COMMONS

E-Petitions and the Backbench Business Committee

A new e-petition system will be set up soon and overseen by the Petitions Committee. Brief details are outlined below.

The House of Commons has agreed to set up a new e-petitions system, in collaboration with the Government, which will enable members of the public to petition the House of Commons and press for action from Government. The Government’s site will be replaced by a new e-petitions website soon. The new e-petitions system will be overseen by the Petitions Committee, which will consider petitions and decide what action to take.

More details of the new system are set out in the House of Commons Procedure Committee’s report E–petitions: a collaborative system.

The Petitions Committee will be able to recommend that petitions be debated in Westminster Hall. If the Petitions Committee decides that a petition should be debated in the main House of Commons Chamber, it would take that request to the Backbench Business Committee.

The Procedure Committee has said that it expects the Petitions Committee to take the existing threshold of 100,000 signatures for a petition to be considered for debate in the House as a starting-point.  But it also noted that there may be occasions when a debate is not appropriate—such as when a debate has already taken place in the House on the same subject.