The Houses of Parliament (Westminster)
The Houses of Parliament in London, also known as the Palace of Westminster, is the place where members of Parliament (M.P.s) gather to make laws. The Palace of Westminster stands on the riverside near Westminster Abbey. Tourists always go to see them. Those who visit the Houses of Parliament may sit in the Strangers' Gallery looking down into the House of Commons and listen to the debates. The members of each House meet in sessions which begin at the end of October and last for about one hundred and sixty days. The sittings usually begin at 10 o'clock in the morning and end in the late afternoon; but if Parliament is discussing an important question, sittings may go on till late at night. When Parliament is in session, a flag can be seen over the building, and when the House of Commons is still sitting after dark, there is a light over the face of Big Ben. The members of the House of Commons sit on two sides of the hall. The Speaker is the chairperson at all the debates in the House of Commons, and their duty is to keep order. The Speaker is elected by all the members of the House of Commons. He belongs to one of the political parties in Parliament, but whenever votes are equal, he votes with the government. The chairperson of the House of Lords is Lord Chancellor. He sits on the Woolsack, a large bag of wool covered with red cloth. If shows that wool made England rich.