Parliamentary records of the United Kingdom

Parliamentary records of the United Kingdom covers the period from the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, including records from the Parliament of Great Britain and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.


The longest British parliament lasted for 20 years and was nicknamed the Long Parliament. It sat during the reign of Charles I and oversaw both civil wars and the execution of Charles I

Longest sitting

The longest single sitting of the House of Commons lasted from 16:00 on 31 January 1881 to 09:30 on 2 February, a duration of 41.5 hours. The session centred on "Protection of Person and Property in Ireland".[1]

The longest single sitting of the House of Lords lasted from 11:00 on 10 March 2005 to 19:31 on 11 March 2005, a duration of 32.5 hours (excluding breaks). The sitting centred on consideration of Commons amendments to the Prevention of Terrorism Bill.[2][3]

Most divisions

The highest number of divisions in a single day in the House of Commons is 64 on 23–24 March 1971, of which 57 occurred between midnight and noon.

Longest speech

The longest continuous speech on record is that of Henry Peter Brougham on 7 February 1828 when he spoke for six hours on law reform. He subsequently set the same record in the House of Lords on 7 October 1831 again speaking for six hours during the second reading of the Reform Act.

Since stricter standing orders were introduced, the longest back-bench speech was given by Ivan Lawrence on 5–6 March 1985 speaking for 263 minutes against the Water Fluoridation Bill.[4]

Most votes cast

The most votes cast in a single division is 660 in the vote of no confidence (350-310) against the government of the Marquess of Salisbury on 11 August 1892. There were 665 out of 670 Members taking part in the division as each side put up two tellers to count the votes, and the Speaker of the House of Commons remained in the Chair. Two seats were vacant, and only three Members failed to take part, two being ill and one absent in Australia.

Fewest votes cast

The fewest votes cast in a single division is one, in a vote on whether to adjourn debate on the British Railways Bill at 01:33 on 24 July 1974.[5]


  1. McWhirter, Norris (1996). Guinness Book of Records. Guinness Publishing. p. 183. ISBN 0-85112-646-4.
  2. "House of Lords ends 21-hour marathon debate on voting". BBC News. 18 January 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  3. "Prevention of Terrorism Bill". Lords Hansard. 10 March 2005. Retrieved 18 July 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. at
  5. Hansard for 24 July 1974 at

See also