House of Commons of the United Kingdom

The House of Commons[lower-alpha 2] (domestically known as the Commons) is the lower house and de facto primary chamber of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster.

House of Commons
of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
58th UK Parliament

Flag of the House of Commons
Type
Type
Leadership
Lindsay Hoyle
since 4 November 2019
Eleanor Laing, Conservative
since 8 January 2020
Boris Johnson, Conservative
since 24 July 2019
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative
since 24 July 2019
Mark Spencer, Conservative
since 24 July 2019
Keir Starmer, Labour
since 4 April 2020
Thangam Debbonaire, Labour
since 9 May 2021
Alan Campbell, Labour
since 9 May 2021
Structure
Seats650
Political groups
HM Government
  Conservative Party (363)
HM Most Loyal Opposition
  Labour Party (199)
Other opposition
  Scottish National Party (45)
  Liberal Democrats (12)
  Democratic Unionist Party (8)
  Plaid Cymru (3)
  Social Democratic and Labour Party (2)
  Alba Party (2)
  Alliance Party (1)
  Green Party (1)
  Independent (6)[lower-alpha 1]
Abstentionist
  Sinn Féin (7)
Presiding officers
  Speaker (1)
Length of term
Up to 5 years
Elections
First-past-the-post
Last election
12 December 2019
Next election
On or before 2 May 2024
RedistrictingRecommendations by the boundary commissions; confirmation by Queen-in-Council.
Meeting place
House of Commons chamber
Palace of Westminster
City of Westminster
London, England
United Kingdom
Website
www.parliament.uk/business/commons/

The Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as members of Parliament (MPs). MPs are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved.

The House of Commons of England started to evolve in the 13th and 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, and assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century. The "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, and became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922. Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title.

Under the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power. The government is solely responsible to the House of Commons and the prime minister stays in office only as long as they retain the confidence of a majority of the Commons.