House of Commons Library

Successful Private Members' Bills since 1983

Published Wednesday, July 5, 2017

This list notes the titles and sponsoring Member of successful Commons and Lords private Members' bills (PMBs) since the 1983 general election.

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PMBs in the House of Commons

Parliamentary business is governed by the Standing Orders (SOs) of the House of Commons: Public Business 2017. There are three ways a backbencher can introduce a bill in the Commons:

  • By ballot – SO No 14 (9) (10) (11)
  • 10 Minute Rule – SO No 23
  • Ordinary Presentation – SO No 57


Procedure for PMBs

Government business has precedence in Parliament and the majority of bills considered by both Houses are Government bills. With limited time available for the consideration of PMBs, generally only bills with Government and cross-party support are successful.

The time allocated for PMBs in the Commons is provided by SO No.14 (9) which governs the arrangement and timing of public and private business:

  • Private Members' bills shall have precedence over government business on thirteen Fridays in each session to be appointed by the House.
  • For more information on procedure for public bills in Parliament, including the various types of PMBs, see the Commons Library briefing on Public Bills in Parliament.


PMBs in the House of Lords

Since 2015 there has been a ballot to determine the order of introduction of private members bills in the House of Lords. If a bill completes its passage through the House of Lords, it requires an MP to sponsor it in the Commons.

Procedure in the House of Lords is governed by Standing Orders of the House of Lords Relating to Public Business. The Companion to the Standing Orders and Guide to the Proceedings of the House of Lords states that:

There is no procedural distinction between bills sponsored by a minister and those introduced by other members of the House, save in respect of carry-over and human rights statements. In practice the House normally accords priority to proceedings on government bills except where private members' bills are not expected to give rise to debate. But there is no concept of government or private members' "time" in the Lords, nor any specific time when government or private members' bills are taken.

Statistics on private Members' bills

The number of private Members' bills introduced in both Houses and given Royal Assent in each Parliament since 1997 is given in the Commons Library briefing on the Number of bill introduced and gaining Royal Assent since 1997.

The list of Ballot Bills in the Commons since 1997 notes the results of the Commons Members Bills Ballot and their subsequent progress.

Parliament: facts and figures

This series of publications contains data on various subjects relating to Parliament and Government. Topics include legislation, MPs, select committees, debates, divisions and Parliamentary procedure.


Please send any comments or corrections to the Parliament & Constitution Centre. Suggestions for new lists welcomed.

Commons Briefing papers SN04568

Author: Sarah Priddy

Topics: Legislative process, Parliament

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