The first reading stage of a Bill is formal, with no debate. Following first reading, the MP nominates the date for the next stage, second reading, to take place. Second reading is the first opportunity for MPs to debate the main principles of the Bill.
Time for debating Private Members' Bills is limited to 13 Fridays in each session of Parliament.
Private Members' Ballot Bills 2013-14 in ballot order
1. European Union (Referendum) - James Wharton MP
Bill to make provision for the holding of a referendum in the United Kingdom on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union.
2. High Cost Credit - Paul Blomfield MP
Bill to make provision for regulating high-cost credit arrangements and providers of such arrangements; to provide for controls on advertising, information and communications associated with such arrangements; to make measures to address the cost and affordability of such credit arrangements and their associated charges; to regulate matters concerning repayments under such arrangements; to make provision on advice and advice services in relation to debt arising from such arrangements; and for connected purposes.
3. Citizenship (Armed Forces) - Jonathan Lord MP
Bill to make provision in connection with applications for naturalisation as a British citizen made by members or former members of the armed forces.
4. Deep Sea Mining - Sheryll Murray MP
Bill to make provision about deep sea mining; and for connected purposes.
5. House of Lords Reform (No. 2) - Dan Byles MP
Bill to make provision for retirement from the House of Lords; to make provision for the expulsion of Members of the House of Lords in specified circumstances; to make provision for the appointment of a commission to make recommendations to the Crown for the creation of life peerages and to restrict membership of the House of Lords by virtue of hereditary peerages.
6. Private Landlords and Letting and Managing Agents (Regulation) - Sir Alan Meale MP
Bill to establish a mandatory national register of private landlords; to introduce regulation of private sector letting agents and managing agents; to establish a body to administer the national register and to monitor compliance with regulations applying to letting agents and managing agents; to require all tenancy agreements entered into with private landlords to take the form of written agreements; and for connected purposes.
7. Apprenticeships and Skills (Public Procurement Contracts) - Andrew Gwynne MP
Bill to require certain public procurement contracts let by public authorities to include a commitment by the contractor to provide apprenticeships and skills training; and for connected purposes.
8. Freedom of Information Requests (Disclosure of Identity of Applicants) - Karl McCartney MP
Bill to provide for the disclosure of the identity of those who make requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and for connected purposes.
- MP not present. First reading not taken.
9. Delivery Surchages (Transparency for Consumers) - Mike Crockart on behalf of Sir Robert Smith MP
Bill to require online retailers to declare to consumers at the start of the retail process the existence of surcharges for delivery to certain addresses in the UK; and for connected purposes.
10. Drug Driving (Assessment of Drug Misuse) - Graham Evans MP
Bill to provide for the assessment of drug dependency or propensity for drug misuse of persons who, in the course of investigations for certain driving offences, have provided blood or urine samples that reveal the presence of certain drugs; and for connected purposes.
11. Communications (Unsolicited Telephone Calls and Texts) - Mike Crockart MP
Bill to reduce the incidence of unsolicited telephone calls and texts received by consumers; and for connected purposes.
12. Graduated Driving Licence Scheme - Justin Tomlinson MP
Bill to make provision for a graduated driving licence scheme; and for connected purposes.
13. Child Maltreatment - Mark Williams MP
Bill to make provision about the physical and emotional welfare of children; and for connected purposes.
14. Communication Support (Deafness) - Mark Williams on behalf of Sir Malcolm Bruce MP
Bill to establish a body to assess provision of communication support for deaf people and to make recommendations; and for connected purposes.
15. Property Blight Compensation - Caroline Spelman MP
Bill to require the Secretary of State to amend legislation to improve the system of compensation for property blight caused by major national infrastructure projects; and for connected purposes.
16. Education (Information Sharing) - Andrew Selous
Bill to make provision about the disclosure and use of information relating to persons who are or have been in education or training.
17. Prisons (Drug Testing) - Margot James
Bill to make provision about the drugs for which persons detained in prisons and similar institutions may be tested.
18. Gender Equality (International Development) Bill - William Cash
Bill to promote gender equality in the provision by the Government of development assistance and humanitarian assistance to countries outside the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.
19. United Kingdom Corporate and Individual Tax and Financial Transparency - Mr Michael Meacher
Bill to require disclosure of various financial information by large companies; to provide for disclosure of beneficial ownership; to require banks to disclose to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs the identity of certain companies holding bank accounts; to require the publication of the tax returns of individuals with an income of more than a certain level and the largest two hundred and fifty UK companies; and for connected purposes.
20. Local Government (Religious etc Observances) - John Stevenson on behalf of Matthew Offord MP
Bill to make provision about the inclusion at local authority meetings of observances that are, and about powers of local authorities in relation to events that to any extent are, religious or related to a religious or philosophical belief.
What happens next?
The following Fridays have been set for discussion of Private Members’ Bills in 2013-14:
- 5 July 2013
- 12 July 2013
- 6 September 2013
- 13 September 2013
- 18 October 2013
- 25 October 2013
- 1 November 2013
- 8 November 2013
- 22 November 2013
- 29 November 2013
- 17 January 2014
- 24 January 2014
- 28 February 2014
What are Private Members' Bills?
Private Members' Bills are Public Bills introduced by MPs and Lords who are not government ministers. As with other Public Bills their purpose is to change the law as it applies to the general population. A minority of Private Members' Bills become law.
There are three ways in which a Member can table a Private Members' Bill but Ballot Bills have the best chance of becoming law, as they get priority for the limited amount of debating time available.
The names of Members applying for a Bill are drawn in a ballot held at the beginning of the parliamentary year. Normally, the first seven ballot Bills get a day's debate.
The ballot for Private Members' Bills for the 2013-14 session took place on Thursday 16 May 2013.
Watching debates from the public gallery
UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public gallery.
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