Member of Parliament
A member of parliament (or MP for short) is an elected member of the British Parliament and thus a member of the House of Commons.
They are elected by those eligible in the UK population to the House of Commons to represent a defined area called a constituency. They are selected by the first-past-the-post system of election (winner takes all). They may remain MPs until Parliament is dissolved (or until found guilty of fraud, lying, sexual perversion or simply dying).
There must be a new election within 5 years of the last general election, as stated in the Parliament Act 1911 ... unless Gordon Brown thinks he's going to lose when he might declare a state of emergency and suspend the election till he has a better chance of winning.
While an MP, these representatives of the people get to make laws to govern the masses (or little people as the MP's like to think of us). The little people often dont want governed with bloody stupid, oppressive laws but MP's dont give a feck about what they want. Its all about the power and the perks (more later).
MP's mostly belong to tribes called political parties, and hardly ever disobey what the tribal elders decide they should vote. This is under threat of The Whips ... yet bizarrely if an MP gets involved with someone called Miss Whiplash, they are often asked to step down.
MP's never get sacked ... but they sometimes stand down to spend more time with their families usually right after they have got caught doing something naughty. (Exception: MP Tessa Jowell stepped down from her crook of a husband to spend more time with her job)
The salary for an MP is approx £65,000 paid for by the taxpayer. They may employ all their relatives as assistants and researchers paid for by the taxpayer. They may claim expenses from the taxpayer for items and services that aid them in their service to the people ie moat cleaning, duck islands, house extensions, mock tudor beams, 44" plasma tv's, tins of cat food, tampax's, wreaths for when those grubby squaddies get themselves killed, dry rot in other peoples houses, £18,000 bookcases ... in fact any fucking thing they fancy ... because its allowed by THE RULES (which they wrote!).
They may also get assistance on paying their second home mortgage paid for by any guesses? This second home is for the purpose of having a place to stay in London but mysteriously it can be all over the country in whichever town or seaside resort they fancy. This second home can also move hundreds of miles in a simple flip. Even though the taxpayer makes significant contribution to these second (and in some cases they dont even exist) homes, the taxpayer does not own any part of them and they belong in their entirety to the MP. They may be sold as an when the MP's see fit and they keep the all the cash (and dont pay tiresome things like capital gains tax).