Issues / How does Parliament scrutinise the government and keep it in check? June 27th, 2019 Hot Topic Part of Parliament’s role is to scrutinise government activity to ensure that the government is doing what it said it would do. Here’s more: There are select committees for both Houses. In the House of Commons there is a select committee for every government department. In the Lords, there is a committee for one of six different areas. Select committees report on certain areas (e.g. knife crime) and make inquiries which are available to the public. The government is sometimes requested to respond to inquiries. Over the course of the Parliament, opposition parties have 20 days where they can set the agenda for the day. The Labour party has 17 opposition days while the second opposition party (SNP) has 3. Opposition days are a chance to challenge the government on policy and administration. MPs will use the media to publicise their views and keep the public informed of issues to do with Parliament. Prominent MPs and cabinet members often make television appearances on shows like The Andrew Marr Show or Newsnight to draw attention to a specific areas or new policies. MPs will write in newspapers and publications as a way of highlighting or addressing an issue. MPs can summon a government minister to answer an urgent question on a matter of public interest. The Speaker must approve urgent questions and a minister must be given prior notice in order to prepare a response Recent Articles Should we abolish private schools? What is the Iran Nuclear Deal?