BLOG: UK Parliament Week | Breast Cancer UK

BLOG: UK Parliament Week

Published 13 Nov 2017

Today marks the start of UK Parliament week (13 – 19 November), an annual festival that engages people from across the UK with Parliament, explores what it means to them and empowers them to get involved [1].

What is Parliament?

The UK Parliament examines what the Government is doing, makes new laws, holds the power to set taxes and debates the issues of the day. There are two Houses in parliament – the elected House of Commons and the unelected House of Lords, who each play an important role in Parliament's work.

The Parliament Explained podcast (on SoundCloud and iTunes) provides a good beginners guide to the inner workings of the UK Parliament.

How can I keep up with what’s going on?

  • We often feature news and blogs about Parliamentary activity related to breast cancer prevention on our website.
  • You can follow Parliament on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
  • Everything that happens in each House’s Chamber, and many of the committees, is streamed live online at You can watch live or stream later. If video isn’t your thing, Hansard is the official written record of Parliament.
  • Visit in person to watch the business of the Houses - the Chambers and committee rooms are open to the public to attend free of charge when the Houses are sitting. Check the parliamentary calendar to find out what is coming up.

How can I engage with Parliament?

Of course, you can vote to elect an MP (if you’re not registered to vote, you can do so online). But that’s not the end of it - once you MP has been elected, you can ask them to help with issues that are important to you. To ask them to act on breast cancer prevention, you can write to your MP through our website.

You can also contact Members of the Lords - they don’t have a geographical constituency that they represent, but they will often have a topic of interest. You can filter a list of members of the Lords by interest on the Parliament website.

All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal groups of Members of Parliament who join to pursue a topic. Breast Cancer UK has spoken at meetings of the APPG on Breast Cancer and an APPG on Cancer, you can see a full list of APPGs online.

Select committees hold inquiries into pressing issues and make recommendations to the Government. They ask people and organisations for their views to help with their inquiries. These are all listed on the Parliament website. Breast Cancer UK recently submitted evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into the future of chemicals regulation.

Can I make a difference?

Yes. MPs and Lords care about what the public think, what problems people face and what Parliament can do to help. The more people who are actively engaged with our Parliament the better.

You can write to your MP through our website and also see what Breast Cancer UK is asking for in our Manifesto for the Prevention of Breast Cancer.



[1] It focuses on the UK Parliament, rather than the other Parliaments and Assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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