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The House of Lords / Палата Лордов

The main function of the upper Chamber, the House of Lords, is to examine and revise bills from the Commons. But the Lords cannot reject a bill. They can only delay it for a maximum of one year. Financial bills (i. e. bills related to money) cannot be delayed by the House of Lords. If the Lords approve a bill it is sent to the Queen for signature.

The members of the House of Lords are not elected. The House of Lords is the only non-elected chamber of Parliament in the world.

It consists of Lords Temporal and Lords Spiritual and includes more than 1,000 members. Lords Temporal are 830 Lords by the right of inheritance (hereditary peers), 270 members are given life peerage (life peers). Lords Spiritual are 26 members of the House of Lordsand they are spiritual peers (bishops and archbishops).

The House of Lords is represented by people of different gradesof nobility: dukes, marquesses ['ma:kwIsIz], earls, viscounts ['vaIkaunts]and barons.

The Lord Chancellor is the Chairman of the House of Lords. He sits on the throne upon the Woolsack, a large bag of wool covered with red cloth. The Woolsack is a reminder of the times when Britain's commercial prosperity was founded on her wool exports.

 


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