Scheduling Debates (2015)

Request

On the petition website,

"The House of Commons Petitions Committee has decided not to schedule a debate on this petition, because the Committee does not have the power to schedule debates on motions of no confidence, and the petition does not contain a specific request for action on policy."
    
Who has the power to hold a vote of "No Confidence" against an MP

 

Response

A motion of no confidence would need to be debated in the main House of Commons Chamber. The following have the power to schedule debates in the main Chamber:

  • the Government;
  • the main Opposition parties, which can choose the subjects for debate in the House of Commons for a certain number of days in each session. 17 days are allocated to the Leader of the official opposition (currently Labour) and 3 to the Leader of the second largest opposition party (currently SNP); and
  • the Backbench Business Committee, which allocates time for debates requested by backbench MPs. Further information about the Backbench Business Committee can be found on our parliamentary pages.

It may interest you to know that any MP can table a motion of confidence/no confidence, but that does not mean it will be debated as time needs to be given for the motion in the Chamber otherwise it may never reached. The Government will, by convention, give time to a motion of no confidence put down in the name of the Leader of the Opposition, however there is no such convention for motions put down by any other MPs. More information about Confidence Motions can be found in a Research briefing on the parliamentary website.