Private members Bill

A Private Members Bill is a mechanism for individual MPs (also known as Private Members) to initiate their own legislation. Although they are rarely successful it is an important way for MPs to get an issue they care about on the political agenda. There are three types of Private Member's Bill: 1. The most important is the ballot bill. Each year a ballot is held at the start of the session and the twenty MPs whose names come out top are allowed to introduce legislation on a subject of their choice. The six or seven MPs at the top of this list are given time by the Government to have their proposals discussed in detail in the House. Measures which gain strong cross party support can stand a good chance of becoming law. 2. MPs may also introduce Private Member's Bills in the form of Ten Minute Rule Bills on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. The sponsoring MP may make a speech lasting 10 minutes in support of his or her bill. These bills are not allocated time for further discussion and stand little chance of becoming law. They can be an important campaigning tool however. 3. The third type of Private Member's Bill is the Presentation Bill. A Member introducing this type of bill is not able to speak in support of it and the bill stands almost no chance of becoming law. These bills are used by MPs largely as a method of publicising a particular issue. They can also be used to test support for a particular issue.

contributed by user Alex Runswick