The business of both Houses follows a similar daily pattern. An example of the main business in each House is set out below.
Sittings in both Houses begin with prayers. The practice of prayers is believed to have started in about 1558.
Question Time is an opportunity for MPs and Members of the House of Lords to ask government ministers questions.
If something has happened which an MP believes requires an immediate answer from a Government Minister, they may apply to ask an urgent question
After Question Time (and any urgent questions that may have been allowed) a Minister may make an oral statement to the House.
The main business in both chambers often takes the form of a debate. This includes debates on legislation, general topics of interest or issues selected by the major parties.
Members of both Houses register their vote for or against issues by dividing into division lobbies. Therefore, a vote is called a 'division'.
Westminster Hall debates give MPs an opportunity to raise local or national issues
Early day motions (EDMs) are formal motions speculatively tabled for debate in the House of Commons.
In addition to oral questions, MPs and Peers can ask government ministers questions for written answer. Government ministers can make written statements to Parliament as well as oral ones.
Ministers can make written, as well as oral, statements to Parliament. They are normally used to put the day-to-day business of government on the official record and in the public domain.