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Private Members’ Bill ballot to be drawn on 19th May

16 May 2022

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Backbench MPs will have the chance to make their mark on the law if they are successful in Thursday’s Private Members’ Bill ballot.

The ballot, which takes place at the start of every parliamentary session, will be held at 9am, and will be streamed live on

Private Members’ Bills are Public Bills introduced by MPs who are not Government Ministers. This year, MPs wishing to participate in the Ballot will enter their name against a number in the ballot book.

Twenty numbered ballot balls will be drawn by Chairman of Ways and Means, Rt Hon Dame Eleanor Laing, with the names of the successful MPs read out. The draw takes place in reverse order, meaning the last MP to be called will get the coveted place at the top of the ballot. Those drawn highest in the ballot have the best chance of making progress with their Bill.

The successful MPs will introduce their Bills on the fifth sitting Wednesday of the session, 15 June. It is up to the MP to decide on the Bill’s topic.

Thirteen Fridays in each Parliamentary session will be allocated to debating these Bills.

Chairman of Ways and Means, Rt Hon Dame Eleanor Laing, said: “The Private Members’ Bill ballot is an important parliamentary tradition. Private Members’ Bills empower backbenchers to pursue changes in the law and raise awareness of issues close to their hearts.

“Last year there were 11 ballot bills which completed the legislative process. Such important legislation as the Animals (Penalty Notices) Act, the British Sign Language Act and the Down Syndrome Act were passed into law. I expect this year will be no different as a new cohort of MPs hope to change the law.

“I look forward to presiding over the draw on Thursday. I wish all my colleagues the very best of luck and success in the ballot.”

Success of Private Members' Ballot Bills

In the 2021-22 session, the following 11 Bills from the Private Members' Ballot became law:

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 an MP 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 MPs applying for a Bill are drawn in a ballot held at the beginning of the parliamentary session. Normally, the first seven ballot Bills get a day's debate.

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