Page last updated at 10:28 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 11:28 UK

Hansard is the name given to the documents in which the proceedings of Parliament are published.

A to Z: Hansard

It is also known as the Official Report. It is not a verbatim record of what was actually said as editorial corrections are allowed, but the substance of what was said must remain the same.

Hansard is printed at 0730 each morning and contains a report of the previous day's business - even if that day's business finished in the early hours of the morning.

Hansard reporters sit in the Press Gallery of both Houses, and an uncorrected version of their work is published on the UK Parliament website with a delay of about three hours.

Written answers by ministers to questions tabled by MPs and peers are printed in the back of Hansard each day.

Public Bill Committee proceedings and Westminster Hall debates are published separately by Hansard.


The name derives from Thomas Curson Hansard, who privately published a daily record of the Commons in the nineteenth century.

Reporting of Parliament officially began in 1803. William Cobbett's Political Register contained the first Hansard-style reports.

The Hansard family bought Cobbett out in 1809 and put their name on the report in 1829.

In 1909 the operation was taken over by the House of Commons.

Commons officials then rebranded the publication as the Official Report, but the epithet endured and the name Hansard was officially reinstated in 1943.

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