Zhenyan Liu IB 303

Political of UK The official name of the UK is the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. The name refers to the union of what were once four separate nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (though most of Ireland is now independent).

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as head of state; the monarch of the UK serves as head of state of fifteen other Commonwealth countries, putting the UK in a personal union with those other states. HM the Queen is also represented in her role as Queen in right of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand respectively. Within the United Kingdom, the Queen appoints Counsellors of State to perform her duties in her absence.

The position of Prime Minister, the UK's head of government, belongs to the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of a plurality in the House of Commons. The UK parliament is made up of two houses: an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords, and any Bill passed requires the assent of HM the Queen to become law. For elections to the House of Commons, the UK is divided into 646 constituencies, with 529 in England, 18 in Northern Ireland, 59 in Scotland and 40 in Wales.

Currently, the government has been warned to expect tough opposition to its plans to extend the time limit on holding terror suspects without charge. The home secretary Jacqui Smith has described the terrorism threat facing the UK as "severe" and "growing". In a News of the World interview, Jacqui Smith said 30 terror plots were being investigated and police needed to be able to detain suspects for longer. She also has announced extra 300 police jobs to target radicalization. Ms Smith said it was being funded by an extra £11 million this year announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review.

After few days, The Conservatives have accused Home Secretary Jacqui Smith of breaching Whitehall election rules and reported her to the cabinet secretary. The reason of that is she has broken "purdah" rules by announcing 300 new counter-terror police officers ahead local elections in England and Wales on 1 May. Interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today program, she denied she was "picking a political fight" over the 42-day issue.

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