Skip to main content

E-Petitions and the Backbench Business Committee

31 January 2012

A new e-petition system has been set up and is overseen by the Petitions Committee. Brief details are outlined below.

What's happened to the Government's e-petitions site?

The House of Commons has set up a new e-petitions system, in collaboration with the Government, which enables members of the public to petition the House of Commons and press for action from Government. The new e-petitions system will be overseen by the Petitions Committee, which will consider petitions and decide what action to take. .

More details of the new system are set out in the House of Commons Procedure Committee's report E–petitions: a collaborative system (PDF 349 KB).

Will the Backbench Business Committee still be involved with e-petitions?

The Petitions Committee is able to recommend that petitions be debated in Westminster Hall. If the Petitions Committee decides that a petition should be debated in the main House of Commons Chamber, it would take that request to the Backbench Business Committee.

Will an e-petition with 100,000 signatures automatically get a debate?

The Procedure Committee has said that it expects the Petitions Committee to take the existing threshold of 100,000 signatures for a petition to be considered for debate in the House as a starting-point.  But it also noted that there may be occasions when a debate is not appropriate—such as when a debate has already taken place in the House on the same subject.