Private members' bills

Private members' bills can be introduced in either house and must go through the same stages as public bills.

Private Members' Bills can be introduced in either House and must go through the same stages as Public Bills. They are introduced by MPs and Lords who are not government ministers. Because not as much time is allocated to Private Members' Bills they are less likely to become law. The Private Members' Bill must be given a short and long title and can be introduced in three ways in the House of Commons:

  • The Ballot:

  • The Ten Minute Rule:

  • Presentation.

Ballot Bills are most likely to become law, the name comes from the fact that Members applying for a Bill have their names drawn in a ballot and the first seven or so names to be drawn are likely to have their bills debated.

Ten Minute Rule Bills allow Members to speak for just 10 minutes in which time they can outline their Bill. In reality the Bill is unlikely to be passed but it gives the Member the opportunity to raise an interest in an issue and gauge how much support he has in the House.

Presentation Bills can be introduced by any Member who has notified the House of their intention to introduce it. The title of the Bill is read out but no time is allowed for the Member to speak about it and it is rare for them to become law.

Private Members' Bills from the Lords will follow the same procedure as all other Public Bills and will proceed to the Commons, if it gains the support of an MP, where it will be treated in the same way as Private Members' Bills. They rarely succeed as they are not given priority over Bills introduced in the Commons.

Find out more about the stages of a Bill


Follow this Private Members' Bill Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of convention) Bill 2016-17...



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