What is the ceremonial mace? We're asking because a Labour MP created excitement and outrage by picking it up. We also look at other weird parliamentary facts.
A Labour MP picked up the ceremonial mace in the House of Commons - where the UK's politicians meet. Lloyd Russell-Moyle did it after the vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal was postponed. If the mace is removed, MPs cannot debate or pass laws. He was thrown out of the room for doing it
In the House of Commons, where MPs can say yes to new laws, the seats are green. Green for go! But in the House of Lords, members can vote AGAINST these new laws to to try and stop them. So red for stop. This isn't actually the most likely explanation. The colours of the Commons and Lords have been red and green for several hundred years, too long to be absolutely certain as to exactly why each colour is associated with each Chamber. One theory is about the cost of the dyes. Red was a very expensive dye, often used by aristocracy because they could afford it.
In 2016, some suggested laws were picked out of a goldfish bowl. There isn't time to discuss every MP's ideas for a new law, so most years the suggestions are picked out of a bag or a hat – but in 2016 they were fished out of a goldfish bowl in the House of Commons. Of course, there is no goldfish or water in the bowl when it's in parliament!
Animals are banned from Parliament. Only guide dogs are allowed into the House of Commons. Although lots of mice are rumoured to call it home!
There are 650 MPs, but not all of them can have a seat in the the House of Commons. There is only room for 427 bums on seats. The rest have to stand. In the House of Lords, there are around 800 members but only 400 seats. So half have to stand..... not that every member turns up to every debate of course!