Motions for leave to bring in bills or for nomination of select committees under Standing Order No 23 (`Ten-minute Rule’)

19.28Motions for leave to bring in bills and for the nomination of select committees1 may be set down at the commencement of public business after the foregoing motions on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays by members of the Government2 and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays by private Members.

Notice of presentation of a bill under this standing order may not be given by a private (backbench) Member until after the fifth Wednesday on which the House sits in a session (Standing Order No 14(11)).3 This Standing Order is in practice now used for the presentation of bills only by private Members (see also para 18.40 ). No notice may be given for a day on which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has declared an intention to open the Budget; and any such notices are treated as having been given for the next Monday. The rules which apply to private Members' motions for leave to bring in bills are set out at para 28.4.

Motions for the nomination of select committee membership,4 for the discharge of a Member from a select committee,5 and for the discharge of Members, and the addition of other Members,6 may also be set down at this place, but not motions for the appointment of a select committee.

When motions under this standing order are opposed, the Speaker, after permitting, if thought fit, a brief7 explanatory statement from the Member who moves,8 and from a Member who opposes the motion,9 puts the question thereon without further debate,10 or else the question that the debate be now adjourned.11 This power to put the question that the debate be adjourned, rather than the question on the motion itself, is rarely used and is reserved directly to the Speaker.12 It has been ruled that interventions by other Members are out of order whether or not the Member who is speaking is willing to give way;13 an intervention has, however, been permitted following criticism of another Member in a speech under this Standing Order.14


  1. Use of SO No 23 for nomination of the members of a select committee is rare and has not occurred since 1975 (see HC Deb (1974–75) 887, c 504).
  2. Parl Deb (1898) 53, c 1383; ibid (1899) 68, c 42.
  3. Changed to sixth Wednesday in Session 2010–12 by order of the House on 26 May 2010.
  4. CJ (1974–75) 248.
  5. CJ (1918) 141.
  6. CJ (1903) 118; ibid (1912–13) 151, 178; ibid (1914–16) 279; ibid (1919) 283; ibid (1967–68) 203.
  7. This has been defined by the Speaker (who in doing so referred to the procedure by its colloquial description ‘the ten-minute rule’), see HC Deb (1930–31) 252, c 1785; see also ibid (1987–88) 114, c 682.
  8. Parl Deb (1890) 346, c 1615.
  9. A Member who rises after the question has been proposed can speak only to oppose the motion, Parl Deb (1894) 23, c 225; ibid (1907) 171, cc 687, 882; ibid (1938–39) 349, c 1120; but they need not divide the House, HC Deb (1910) 18, cc 200, 364; ibid (1922) 151, c 391 (but see ibid (1953–54) 523, c 1191).
  10. CJ (1905) 358; ibid (1906) 165. An amendment cannot be moved to the question, Parl Deb (1902) 113, c 249; ibid (1908) 190, c 1736; ibid (1938–39) 349, c 1120.
  11. CJ (1890–91) 81; ibid (1899) 167; ibid (1905) 339; ibid (1906) 166; ibid (1911) 351; ibid (1929–30) 188. See also the Speaker's remarks in refusing to put the question for the adjournment of the debate on the motion for leave to introduce a government bill, Parl Deb (1901) 97, c 868.
  12. Parl Deb (1899) 67, c 1375; ibid (1905) 148, c 388; ibid (1961–62) 654, c 430; ibid (1974–75) 887, cc 509–14. In the latter instance, the question that the debate be now adjourned was negatived on a division, and the debate therefore continued.
  13. HC Deb (1961–62) 654, cc 422–28; ibid (1969–70) 795, cc 1459–60; ibid (1981–82) 28, c 224; ibid (1999–2000) 352, c 731. Points of order may, however, be taken: ibid (1969–70) 795, cc 1459–60.
  14. HC Deb (1968–69) 787, cc 417–18.