Motions under Standing Order No 23 (the ‘Ten-minute Rule’)

18.40Under the terms of Standing Order No 23, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays one private Member is able to set down a notice of motion for consideration at the commencement of public business for leave to bring in a bill. The Member who makes the motion and a Member who opposes it are each allowed to make a brief explanatory statement, by convention no more than ten minutes each. Such bills are therefore known colloquially as ‘Ten-minute Rule Bills’. Bills which are successfully introduced by this means may then have precedence over government business on private Members' Fridays, as described above. However, since the balloted Private Members' Bills are introduced before Standing Order No 23 bills, the latter rarely obtain a second reading unless they are uncontroversial.

Under the Standing Order, motions for the nomination of members of select committees may also be made under the same procedure, but this facility has been rarely used in recent times.1

Standing Order No 23(3) provides that no notice may be given under the Standing Order for a day on which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has declared the intention of opening the Budget. Notices given for such a day are to be treated as having been given for the first Monday on which the House sits after the Budget is opened.


  1. 1. CJ (1987–88) 275.