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How to speak in a debate

These steps are for you as an MP, rather than your staff, although your staff can help with step 1.

Steps

  1. Write to the Speaker’s Office in advance to say you want to speak and explain any factors that should be taken into account, such as a relevant constituency case or interest. Simply adding your name to a motion or amendment is not enough to indicate you wish to speak.
  2. You should be in the Chamber for the opening speech of the debate and you should plan to be present for most of the debate.
  3. When the opening speech has finished, stand in your place to indicate to the Speaker that you’d like to speak. You can do this even if you haven’t written to the Speaker in advance, but MPs who’ve given notice are likely to be called first. Keep standing every time a speech finishes until the Speaker calls you, or the time for the debate runs out.
  4. Once you’ve spoken, you should remain for at least the next two speeches and return for the final speeches from the Opposition and the minister.

Contact an expert

Procedural Hub