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The Backbench Business Committee

Published Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The House of Commons Backbench Business Committee has responsibility for scheduling non-ministerial business in the new Parliament. This Paper sets out how the membership of the Committee is determined, it approach to date, and assessments of its impact.

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The House of Commons Backbench Business Committee has responsibility for scheduling non-ministerial business in the new Parliament. It schedules business on 35 days or their equivalent, at least 27 of which take place in the House of Commons Chamber and the rest in Westminster Hall. The Backbench Business Committee also has responsibility for choosing the number and subjects and format of topical debates.

The Committee consists of a chair and seven other members, elected at the beginning of each session. In March 2012, the House passed a motion to require the chair to come from a party not in Government. The House also agreed that Members of the Backbench Business Committee should be elected by their own party, in the same way that members of select committees are elected. There has been provision to permit members of the smaller parties in the House to take part in discussions of the Backbench Business Committee.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7225

Authors: Richard Kelly; Ruth Martin

Topic: House of Commons

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