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Applications to the Backbench Business Committee

6 May 2020

The Backbench Business Committee has confirmed that it will continue to field applications for debates from MPs. This week, it met in private to hear applications from Members. It will continue to do so until further notice.

The deadline for applications this week (week commencing 5th May 2020) will now be at 11AM on Monday 11th May 2020, to allow for the Bank Holiday. 

The Committee will revert to the usual deadline of 14.30 every Friday, week commencing 11th May 2020. 

Applications approved by the Committee will be scheduled as soon as House Authorities are able to extend capacity of the hybrid model to Backbench Business proceedings.  

These restrictions have been put in place to ensure social distancing measures in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and will remain in place until otherwise ordered. 

Chair's comments

In a statement issued on the 23rd April, the Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, Ian Mearns MP, confirmed that the Committee supported the new measures and encouraged new applications from Members, saying:

“The Committee supports the new measures and encourages MPs to continue to submit applications for debates, so they can be scheduled as soon as possible when circumstances allow.”

Backbench Business Committee 


The Backbench Business Committee meets weekly on Tuesdays to consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament on any subject. 

The Committee then has to decide how to allocate the limited Parliamentary time it has at its disposal. The Committee's meetings are always conducted in public and can be watched on Parliament TV.