Procedure Committee

Session 2006-07 26 July 2007 No. 11

Raised profile for Petitions to the House of Commons

The Government has accepted the key recommendations of the Procedure Committee's report on Public Petitions (First Report of Session 2006-07, HC 513).

These recommendations will:

  • ensure that the Government replies to all substantive petitions;

  • see petitions and the replies to them published in Hansard and readily accessible on the House of Commons website; and

  • encourage debates to be held on petitions of particular importance.

The Government's reply to the Committee's report was published today as a Command Paper (Cm 7193).

Building on these recommendations, the Procedure Committee will now move on to consider how to introduce e-petitioning to the House of Commons. In doing so it will draw on the experiences of both No.10 Downing Street and the Scottish Parliament.

Commenting on the publication of the Government's reply, Rt Hon Greg Knight MP, Chairman of the Procedure Committee, said-

"I welcome the Government's positive response to our report. The recommendations which the Government has accepted today will make petitioning the House of Commons more transparent and productive, in particular by requiring the Government to respond to the issues and concerns raised by petitioners.

I also welcome the Government's support for our work on e-petitions. A successful e-petitioning system could play an important part in revitalising the relationship between Parliament and people."