majority
- there is one round of voting in the event of 2 candidates contesting the election
Procedures / results - the father of the House, the Member with the longest continuous period of service, presides over the Assembly during the voting
- Clerks supervise the voting
- the father of the House announces the results immediately the Division is completed
- the results cannot be challenged

Status - Speaker's rank is defined by the Order in Council of 30th May 1919, which stated that the Speaker should have precedence immediately after the Lord President of the Council
- reads messages from the Queen and presents bills for the Royal Assent, presents Addresses of the Commons to the Sovereign, represents the House at State occasions (Royal weddings...)
- is ex officio Chairman of the House of Commons Commission and Chairman of the 4 Boundary Commissions
- in the absence of the Speaker, one of the 3 deputies ( the Chairman of Ways and Means, the first Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means or the second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means ) can assume his/her role and functions
Material facilities - same salary as a Cabinet Minister
- official residence in the Palace of Westminster
- staff of 10 including a Housekeeper, Chaplain and Constituency Secretary

Organization of parliamentary business - organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- selects amendments, new clauses and schedules to bills and determines the order, but the examination of the admissibility is carried out by the Department of the Clerk of the House
The Leader of the House, who is a Member of the Government:
- convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
Chairing of public sittings - can adjourn and close sittings and re-convene them if adjourned
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the House
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up and selects which amendments are to be debated
- calls for a vote if judgement is disputed, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- does not check the quorum ; however if in a division it is found that fewer than 35 Members have voted, the business under consideration stands over
- authenticates formally the Votes and Proceedings, the minutes of the House
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the House, according to precedents
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates

Special powers - is responsible for establishing the budget as Chairman of the House of Commons Commission
- is responsible for recruitment, assignation and promotion of staff as Chairman of the House of Commons Commission
- is responsible for the organization of the services of Parliament as Chairman of the House of Commons Commission
- a branch of the Department of the Clerk is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- Serjeant at Arms is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the House
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- takes part in voting only when the numbers in a division are equal

- provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- takes part in voting only when the numbers in a division is equal

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