Backbench Business Committee — Election of Members and Chair — Operation of Committee — 12 Mar 2012 at 18:00

The majority of MPs voted for members of the House of Commons Backbench Business Committee to be elected by members of political parties rather than, as was the case previously, by the whole House of Commons, and to make other changes to the operation of the committee.

MPs were considering a motion[1] on the arrangements for operation of the Backbench Business Committee, including membership of the committee and the election of chair.

The committee is responsible for allocating certain periods of parliamentary time for "backbench business"; MPs can apply to it if they wish to get see particular motion debated in the House of Commons or in Westminster Hall.

The motion approved in this vote started:

  • That
  • (1) this House endorses the principle that parties should elect members of the Backbench Business Committee each Session and thereafter when a vacancy arises in a secret ballot of all Members of that party by whichever transparent and democratic method they choose.

and included a requirement that:

  • No Member may be a candidate for the chair of the committee if that Member’s party is represented in Her Majesty’s Government

The approved motion also amended the requirements for nomination to stand as a member of the committee changing them from:

  • Each nomination shall consist of a signed statement made by the candidate declaring their willingness to stand for election, accompanied by the signatures of not fewer than twenty nor more than twenty-five Members, of whom no fewer than ten shall be members of the candidate’s party and no fewer than ten shall be members of any other party or no party.


  • Each nomination shall consist of a signed statement made by the candidate declaring their willingness to stand for election, accompanied by the signatures of not fewer than twenty nor more than twenty-five Members, of whom no fewer than ten shall be members of a party represented in Her Majesty’s Government and no fewer than ten shall be members of a party not so represented or of no party.

This altered the requirement from being support from within, and outside a member's party; to requiring support from members of a party in Government and MPs not members of a party in Government.

The requirements relating to the holding of elections for committee membership by the Speaker and clerks were removed as a result of the motion being passed; as the process was being replaced by elections to be carried out by political parties.

The previous rules for the election of the committee were contained within House of Commons Standing Order 122D[3], they provided for elections to the committee by all MPs, subject to criteria including:

  • such a number of candidates shall come from each party represented in the House or those of no party as shall be determined and announced in advance by the Speaker, in such a way as to ensure that the committee including the Chair reflects as closely as possible the composition of the House

Following the motion the chair of the committee was to continue to be elected by members of the House of Commons and the procedure for the post of chair being made vacant was made the same as that applying to chairs of select committees.

Provisions for involvement of non-members were added to the standing orders by the approved motion as follows:

  • The Committee shall have power to invite Members of the House who are not members of the Committee and who are of a party not represented on the Committee or of no party to attend its meetings and, at the discretion of the chair, take part in its proceedings, but—
  • (a) no more than one Member may be so invited to attend in respect of the same meeting;
  • (b) a Member so invited shall not move any motion or amendment to any motion, vote or be counted in the quorum.’.


Debate in Parliament | Source |

Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Con132 (+1 tell) 30 (+1 tell)053.6%
DUP0 2025.0%
Lab49 36 (+1 tell)133.9%
LDem21 (+1 tell) 7050.9%
PC0 2066.7%
SNP0 4066.7%
Total:202 81145.2%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Richard BaconSouth NorfolkConno
John BaronBasildon and BillericayConno
Peter BoneWellingboroughContellno
Graham BradyAltrincham and Sale WestConno
Andrew BridgenNorth West LeicestershireConno
Robert BucklandSouth SwindonConno
Douglas CarswellClactonConno
William CashStoneConno
Philip DaviesShipleyConno
David DavisHaltemprice and HowdenConno
Zac GoldsmithRichmond ParkConno
James GrayNorth WiltshireConno
Robert HalfonHarlowConno
Bernard JenkinHarwich and North EssexConno
Julian LewisNew Forest EastConno
Karl McCartneyLincolnConno
Anne McIntoshThirsk and MaltonConno
Nigel MillsAmber ValleyConno
David NuttallBury NorthConno
Matthew OffordHendonConno
Richard OttawayCroydon SouthConno
Mark RecklessRochester and StroodConno
John RedwoodWokinghamConno
Andrew RosindellRomfordConno
Richard ShepherdAldridge-BrownhillsConno
Graham StuartBeverley and HoldernessConno
Andrew TurnerIsle of WightConno
Andrew TyrieChichesterConno
Heather WheelerSouth DerbyshireConno
John WhittingdaleMaldonConno
Sarah WollastonTotnesConno
David AndersonBlaydonLabno
Adrian BaileyWest Bromwich WestLabno
Kevin BarronRother ValleyLabno
Ben BradshawExeterLabno
Chris BryantRhonddaLabno
Jenny ChapmanDarlingtonLabno
Rosie CooperWest LancashireLabno
John CryerLeyton and WansteadLabno
Jim CunninghamCoventry SouthLabno
Brian H DonohoeCentral AyrshireLabno
Clive EffordElthamLabno
Natascha EngelNorth East DerbyshireLabtellno
Bill EstersonSefton CentralLabno
Frank FieldBirkenheadLabno
Barry GardinerBrent NorthLabno
Pat GlassNorth West DurhamLabno
Paul GogginsWythenshawe and Sale EastLabno
Kate GreenStretford and UrmstonLabno
Kelvin HopkinsLuton NorthLabno
Kevan JonesNorth DurhamLabno
Denis MacShaneRotherhamLabno
Seema MalhotraFeltham and HestonLabno
Michael MeacherOldham West and RoytonLabno
Madeleine MoonBridgendLabno
Grahame MorrisEasingtonLabno
Chi OnwurahNewcastle upon Tyne CentralLabno
Jonathan ReynoldsStalybridge and HydeLabno
Geoffrey RobinsonCoventry North WestLabno
Virendra SharmaEaling, SouthallLabno
Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLabno
Andrew SmithOxford EastLabno
Nick SmithBlaenau GwentLabno
Jack StrawBlackburnLabno
Gisela StuartBirmingham, EdgbastonLabno
Stephen TwiggLiverpool, West DerbyLabno
Chris WilliamsonDerby NorthLabno
David WrightTelfordLabno
Kevin BrennanCardiff WestLabboth
Alan BeithBerwick-upon-TweedLDemno
Andrew GeorgeSt IvesLDemno
John HemmingBirmingham, YardleyLDemno
Greg MulhollandLeeds North WestLDemno
John PughSouthportLDemno
Adrian SandersTorbayLDemno
Robert SmithWest Aberdeenshire and KincardineLDemno

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