Select Committee on Procedure Minutes of Evidence

Letter from Mr Roger Gale MP (P 92 (Session 2005-06))

  I have received a copy of the notice sent to Members in relation to the inquiry into the future of Early Day Motions. I have already submitted comments by e-mail but would like to reiterate those comments individually to Members of the Committee.

  I believe that the Early Day Motion has become the most devalued and overrated form of Parliamentary currency and is now of small if any value at all.

  Early Day Motions appear to be used chiefly by lazy PR companies seeking to endeavour to persuade their clients that "something is being done" and by backbench Members of Parliament to secure a couple of column inches in the local press on the basis of "MP backs motion on... " The latter leads the public to believe that some Parliamentary action is being taken when this patently is not the case.

  The motion on remaining orders device does at least allow for a Parliamentary approach to an issue to be taken and it seems to me that the Early Day Motion should be completely replaced by multiple signature applications to the Speaker's Office for Adjournment Debates on a specific public—which might or might not be successful but would at least be targeted directly at Parliamentary activity.

  In short I would hope that the Procedure Committee will be bold enough to consider the total abolition of the Early Day Motion procedure.

February 2006

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2007
Prepared 22 May 2007