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Longest UK parliamentary session comes to an end – for good

Nearly 850 days have passed since the Queen attended the State Opening on June 21 2017.

The Houses of Parliament (Jonathan Brady/PA)
The Houses of Parliament (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Ian Jones, PA

The longest parliamentary session in the history of the United Kingdom ends on Tuesday night – and this time for good.

The session initially came to an end in the early hours of September 10, when Parliament was thought to have been prorogued – or suspended – until October 14.

But the Supreme Court then ruled the prorogation was unlawful, meaning the session had not technically ended at all.

Instead, MPs returned to the House of Commons on September 25 to resume parliamentary business.

The current session formally began on June 21 2017 with the State Opening of Parliament, including the Queen’s Speech.

When Parliament is prorogued on Tuesday night, a total of 839 calendar days will have since passed, making it the longest continuous parliamentary session since the UK was established by the Acts of Union in 1800.

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(PA Graphics)

The previous record-holder was the session of 2010-12, which lasted 707 calendar days from the State Opening on May 25 2010 to prorogation on May 1 2012.

Parliament is typically prorogued once a year, followed shortly afterwards by another State Opening and Queen’s Speech.

But in 2017, the Government announced that the current session was to last two years to pass the key legislation needed to allow the UK’s departure from the European Union.

More than two years later, prorogation will take place with the UK still a member of the EU.

According to analysis by the PA news agency, the 10 longest parliamentary sessions by calendar days have all occurred within the last 70 years.

In joint third place are the sessions that ran from April 1966 to October 1967 and from May 1997 to November 1998 – both of which followed Labour election victories and lasted 554 days.

PA

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