Selection of amendments

20.33The Speaker has the power, under Standing Order No 32, to select amendments for debate. Thus, although an amendment may be in order, it may not be moved if the Chair has declined to select it. The Chair is not expected to give reasons for the decision on selection of amendments.1

Under paragraph (3) of Standing Order No 32, in respect of any motion or bill under consideration, the Chair may ask any Member who has given notice of an amendment to give such explanation of their amendment as may be necessary to form a judgement on it.2 For bills, unless shortage of time forbids, it is the practice for the Speaker (or in Committee of the whole House, the Chairman of Ways and Means) to post an advance notice indicating which amendments, new clauses and new schedules they have provisionally decided to select and how those amendments should be grouped for debate;3 a similar practice is adopted for motions not related to bills where many amendments have been tabled.

The power to select amendments includes the power to select amendments proposed to be moved to an amendment,4 and to reject a sole amendment.5 In respect of bills, it is a common practice to allow several selected amendments to be discussed together, although they may not all be selected to be put to the vote.6 The Speaker or the Chairman may at their discretion call, for separate decision, one or more of those amendments selected for debate with another or other amendments, if requested to do so.7

The Speaker has declined, on the grounds of irregularity, revealed during debate, to put the question upon an amendment which had been proposed.8