Channel 4 Learning


Who rules //

National Government

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You're probably bored of seeing politicians making speeches on television. However, in between all the squabbles and scandals, Members of Parliament (MPs) in the government have important work to do. If they don't do it well, you'll soon hear about it.

What's it got to do with me?

Why should you care about the work MPs do? Well, each MP represents a specific area of the UK; this is called a constituency. The UK is split up into 659 constituencies.

The MP is responsible for getting the views of the people who live in that area to the government. You have an MP who represents you in Parliament. If you're not happy about what's going on in your area, in the UK or even in other parts of the world, your MP has a responsibility to listen to what you have to say and act on it.

Your MP is basically your direct line to the government bigwigs. They are your representative in Parliament. Parliament is where all the MPs from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland meet.

An MP talking to people on the street

Your representative

Since we can't all physically meet and make decisions about what the UK should be doing, we vote for people to represent us – MPs. People are likely to have different needs and ideas depending on where they live. It's important that the MP for each area understands the people living there and the problems they face. If you live in a housing estate in an inner city for example, the issues you face are likely to be different from those facing someone living in the leafy suburbs.