House of Commons Library

Summary of public bills: 1997 - present

Published Friday, July 8, 2016

A table showing the number of public bills introduced by session in each parliament since 1997 and the number that gained Royal Assent, becoming Acts of Parliament.

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Public bills

Public bills (as opposed to private bills) can be introduced both by the Government and by backbench Members (MPs not in the Government). Bills introduced by backbench MPs and peers are known as private members’ bills. 

Government Bills

The number of new bills presented by the Government and bills carried over from the previous session are shown on the left of the table together with the number gaining Royal Assent. Included in the Government figures are hybrid bills. Hybrid bills have the characteristics of both public and private bills and are subject to a combination of both public and private bill procedures to allow those affected to make representations. Two hybrid bills have been introduced since 1997: 

Bill Introduced Royal Assent
Crossrail 22 Feb 2005 (2004-05) 22 Jul 2008 (2007-08)
High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) 25 Nov 2013 (2013-14)  -

Private Members’ Bills

Bills presented by backbenchers under the different types of procedure are detailed on the right of the table together with the totals of each gaining Royal Assent. An overall total of all successful bills is given in the column of the far right. Private members’ bills cannot be carried over. The Commons Library briefing on Successful Private Members’ Bills since the 1983 lists the titles of successful bills and details the different types of procedure under which they can be introduced. 

Detail on bills gaining Royal Assent

The titles of all bills receiving Royal Assent each session are listed in the House of Commons Sessional Returns. More information on bills, included their debates in parliament and the full text of the bills, can be accessed via the Bill Pages on the Parliament website. The bills are listed by session and it is possible to filter these to show different types of bills. 

Progress of Legislation

Information on the progress of legislation is available in a single document which lists the titles of all bills before Parliament in the current session. This list is updated weekly following Thursday business statement and include provisional dates for forthcoming stages. Details of the parliamentary stages of bills and the procedures they are subject to can be found in the following Commons briefing papers:


Any comments or corrections to the lists would be gratefully received and should be sent to: Parliamentary Information Lists Editor, Parliament & Constitution Centre, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.

Commons Briefing papers SN02283

Author: Sarah Priddy

Topics: Legislative process, Parliament

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