What are private members’ bills?

If you’ve subscribed to Clear the Lobby for a little while, you’ll have noticed that some weeks there’s a deluge of bills scheduled for debate on a Friday. These are private members’ bills: legislation introduced by MPs and Lords who are not government ministers.

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How are laws made?

A bill (draft law) can start in either the Commons or the Lords. The explanation below assumes it’s started in the Commons. If it starts in the Lords, the paragraphs where the headings say (Lords) come first.

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What do MPs do during recess?

Parliament doesn’t conduct business all year round. It takes breaks called recesses. There’s typically one in the summer that lasts several weeks and many shorter ones including at Christmas, Easter and during party conference season.

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