Election of Backbench Business Committee by Parties — 12 Mar 2012 at 17:46

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.

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 first paragraph of the motion stated:

  • (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.

The amendment rejected in this vote was:

  • Amendment (d), leave out paragraph (1).

MP Peter Bone explained the intent of his amendment during the debate saying[2]:

  • The Government are proposing that future members of the Committee will be elected by party group. There are two distinct disadvantages to that proposal. The first—I suggest that this is the reason for it—is that it will give the Government, as well as the shadow Government, greater influence in deciding who is elected to the Backbench Business Committee. Through their Whips Offices, they will try to engineer more pliable Members to be elected to the Committee. I believe that this will make the Committee much more divided on party lines. In all the time that the current Committee has met, there has been only one vote, and that did not divide it along party lines. The Government’s proposal will reduce the likelihood that independent parliamentarians will be elected to the Committee.
  • Secondly, the authority that members of the Committee hold is greatly enhanced by their being chosen by the whole House. Their mandate comes from Back Benchers of all political persuasions, not by a narrow party group.

The Backbench Business committee was previously elected by the whole house subject to constraints[3] that:

  • (i)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, and
  • (ii)at least two women and two men shall be elected.


Debate in Parliament | Source |

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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 (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con141 (+1 tell) 41 (+1 tell)060.1%
DUP0 2025.0%
Lab17 41 (+1 tell)123.3%
LDem26 (+1 tell) 12170.2%
PC0 2066.7%
SNP0 4066.7%
Total:184 102245.8%

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 NorfolkCon (front bench)aye
John BaronBasildon and BillericayCon (front bench)aye
Brian BinleyNorthampton SouthCon (front bench)aye
Peter BoneWellingboroughCon (front bench)tellaye
Graham BradyAltrincham and Sale WestCon (front bench)aye
Robert BucklandSouth SwindonCon (front bench)aye
Dan BylesNorth WarwickshireCon (front bench)aye
Douglas CarswellClactonConaye
Bill CashStoneCon (front bench)aye
Philip DaviesShipleyCon (front bench)aye
David DavisHaltemprice and HowdenConaye
Nadine DorriesMid BedfordshireCon (front bench)aye
Mark FieldCities of London and WestminsterCon (front bench)aye
Zac GoldsmithRichmond ParkCon (front bench)aye
James GrayNorth WiltshireCon (front bench)aye
Robert HalfonHarlowCon (front bench)aye
Stewart JacksonPeterboroughCon (front bench)aye
Bernard JenkinHarwich and North EssexCon (front bench)aye
Edward LeighGainsboroughCon (front bench)aye
Julian LewisNew Forest EastCon (front bench)aye
Jason McCartneyColne ValleyConaye
Karl McCartneyLincolnConaye
Anne McIntoshThirsk and MaltonCon (front bench)aye
Nigel MillsAmber ValleyCon (front bench)aye
David NuttallBury NorthCon (front bench)aye
Matthew OffordHendonConaye
Richard OttawayCroydon SouthCon (front bench)aye
Andrew PercyBrigg and GooleCon (front bench)aye
Mark RecklessRochester and StroodCon (front bench)aye
John RedwoodWokinghamConaye
Jacob Rees-MoggNorth East SomersetCon (front bench)aye
Andrew RosindellRomfordCon (front bench)aye
David RuffleyBury St EdmundsCon (front bench)aye
Richard ShepherdAldridge-BrownhillsCon (front bench)aye
Bob StewartBeckenhamCon (front bench)aye
Gary StreeterSouth West DevonCon (front bench)aye
Graham StuartBeverley and HoldernessCon (front bench)aye
Justin TomlinsonNorth SwindonCon (front bench)aye
Andrew TurnerIsle of WightCon (front bench)aye
Andrew TyrieChichesterCon (front bench)aye
Heather WheelerSouth DerbyshireCon (front bench)aye
Sarah WollastonTotnesCon (front bench)aye
Graham AllenNottingham NorthLab (minister)no
Tom ClarkeCoatbridge, Chryston and BellshillLab (minister)no
Thomas DochertyDunfermline and West FifeLab (minister)no
Angela EagleWallaseyLab (minister)no
Maria EagleGarston and HalewoodLab (minister)no
Bill EstersonSefton CentralLab (minister)no
Jim FitzpatrickPoplar and LimehouseLab (minister)no
Mary GlindonNorth TynesideLab (minister)no
Tony LloydManchester CentralLabno
Seema MalhotraFeltham and HestonLab (minister)no
Alan MealeMansfieldLab (minister)no
Meg MunnSheffield, HeeleyLabno
Linda RiordanHalifaxLab (minister)no
Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLabno
Angela SmithPenistone and StocksbridgeLab (minister)no
John SpellarWarleyLab (minister)no
Dave WattsSt Helens NorthLab (minister)no
Kevin BrennanCardiff WestLab (minister)both
Alan BeithBerwick-upon-TweedLDem (front bench)aye
Tom BrakeCarshalton and WallingtonLDemaye
Tim FarronWestmorland and LonsdaleLDem (front bench)aye
Andrew GeorgeSt IvesLDem (front bench)aye
John HemmingBirmingham, YardleyLDem (front bench)aye
Martin HorwoodCheltenhamLDemaye
Greg MulhollandLeeds North WestLDem (front bench)aye
John PughSouthportLDem (front bench)aye
Adrian SandersTorbayLDemaye
Robert SmithWest Aberdeenshire and KincardineLDem (front bench)aye
Ian SwalesRedcarLDem (front bench)aye
Mark WilliamsCeredigionLDem (front bench)aye
Vincent CableTwickenhamLDem (front bench)both

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