Emergency debates

An emergency debate is a debate called at short notice in the House of Commons on a matter that should have urgent consideration.

How is an emergency debate arranged?

An MP may apply to the Speaker for an emergency debate on Mondays to Thursdays during sitting time under the rules of Standing Order No. 24.

If the Speaker has given the MP leave they will have three minutes to make a speech after question time and any urgent questions or ministerial statements. The Speaker then decides whether to submit the application to the House.

The House will have to agree that the debate takes place. If the House agrees to the application the emergency debate will take place on a future day, usually the next sitting day. The motion to be debated will be "That the House has considered the matter of [Topic]".

Where can I find a list of emergency debates?

You can find a list of emergency debates since 1979 through the following Parliamentary Information List.

What applications for emergency debates have been made?

The following table gives a list of applications for emergency debates, and whether they were agreed or declined, since May 2012.

Applications for emergency debates in the House of Commons since May 2012

MP Debate Title Date Decision

Proposal for debate

Mr Andrew Mitchell Humanitarian Catastrophe in Aleppo and Syria 11.10.16 Agreed

Mrs Anne Main Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 08.06.16 Declined c1205
Ms Angela Eagle UK steel industry 11.04.16 Agreed c93

Dr Eilidh Whiteford

Tax Credits 27.10.15 Declined c197
Chris Bryant The Operation of the Wilson Doctrine 15.10.15 Agreed c515
Yvette Cooper The Refugee Crisis in Europe 07.09.15 Agreed c66
Mr Alistair Carmichael Means of delivery of English votes on English laws 06.07.15 Agreed


Sir Richard Ottaway Ban by China on the Foreign Affairs Committee visit to Hong Kong 01.12.14 Agreed c68
Nigel Adams UK Coal's proposed closure of Kellingley and Thoresby collieries 08.04.14 Declined c135
Mr David Cameron Royal Charter on Press Conduct 18.03.13 Agreed c630
Jeremy Lefroy Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust special administrator 05.03.13 Declined c863
Caroline Nokes The closure of the Ford assembly plant at Swaythling 29.10.12 Declined c52
Tim Farron West Coast Main Line 03.09.12 Declined c69
Mr Peter Bone Wellingborough Prison 17.06.12 Declined c854


Parliamentary Glossary

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