When the Prime Minister enters the House of Commons, MPs stand up to show respect.
The prime minister is not just the head of government in the UK, but also the leader of their political party. The prime minister has to be a member of parliament, which means they have to win a seat in an election. When Theresa May resigned as prime minister on June 7th 2019, Boris Johnson was elected by Conservative Party members as her replacement. This meant that he had to become an MP first before he could become prime minister.
In order for someone to become an MP, they have to win a seat in an election. In this case, Boris Johnson had already been elected as an MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in 2015 when he became mayor of London. However, once he became prime minister, he had to resign from his seat in parliament and fight another election.
To make sure that everyone is fairly represented and all sides are considered when laws are being made by parliament, there are 650 seats in the House of Commons. These seats are divided up between constituencies according to population size and other factors such as historical significance.
This means that there is only one seat for each constituency so whichever candidate wins gets it all to themselves.
Why do MPs stand up?
When it comes time for Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), each party leader stands at their own podium with their own team behind them. There are two teams – one on either side – and each team stands up when their leader does.
What happens if someone doesn’t stand?
If someone doesn’t stand up during PMQs or at any other time when entering or leaving the House of Commons chamber then they can be fined £500 (or more if they repeat it). This can also happen if they refuse a summons from Parliament or fail to answer questions asked by MPs.