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In the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, a Member of Parliament (MP) is an individual elected to serve in the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporat ...

House of Commons
of the
Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kin ...
.


Electoral system

All 650 members of the UK Parliament are elected using the
first-past-the-post voting In a first-past-the-post electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral systems are or ...
system in single member
constituencies An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, or electorate, is a subdivision of a larger state Sta ...
across the whole of the United Kingdom, where each constituency has its own single representative.


Elections

All MP positions become simultaneously vacant for
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...

election
s held on a five-year cycle. The
Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (c. 14) (FTPA) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make ...
sets out that ordinary general elections are held on the first Thursday in May, every five years. However, with approval from Parliament, both the
2017 2017 was designated as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development2017 was declared as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations General Assembly on 4 December 2015 relating to sustainab ...
and
2019 2019 was designated as International Year of the Periodic table, Periodic Table of Chemical Elements by the United Nations General Assembly given that it coincides with the 150th anniversary of its creation by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869. Event ...
general elections were held earlier than the schedule set by the Act. If a vacancy arises at another time, due to death or
resignation Resignation is the formal act of leaving or quitting one's office or position. A resignation can occur when a person holding a position gained by election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses ...
, then a constituency vacancy may be filled by a by-election. Under the
Representation of the People Act 1981 The Representation of the People Act 1981 (c. 34) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the U ...
any MP sentenced to over a year in jail automatically vacates their seat. For certain types of lesser acts of wrongdoing the Recall of MPs Act 2015 mandates that a recall petition be opened; if signed by more than 10% of registered voters within the constituency the seat is vacated.


Eligibility

In the past only male adult property-owners could stand for Parliament. In 1918 women acquired the right to stand for Parliament, and to vote. To be eligible to stand as an MP a person must be at least 18 years old and be a citizen of the UK, a
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
nation, or
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
. A person is not required to be registered to vote, nor are there any restrictions regarding where a candidate is resident. The
House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 The House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United ...
outlaws the holders of various positions from being MPs. These include
civil servants The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leadersh ...
,
police officers officer in Hamburg en, Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central European Time, CET , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central European Summer Time, CEST , utc_offset1_DST ...
, members of the
armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
, and
judges A judge is an official who presides over a court. Judge or Judges may also refer to: Roles *Judge, an alternative name for an adjudicator in a competition in theatre, music, sport, etc. *Judge, an alternative name/aviator call sign for a member ...
. Members of the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
are not permitted to hold Commons seats. Members of legislatures outside of the Commonwealth are excluded, with the exemption of the Irish legislature. Additionally, members of the
Senedd The Senedd (; ), officially known as the Welsh Parliament in English language, English and () in Welsh language, Welsh, is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, unicameral legislature of Wales. A democratically elected body, it makes ...

Senedd
(Welsh Parliament) or the
Northern Ireland Assembly The Northern Ireland Assembly ( ga, Tionól Thuaisceart Éireann; Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots: ''Norlin Airlan Assemblie'') often referred to by the metonym Stormont, is the devolution, devolved legislature of Northern Ireland. It has ...
are also ineligible for the Commons according to the
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...
and Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Acts respectively, passed in 2014. People who are
bankrupt Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts to creditors may seek relief from some or all of their debts. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor. ...
cannot stand to be MPs. The Representation of the People Act 1981 excludes persons who are currently serving a prison sentence of a year or more. People in respect of whom a bankruptcy restrictions order has effect are disqualified from (existing) membership of the House of Commons (details differ slightly in different countries).


Title

Members of Parliament are entitled to use the post nominal title MP. MPs are only referred to as "honourable" as a courtesy during debates in the House of Commons or if they are the child of a peer. Those who are members of the
Privy Council A privy council is a body that advises the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 "he head of state He or HE may refer to: ...
use the form The Right Honourable (The Rt Hon. or Rt Hon.) ''Name'' MP.


Responsibilities

Theoretically, contemporary MPs are considered to have two duties, or three if they belong to a political party. Their primary responsibility is to act in the national interest. They must also act in the interests of their constituents where this does not override their primary responsibility. Finally, if they belong to a political party, they may act in the interests of that party, subordinate to the other two responsibilities.


See also

*
List of MPs elected in the 2019 United Kingdom general election In the United Kingdom's (UK) 2019 United Kingdom general election, 2019 general election, 650 Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Members of Parliament (MPs) were elected to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons – on ...
*
United Kingdom Parliament constituencies The Parliament of the United Kingdom currently has 650 parliamentary United Kingdom constituencies, constituencies across the constituent countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), each electing a single Member of Parliament (Uni ...
*
Member of the Scottish Parliament Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP; gd, Ball Pàrlamaid na h-Alba, BPA; sco, Memmer o the Scots Pairliament, MSP) is the title given to any one of the 129 individuals elected to serve in the Scottish Parliament. Electoral system The addit ...
*
Member of the Senedd , insignia = , insigniasize = , insigniacaption = , insigniaalt = , flag = , flagsize = , flagalt = , flagborder = , flagcaption = , image = , imagesize = , alt = , imagecaption = , incumbent = Members of the 6th Sened ...
*
Member of the Legislative Assembly (Northern Ireland) Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs; ga, Comhaltaí den Tionól Reachtach; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ''Laa-Makkan Forgaitherars'') are representatives elected by the voters to the Northern Ireland Assembly. About The Northern ...


References

{{UnitedKingdomMPs Members of Parliament