To know something about the world of Britain’s politicians, you should explore the Houses of Parliament. They are part of the Palace of Westminster, which stands on the banks of the Thames across the river from the London Eye. At the Northern end of the Palace there’s a clock tower. As soon as they see it, tourists shout “That’s Big Ben!” Actually, Big Ben is only the name of the impressive 13-tonne bell. You should visit the House of Commons’ public gallery, where you can observe debates on weekday afternoons and evenings. Once inside, visitors pass through the octagonal Central Lobby (where the public can meet members of parliament- MPs), and then enter the House itself. The Government and the Opposition sit on green benches divided by a long table and two parallel red lines. MPs mustn’t cross these lines. The debates are often noisy affairs where The Speaker has to control the proceedings: MPs must attract his attention if they want to speak. Sessions begin with open questions and then new laws are considered. The rest of the Palace of Westminster is only open to public tours during the summer, when you can see the Victoria Tower, the Royal Apartments and the spectacular Westminster Hall. This used to hold the law court where famous people like Guy Fawkes were condemned to death: he failed to blow up the House of Commons in 1605, but a German bomb destroyed the chamber in 1941. It was rebuilt to the original design in 1950.
Source: Speak Up
Read the following text about politicians in London. For questions 1-5, choose the most appropriate option A, B or C. The activity begins with an example.
0) If you want to learn about British politicians, it’s best to…
a) ride on the London Eye
b) visit Big Ben
c) explore a part of Westminster Palace.
1) The Houses of Parliament…
a) are opposite the London Eye.
b) are next to the London Eye.
c) are far from the Big Ben.
2) Big Ben…
a) is the name of the tower.
b) is a small bell.
c) is close to the palace of Westminster.
3) Visitors can see British politicians…
a) at weekends
b) on Monday to Friday mornings.
c) in the Central Lobby.
a) usually have quiet debates.
b) can’t speak spontaneously.
c) begin their sessions considering new laws.
5) Part of the palace of Westminster…
a) is open to the public all summer.
b) was destroyed in 1605.
c) was rebuilt in the 20th century.