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Petition debate on the NHS bursary

4 December 2015

On Monday 11 January 2016 the House of Commons debates an e-petition about the NHS bursary. The debate was scheduled by the Petitions Committee following a petition which was started on

The debate, led by Paul Scully MP, a member of the Petitions Committee, starts at 4.30pm on Monday 11 January in Westminster Hall. The debate is on the motion: "That this House has considered e-petition 113491 relating to the NHS Bursary."

Why is this e-petition being debated?

The Petitions Committee has the power to schedule debates on e-petitions in the House of Commons Second Chamber, Westminster Hall. It considers all petitions which receive over 100,000 signatures for debate but may decide to schedule debates for petitions under this threshold.

In deciding which petitions should be debated, it takes into account how many people have signed the petition, the topicality of the issue raised, and whether the issue has recently been debated in Parliament.

What will the e-petition debate achieve?

Debates on e-petitions in Westminster Hall are general debates about the issues raised by the e-petition. MPs can discuss the petition and, if they wish, ask questions about the Government's position on the issue or press the Government to take action. A Government Minister takes part in the debate and answers the points raised. These debates help to raise the profile of a campaign and could influence decision-making in Government and Parliament.

E-petition debates in Westminster Hall cannot directly change the law or result in a vote to implement the request of the petition. Creating new laws, or changing existing ones, can only be done through the parliamentary legislative process which involves a number of debates, and detailed consideration of the law in draft, in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. This process is normally started by the Government, although there are some ways in which individual MPs or members of the House of Lords who are not in the Government (known as "backbenchers") can ask Parliament to consider new laws.

Further information on how laws are made

The Petitions Committee

The Petitions Committee was set up in July 2015 to consider all petitions started on as well as the traditional public (paper) petitions presented by MPs.

As well as scheduling debates on petitions, the Committee can also conduct inquiries of its own. The Committee works closely with other House of Commons Select Committees to help connect petitioners with the work of Parliament. 

Get involved

Watch the debate online

You can watch or listen to the e-petition debate live from 4.30pm on Monday 11 January:

After the debate, the video will be available permanently from this page. A transcript of the debate will also be available and appear on this page the following day.

Contact your MP

You could contact your MP directly to tell them why this debate is important to you and suggest any points you would like them to raise.

Attend a free event before the debate

The Petitions Committee has organised a small event in the House of Commons before the debate for petitioners and members of the public interested in the petition issue. The Chair of the Committee and Paul Scully MP will be on hand to explain and answer questions about the Committee and the e-petition debate. It will also be an opportunity to share your views on the subject of the petition. Please note spaces are limited and attendance will only be confirmed once you have sent an RSVP.

When: Monday 11 January from 3 to 4pm

Where:The Jubilee Room, Westminster Hall, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

Please use the registration link below to register via Eventbrite:

The event is free to attend, although tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. A waiting list will operate if the event is fully subscribed.

**Please note that this event is now full**


Public debate and online chat

London Southbank University and the online twitter community @WeNurses organised a debate and twitter chat on the petition issue on Wednesday 6 January. These have been summarised for MPs taking part in the debate.

Media enquiries

For media enquiries please contact the House of Commons Media Office on 020 7219 0969 /

Start your own petition

Even the most famous campaigns in history started with a petition. Start yours today!

Image: iStockphoto