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Parliament was formally prorogued on Thursday – the first time it was done so by a king in more than seven decades.
A statement was read out on behalf of King Charles III in the House of Lords to mark the end of the most recent parliamentary session.
It was the first prorogation of parliament since the death of Queen Elizabeth II last September.
The prorogation comes just weeks after MPs returned from party conference recess, and they will now get another short break from attending the House of Commons.
What does it mean to prorogue Parliament?
Parliament runs in sessions that generally last for around a year, although the length can vary.
The act of proroguing Parliament brings to an end the current parliamentary session, with a short break before a new session begins.
Prorogation usually takes the form of an announcement, on behalf of the King, read in the House of Lords. As with the State Opening of Parliament, it is made to both Houses and the Speaker of the House of Commons, and MPs attend the Lords chamber to listen to the speech.
Parliamentary business which hasn’t been completed by the end of a session is normally brought to an end (meaning it can’t be picked up at the start of the next session).
What happend at the prorogation?
The Royal Address, read out by the House of Lords Leader Lord True, set out legislation passed during the parliamentary session.
It included the Illegal Migration Act, which dictates that people who arrive in the UK via small boats must be deported to their country of origin, or to Rwanda.
Also passed was the Public Order Act, aimed at preventing disruptive protests and tactics used by groups like Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion.
When is the State Opening of Parliament?
A new parliamentary session begins with the official State Opening of Parliament and a King’s Speech, in which the Government sets out the laws it wants to pass over the coming session. Parliament must then approve the speech by voting in favour of it.
The State Opening of Parliament for the new session will take place on Tuesday 7 November. The King is expected to open the new session in person, as he did last year in his late mother’s place, as she was too unwell to attend.
The monarch’s arrival at Parliament is typically a grand affair, as they travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster by carriage.
MPs have their own protocol to follow and before the speech are summoned to the House of Lords by an official known as Black Rod. Before they enter the House of Commons, Black Rod has the door shut in their face to symbolise the chamber’s independence from the monarchy.
The King’s Speech is normally read from the throne in the House of Lords.