House of Commons Library

Private Members' Bills

Published Monday, April 11, 2016

This Commons Library briefing paper provides background information for the Westminster Hall debate on the procedure for debating and voting on private Members’ bills, which is scheduled to take place in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 13 April 2016.

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A debate on the procedure for debating and voting on private Members’ bills has been scheduled to take place in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 13 April 2016.  The Member who initiated the debate is Jeff Smith.

A private Member’s bill (PMB) has to complete its passage through both Houses, like any other bill, before it can receive Royal Assent. However, unlike most Government bills, PMBs are not timetabled or programmed. 

The Procedure Committee is “looking at the procedures and practices of the House relating to private Member’s bills, in the light of the work undertaken by the predecessor Committee in the 2013-14 Session”. The Committee announced its inquiry on 7 January 2016.  The Committee has taken oral evidence from the Leader and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, a number of backbench Members, parliamentary officials, journalists and the Hansard Society.

An e-petition, “Reform the rules on filibustering or ‘talking a bill to death’” was tabled after long speeches were made in the course of the debate on the second reading of the Hospital Parking Charges (Exemption for Carers) Bill 2015-16.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7554

Author: Richard Kelly

Topics: Legislative process, Members of Parliament, Parliamentary procedure

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