Share your views on a proposed new law
Bills (proposed new laws) are usually debated by both Houses of Parliament. If you feel strongly about a bill that Parliament is considering, or you think changes should be made to it, you can ask your MP or a member of the House of Lords to raise an issue on your behalf. You can also send information (submit evidence) directly to a public bill committee during its committee stage in the Commons.
Contacting your MP about a bill
Your MP may have an opportunity to speak and vote on a bill during its stages in the Commons. You can let your MP know if you would like them to support or oppose a particular bill or ask to meet with them so that you can put your case.
MPs do not have to vote the way their constituents ask them to but they will usually want to know their constituents’ views and may take them into account.
In the Commons, changes can be made to a bill during its committee and report stages. You can ask your MP if they will table an amendment to the bill before it is debated at these stages.
You can also contact your MP if you would like them to support an amendment that another MP has tabled. You can see the notices of amendments that have been tabled already by looking in the publications section on the bill pages.
If your MP does not feel able to help and there is a specific point that you feel should be discussed you could contact one of the main party spokespeople on the bill to check whether they intend to raise it. You may also have an opportunity to send in your views directly at the bill's Committee Stage in the Commons - see the information below on Submitting evidence to a public bill committee.
Contacting a member of the House of Lords about a bill
Members of the Lords often focus on bills that relate to their specific areas of expertise or interest. The best way to find out which members are working on the bill that interests you is to check who will be speaking about it at its second reading in the House of Lords chamber. You can find this information in the Speaker’s List.
You can approach one of these speakers using the contact details provided.
Members of the Lords may be able to help with your concern as they can raise issues about a bill and suggest amendments, or changes, when this bill is being worked on. In the House of Lords there is no time limit on any of the stages of consideration of a bill. Members can discuss an issue for as long as they need to.
Find out more about using the Speaker’s Lists to contact a Member of the Lords about a bill.
Submitting evidence to a public bill committee
After the second reading of a bill in the House of Commons, it will usually be referred to a public bill committee for detailed examination of the bill. The committee may invite members of the public to submit their views.
Giving written evidence
If the public bill committee decides to issue a 'call for evidence', anyone can submit written evidence on the bill while the committee is meeting. Information sent in by the public is circulated to all the MPs that are serving on the committee, to inform their work.
Oral Evidence sessions
Some public bill committees begin by inviting ministers or other officials to talk to them in person about the bill. They may also invite lobby groups, organisations or individuals with a particular interest in the subject to give their views in this way. If you think you or your organisation should be invited, you can contact the departmental officials responsible for the bill.
To find out which government department to contact, check who is sponsoring the bill by looking on the bill pages.
What happens once the evidence has been gathered?
Meetings of public bill committees take place in public and you can attend these sessions without reserving a place in advance. You can also watch their meetings on Parliament TV or read transcripts of the sessions in Hansard.
Once the public bill committee has finished taking evidence, it will report its findings to the House of Commons, with suggestions for amendments or changes to the bill. These will be debated in the House of Commons chamber.