Skip to main content

Dissolution of Parliament

The dissolution of Parliament took place on Thursday 30 May 2024. All business in the House of Commons and House of Lords has come to an end. There are currently no MPs and every seat in the Commons is vacant until after the general election on 4 July 2024.

Find out more about:

Revolution and Restitution

For eleven years from 1629 to 1640, Charles I attempted to rule without calling any parliaments after a dispute about a set of taxes called ship money. Ultimately, he needed money and so reluctantly called a parliament in 1640, later called the Long Parliament because it lasted until 1660 in some form.

On 4 January 1642, as the tensions that would lead to the British Civil Wars escalated, Charles I entered St Stephen's with armed soldiers to attempt to arrest five MPs and the Speaker, William Lenthall. The MPs fled out of a back entrance, and Lenthall refused to tell Charles anything. This is the first and last time that a monarch has entered Parliament's meeting place in a hostile manner, and it is still reflected in the ceremonies of the State Opening of Parliament today. After Charles was executed in 1649, the remnant of the Long Parliament, called the Rump, ruled under the strict directions of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector, until Charles II called a new Parliament on his return in 1660.

Discover the other major political events St Stephen's witnessed.




Last updated April 2017

External Link

Find out more about the restitution of Charles II


You can access biography of

Charles I

Oliver Cromwell

Charles II

from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for free, online, using your local library card number (includes nine out of ten public libraries in the UK) or from within academic library and other subscribing networks.