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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Find guidance on temporary procedures during the pandemic including voting, questions and statements. Members can find detailed guidance on participating virtually and voting on the Parliamentary intranet (please note: this link will only work if you have a parliamentary email account.)

Public Bill Committees for PMBs

Public Bill Committees work much the same way for a Private Member’s Bill or a Government bill. But you will be responsible for some of the tasks that the whips usually do for a Government bill.

Because your bill is not timetabled in the way that a Government bill would be, there’s no limit to how long a committee stage can last. You can table a sittings motion, setting out when the committee should meet. Speak to the Public Bill Office if you need advice on this.

By convention Public Bill Committees considering Private Members’ Bills meet on Wednesdays but they can meet at other times.

A Private Member’s Bill that has been given a second reading is automatically sent to a Public Bill Committee. The Selection Committee will nominate the MPs for the Committee, but you will be in charge of giving them a list of names of MPs who are putting themselves forward. This list must reflect the party balance in the House and should also reflect a balance of views on the bill. Only one Committee on a Private Member’s Bill can be active at a time, unless the Government support the creation of another one. In that case, they’ll table a motion to this effect.

You will be expected to take part in debates in the committee on your bill, presenting arguments for why it should become law, and debating amendments suggested by you or other MPs. You may also need to act in a similar way to a whip, making sure that MPs are present, that there is quorum, and that your supporters are available if there are votes on amendments or clauses in the bill.