Election of Backbench Business Committee — 12 Mar 2012 at 17:46
The majority of MPs voted against requiring a representative of MPs from minority parties on the Backbench Business Committee.
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 (a), at end of paragraph (1), after ‘choose’, insert:
- ‘; and that the members of those parties who would not otherwise be represented on the Committee, or of no party, should choose one Member to represent them on the Committee by a secret ballot of those Members’.
MP Natascha Engel who proposed the amendment spoke during the debate to say:
- The Backbench Business Committee is different from other Select Committees, in that it represents all Back Benchers of the House. At the moment, however, we do that very poorly by not having representation from the minority parties.
At the time of the vote section 2(f)(i) of House of Commons Standing Order 122D which set out the rules for the election of the Backbench Business Committee required that:
- 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
-  House of Commons, Official Record, 12 March 2012
-  Natascha Engel MP (North East Derbyshire, Labour), House of Commons, 12 March 2012
-  House of Commons Standing Order 122D (Election of Backbench Business Committee) - January 2011
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.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||134 (+1 tell)||33||0||54.9%|
|LDem||20 (+1 tell)||13||0||59.6%|
|SNP||0||2 (+2 tell)||0||66.7%|