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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.