Re-committal of bill

28.141A bill may be re-committed, if desired, to a Committee of the whole House, a public bill committee (see para 39.28 ) or a select committee. A motion for this purpose may be made immediately after the bill has been reported from a Committee of the whole House.1 Where consideration of a bill has been set down as an order of the day, a motion may be moved as soon as the order has been read.2 A motion may also be moved immediately after the consideration stage,3 but not during proceedings on consideration.4 In the case of a bill set down for third reading, the order of the day may be discharged and the motion moved thereupon,5 or the motion may be moved as an amendment to the question that the bill be now read the third time.6

A motion for re-committal may be made in respect of the whole bill, in which case the provisions of Standing Order No 74 (see para 28.142 ) will apply. Where a motion in respect of certain clauses or amendments only is made, the debate on the motion is restricted to the purpose and extent of the proposed re-committal of the bill.7 Any Member may move to re-commit or partially to re-commit a bill but priority is given to any such motion which stands in the name of the Member in charge of the bill.8 In the case of a partial re-committal, the other motions may, if selected by the Speaker,9 then be moved by way of amendments to the motion of the Member in charge.10

The power of selection of such amendments is exercised by the Speaker, since Chairs have considered themselves obliged to select all amendments in respect of which the House has re-committed a bill.11 The Speaker, therefore, has sometimes selected motions for re-committal only if they were moved in a particular form12 or has refused to call them at all.13

It is now rare for a bill to be re-committed in its entirety. Bills are occasionally partially re-committed, for one of the following purposes:

  1. to enable a new clause to be added to the bill when the House, on report, has passed the stage at which new clauses are taken;14
  2. to enable the committee to take advantage of an instruction from the House to make amendments which would otherwise be outside the scope of the bill;15
  3. to enable the committee to reconsider amendments it had previously made (see para 39.28 );
  4. to enable the committee to consider in a regular manner a clause improperly agreed to before a Money resolution had been passed (see para 28.113 ); in these circumstances it is not necessary for the bill to be re-committed to the committee which previously considered it, a Committee of the whole House being capable of regularising the position.16

If the bill is re-committed without limitation, the entire bill is again considered in committee and reported with ‘other’ or ‘further’ amendments. Sometimes, also, a bill is re-committed with an instruction to the committee that it has power to make some particular or additional provision.17

A bill which has been re-committed is referred to as (for example) ‘the Landlord and Tenant (re-committed ) Bill’.

In 2003, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill was re-committed as a whole to a standing committee, and carried over (see paras 30.31–30.33 ), following the Government's decision to bring forward substantive further provisions;18 and the Hunting Bill was re-committed to the standing committee to which it previously stood committed for the purpose of making such amendments as the committee considered to be necessary or expedient in consequence of a new clause added to the Bill on consideration.19 In the latter case, the motion to re-commit the Bill was made without notice, but the programme order governing proceedings on consideration provided for the question on any such motion made by a Minister to be put forthwith.20


  1. 1. CJ (1933–34) 167; ibid (1978–79) 104.
  2. 2. CJ (1960–61) 214; ibid (1987–88) 531; ibid (2005–06) 199 (a programmed bill).
  3. 3. CJ (1974) 278.
  4. 4. HC Deb (1976–77) 934, c 1628.
  5. 5. CJ (1950–51) 244.
  6. 6. CJ (1922) 255.
  7. 7. Parl Deb (1872) 212, c 1278; ibid (1899) 72, c 1079; ibid (1906) 161, c 757; ibid (1907) 175, c 969; ibid (1907) 179, cc 296, 502; HC Deb (1909) 6, c 662; ibid (1911) 28, c 1907; ibid (1924) 176, cc 1562, 1598.
  8. 8. Parl Deb (1865) 179, c 800.
  9. 9. HC Deb (1951–52) 502, cc 49–51; see also ibid (1946–47) 438, cc 207–9; ibid (1947–48) 447, cc 1171–72.
  10. 10. For a private Member's motion to re-commit a government bill accepted together with amendments to it by other private Members, see CJ (1960–61) 214.
  11. 11. CJ (1946–47) 195, 220.
  12. 12. HC Deb (1951–52) 503, c 2041.
  13. 13. HC Deb (1920) 132, c 1359; ibid (1987–88) 134, c 994; ibid (5 December 2014) 589, c 545. A Deputy Speaker has been authorised by the Speaker to decline to accept any motion to re-commit a bill (HC Deb (2003–04) 423, c 1643).
  14. 14. CJ (1974) 278.
  15. 15. CJ (1974–75) 474; ibid (1981–82) 503.
  16. 16. HC Deb (1989–90) 170, cc 793–94.
  17. 17. CJ (1837–38) 605; ibid (1839) 318; ibid (1921) 259; ibid (1969–70) 281; see also ibid (1809) 370; ibid (1810) 184. In 1960, a motion to re-commit the Finance Bill to a select committee was not selected by the Speaker, HC Deb (1959–60) 626, cc 861–65.
  18. 18. CJ (2002–03) 441; HC Deb (2002–03) 406, cc 543–606, 29–30WS.
  19. 19. CJ (2002–03) 493; HC Deb (2002–03) 408, cc 38–142.
  20. 20. CJ (2002–03) 492; HC Deb (2002–03) 408, cc 38–142.