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Motions under Standing Order No 24

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18.38Under the terms of Standing Order No 24 (see para 19.22 ), a motion may be made by a Member ‘for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration’. Debate can take place only with the leave of the House or by assent given in accordance with the provisions of the Standing Order after the Speaker has indicated satisfaction that the matter is proper to be discussed under the terms of the Standing Order.1 The Standing Order is designed to give the discussion of some recently occurring matter of emergency precedence over the programme of business previously arranged.2 Debate typically occurs in the form of a general debate, where the House is not expected to come to a definitive conclusion on the matter (see para 18.32 ).2A The Speaker has accepted motions which provide for the House to make orders or adopt resolutions in consequence of its consideration of the urgent matter.3 While applications have been granted more often in recent years, the number of applications heard, and the number allowed to proceed, remains relatively low.


  1. 1. In rejecting an application, the Speaker has made reference to the probability of the matter being brought before the House in time by other means: HC Deb (10 October 2016) 615, c 71.
  2. 2. For an example of a debate taking place immediately after an application: HC Deb (16 April 2018) 639, cc 103 and 105 ff (see also para 19.22, fn 14).
  3. 2A. See paras 18.32 and 20.41 for the potential consequence of a motion not being expressed in neutral terms; and see Votes and Proceedings, 11 December 2018, 3 September 2019 and 9 September 2019 (two motions) for examples of such motions.
  4. 3. For motions accepted by the Speaker providing for consequent decisions of the House, see Votes and Proceedings, 3 September and 9 September 2019 (first motion).