Manner of dealing with irregular notices of motion

20.16A notice of motion which contains unbecoming expressions, infringes the House's rules, or is otherwise irregular, may, under the Speaker's authority, be corrected by the Clerks in the Table Office.1 The alterations, if necessary, are submitted to the Speaker, or to the Member who gave the notice. A notice which is wholly out of order may be withheld from publication on the Notice Paper.2 If the Member does not accept that decision, they should ask for the matter to be referred to the Speaker. If the Speaker decides to uphold the view of the Clerks the Member is informed, and if the Member is still dissatisfied they may seek to see the Speaker to argue the case further. If, at the end of this process, the Member is still dissatisfied, they can raise the matter in the House, and if the Member disagrees with the Speaker's ruling they can challenge it by a motion. The object of this procedure is to save the time of the House.3

It is not the duty of the Table Office to inform a Member who has given the notice of any irregularity that it may contain immediately it is given,4 but communication regarding an irregular notice is made to Members as soon as the pressure of business permits. When a notice publicly given is obviously irregular or unbecoming, the Speaker has intervened, and the notice has not been received in that form.5

If an objection is raised to a notice of motion upon the Notice Paper, it is for the Speaker to decide upon its regularity; and, if the objection is sustained, the notice must be amended or withdrawn.6 The House has also, by order, directed that a notice of motion be taken off the Notice Paper.7

Footnotes

  1. 1. Parl Deb (1867) 188, c 1065; ibid (1871) 206, c 468; ibid (1871) 207, c 1881; ibid (1872) 212, c 700; HC Deb (1919) 113, c 604; ibid (1921) 147, c 211; ibid (1977–78) 950, cc 1359–61; ibid (10 June 2015) 596, cc 143WH, 147WH.
  2. 2. Parl Deb (1881) 263, c 1012; ibid (1887) 313, c 232; ibid (1898) 55, c 770; ibid (1947–48) 454, cc 39–40; ibid (1952–53) 510, c 845; Speaker's private rulings, 22 May 1978, 10 June 1981; HC Deb (27 October 2010) 517, c 317.
  3. 3. HC Deb (1974) 872, c 452.
  4. 4. Parl Deb (1892) 3, c 964, ibid (1882) 270, c 1409; ibid (1906) 158, c 1163; HC Deb (1920) 134, c 2100; ibid (1926) 200, c 547.
  5. 5. Parl Deb (1861) 161, c 342; ibid (1907) 170, c 1451; HC Deb (1927) 205, c 1630; ibid (1928) 222, c 1090.
  6. 6. Parl Deb (1876) 228, c 1183; ibid (1880) 250, c 1313; ibid (1882) 267, c 388.
  7. 7. CJ (1835) 435.