434 Pages 37 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    434 Pages 37 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Written by expert insiders, How Parliament Works is a straightforward and readable analysis of one of the country’s most complex – and often misunderstood – institutions. Covering every aspect of the work, membership and structures of both Houses, this key text provides a unique insight into the work and daily life of Parliament.

    The ninth edition has been substantially revised to take account of recent changes in both Houses, and to cover all the key issues affecting Parliament and politics, such as:

    • Changes in membership of both Houses since the 2019 general election
    • Developments on Brexit, including Parliament’s scrutiny of post-Brexit arrangements
    • Coverage of recent issues such as the Cherry/Miller prorogation case and its implications for the constitutional role of Parliament, the role of the Speaker in the Brexit process, dissent in Parliament and disagreement between the Houses
    • Updates on developments on restoration and renewal
    • New material on representation of different groups in and by Parliament
    • Explanations of Parliament’s response to allegations of bullying and harassment
    • How Parliament adapted to carry on functioning during the covid-19 pandemic
    • New in-text features, case studies and photographs

    How Parliament Works is essential reading for anyone who has anything to do with the Westminster Parliament: journalists, civil servants, lawyers, lobbyists, business and trade associations, diplomats, overseas parliaments and international bodies – and indeed members of both Houses. How Parliament Works is also an invaluable companion to the study of politics at A, A2 and university level, and provides a wealth of source material for teachers.

    Introduction 1. Parliament: its home and origins 2. Who is in Parliament? 3. Running Parliament 4. Influences on Parliament 5. The parliamentary day and the organisation of business 6. Making the law 7. Parliament and the taxpayer 8. Debates 9. Calling to account: Questions 10. Calling to account: Select committees 11. Parliament and Europe 12. The future of Parliament Glossary of parliamentary terms Sources of information about Parliament


    Nicolas Besly became a clerk in the House of Lords in 2002. He has worked in the Committee Office, Public Bill Office, Table Office and Journal Office. He became the first private secretary to a Lord Speaker and edited The Table, a journal on Commonwealth parliaments. He is currently the Registrar of Lords’ Interests, advising on compliance with the House’s code of conduct.

    Tom Goldsmith became a clerk in the House of Commons in 1996. He has worked in the Public Bill Office, the Table Office and the Overseas Office. He headed the Governance Office and has served as Secretary to the House of Commons Commission, Clerk of Committees and Clerk of the Table Office. In 2023 he was appointed as the 52nd Clerk of the House of Commons. The Clerk is the chief procedural and constitutional adviser to the House, and as Head of the House Service leads 3,000 staff of the House of Commons.

    "Anyone wanting an insider’s account of how Parliament really works should read this book. Parliament is a complex institution – but there is no clearer explanation of how it functions." 

    Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, Speaker of the House of Commons


    "Parliament makes laws, holds the government to account and debates the issues of the day. This highly readable and expert account of how it does so is based on academic and empirical insights, and will be of great use to anyone who wants to understand Parliament better."

    Rt Hon Lord McFall of Alcluith, Lord Speaker


    "An authoritative and well-structured compendium on the central institution of the United Kingdom. How Parliament Works combines the unrivalled expertise of its authors with accessible, yet detailed, knowledge. This makes it an essential reference point for students and scholars of legislative studies. "

    Dr Matt Beech, Reader in Politics and Director of the Centre for British Politics, University of Hull and IES Senior Fellow, UC Berkeley