WEAVER Vale MP Mike Amesbury has been drawn first in the private members bill ballot which will allow him to introduce a bill into the House of Commons which could then become legislation.
As the first name to be drawn from the ballot it means he is the most likely of the 20 MPs chosen to be able to get his bill through the Commons, although the size of Boris Johnson’s majority means it could still need some sort of government support to succeed.
Shadow Employment Minister Amesbury has yet to choose a subject for the bill, but has already received representations from a wide array of charities, community organisations and campaigners.
Mike said: “This is an important opportunity to try and get legislation introduced and I’ll be taking the time now to consider which course of action is most likely to be able to affect real change for my constituents and people up and down the country.”
Success in a private members’ ballot is important because it allows backbench MPs to affect legislative change, or at least raise public awareness of a particular issue.
The private members’ bills will have their first reading in the Commons on February 5 and will then be debated over 13 Fridays when the House is sitting.
While only a small number of these bills have ever become law, some have effected significant change, including the abolition of the death penalty in 1965 and decriminalisation of abortion in 1967.
More recently, a 2019 private member’s bill extended the availability of civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples.