Preliminary Stages: Private Bills

Private Bills are brought in after a petition by the person or organisation who wants the Bill. Private Bills are drafted by specialist Parliamentary Agents, on behalf of the Bill's promoters.

Copies of the Bill must be deposited with various interested authorities and made available to MPs and Lords. A copy of the Bill must also be deposited in the Private Bill Office of the House of Commons and the Office of the Clerk of the Parliaments in the House of Lords by 27 November.

Parliament must publicise each Private Bill, so that anyone directly and specifically affected by the Bill can consider whether they want to object to all or part of the Bill.

Parliamentary Agents

Roll A

Roll A agents can promote and oppose private Bills and are professional specialists whose expertise in bill procedure has been duly recognised

Roll B

A Roll B agent can represent petitioners against private and hybrid bills but cannot promote a bill. The procedure for applying to become a Roll B agent is explained here. Subject to orders of the House, Roll B agents are appointed only for an individual session and have to be engaged in a petition against a particular bill (i.e. they cannot be free standing).

Where can I read Private Bills?

Once a Private Bill has been deposited, you can read the full text online:

Bills before Parliament

Objecting to a Private Bill

If a person or organisation objects to a Private Bill, they can petition against it. The petition must be written in line with the rules of the House. For information on how to petition against a Private Bill, contact the Private Bill Offices.

Related information

Bills before Parliament

We carry a full list of Bills before Parliament with complete texts, amendments and all proceedings. You can follow the progress of legislation on this site by accessing our Bills and Legislation section.