Tuesdays, 5:00 PM ET on BBC Two
Michael Cockerell presents a four-part series filmed over the course of a year with unparalleled access to the House of Commons.
In the final part of this major four-part series, battles break out over the future of the House. Speaker John Bercow runs into trouble with his own plans for reforming it. Wealthy Tory backbencher Zac Goldsmith tries to give voters the power to sack their MPs - and the establishment tries to stop him. Plus the ongoing struggle to conserve the Victorian mock gothic palace and anticipate the challenges of carrying out a multi-billion pound programme of restoration work whilst the House is sitting. David Purdue of the events and banqueting team is part of a new initiative to raise money for the upkeep of the House by hosting fashion shows and film premieres inside the House. At the end of a remarkable year, conflict continues between those who celebrate the Commons' historic traditions and those who believe it needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, as MPs gear up for the general election. Many face the prospect of losing their jobs. The ever-changing House of Commons will soon have a new intake of MPs, and new challenges to face.
In the third episode of this major four-part series, presenter Michael Cockerell sees how the traditional three-party system appears to be falling apart at the seams. Back-bench MPs are becoming increasingly rebellious as they confront the dark arts of the whips - the shadowy figures who seek to impose party discipline. Michael follows Lib Dem MP Jenny Willott as she seeks to balance new parenthood with politics. And we follow the clockmakers whose job it is to ensure that all the Commons' 2000 clocks, from Big Ben downwards, tell exactly the same time.