House of Commons portcullis
House of Commons
Session 2006 - 07
Internet Publications
House of Commons Standing Orders - Public Business









40. The Speaker or the chairman may, after the lapse of two


minutes, if in his opinion the division is unnecessarily claimed,


take the vote of the House, or committee, by calling upon the


Members who support, and who challenge, his decision,


successively to rise in their places; and he shall thereupon, as


he thinks fit, either declare the determination of the House or


committee, or name tellers for a division.





41.—(1) If it should appear that fewer than forty Members


(including the occupant of the chair and the tellers) have taken


part in a division, the business under consideration shall stand


over until the next sitting of the House and the next business


shall be taken.


(2) The House shall not be counted at any time.







41A.—(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), Standing


Order No. 38 (Procedure on divisions) shall not apply if, after


the time for the interruption of business, the opinion of the


Speaker as to the decision on a question is challenged in respect


of any question.


(2) Standing Order No. 38 (Procedure on divisions) shall


apply (and this order shall not apply) to questions—


(a) on motions or amendments in the course of


proceedings on bills or allocating time to or


programming such proceedings;


(b) on motions which may be made without notice;


(c) on motions to be disposed of immediately following


the disposal of amendments proposed thereto, and on


such amendments;


(d) on motions made under—


(i) paragraph (2) of Standing Order No. 15


(Exempted business);


(ii) paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 51 (Ways


and means motions);


(iii) sub-paragraph (1)(a) of Standing Order No. 52


(Money resolutions and ways and means resolutions


in connection with bills);


(iv) paragraph (5) of Standing Order No. 54


(Consideration of estimates); and


(v) paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 55


(Questions on voting of estimates, &c); and


(e) on motions made under paragraph (3) below or to


which an order made under that paragraph applies.


(3) After the moment of interruption and the conclusion of


proceedings under any other Standing Order which fall to be


taken immediately after it, a Minister of the Crown may make


a motion to the effect that this order shall not apply to questions


on any specified motions; such motion may be proceeded with,


though opposed, and the question thereon shall be put




(4) If the opinion of the Speaker is challenged under


paragraph (1) of this order, he shall defer the division until half-


past twelve o’clock on the next Wednesday on which the


House shall sit.


(5) On any Wednesday to which a division has been deferred


under paragraph (4) above—


(a) Members may record their votes on the question under


arrangements made by the Speaker;


(b) votes may be recorded for one and a half hours after


half-past twelve o’clock, no account being taken of any


period during which the House or committee proceeds


to a division; and


(c) the Speaker, or the chairman, shall announce the result


of the deferred division as soon as may be after the


expiry of the period mentioned in sub-paragraph (b)




Order in the House


Irrelevance or





42. The Speaker, or the chairman, after having called the


attention of the House, or of the committee, to the conduct of a


Member who persists in irrelevance, or tedious repetition either


of his own arguments or of the arguments used by other


Members in debate, may direct him to discontinue his speech.


Sub judice.



42A. The Speaker, or the chairman, may direct any Member


who breaches the terms of the sub judice resolution of the


House to resume his seat.







43. The Speaker, or the chairman, shall order any Member or


Members whose conduct is grossly disorderly to withdraw


immediately from the House during the remainder of that day’s


sitting; and the Serjeant at Arms shall act on such orders as he


may receive from the chair in pursuance of this order. But if on


any occasion the Speaker, or the chairman, deems that his


powers under the previous provisions of this order are


inadequate, he may name such Member or Members, in which


event the same procedure shall be followed as is prescribed by


Standing Order No. 44 (Order in debate).


Order in debate.



44.—(1) Whenever a Member shall have been named by the


Speaker, or by the chairman, immediately after the commission


of the offence of disregarding the authority of the chair, or of


persistently and wilfully obstructing the business of the House


by abusing the rules of the House or otherwise, then if the


offence has been committed by such Member in the House, the


Speaker shall forthwith put the question, on a motion being


made, ‘That such Member be suspended from the service of the


House’; and if the offence has been committed in a committee


of the whole House, the chairman shall forthwith suspend the


proceedings of the committee and report the circumstances to


the House; and the Speaker shall on a motion being made


forthwith put the same question as if the offence had been


committed in the House itself.


Proceedings in pursuance of this paragraph, though opposed,


may be decided after the expiration of the time for opposed




(2) If any Member be suspended under paragraph (1) of this


order, his suspension on the first occasion shall continue for


five sitting days, and on the second occasion for twenty sitting


days, including in either case the day on which he was


suspended, but, on any subsequent occasion, until the House


shall resolve that the suspension of such Member do terminate.


(3) Not more than one Member shall be named at the same


time, unless two or more Members, present together, have


jointly disregarded the authority of the chair.


(4) If a Member, or two or more Members acting jointly, who


have been suspended under this order from the service of the


House, shall refuse to obey the direction of the Speaker, when


severally summoned under the Speaker’s orders by the


Serjeant at Arms to obey such direction, the Speaker shall call


the attention of the House to the fact that recourse to force is


necessary in order to compel obedience to his direction, and the


Member or Members named by him as having refused to obey


his direction shall thereupon and without any further question


being put be suspended from the service of the House during


the remainder of the session.


(5) Nothing in this order shall be taken to deprive the House


of the power of proceeding against any Member according to


ancient usages.




suspended, &c.,


to withdraw from





45.—(1) Members who are ordered to withdraw under


Standing Order No. 43 (Disorderly conduct) or who are


suspended from the service of the House shall forthwith


withdraw from the precincts of the House.


(2) Suspension from the service of the House shall not


exempt the Member so suspended from serving on any


committee for the consideration of a private bill to which he


may have been appointed before the suspension.


Suspension of


salary of







45A. The salary of a Member suspended from the service of


the House shall be withheld for the duration of his suspension.


Power of the


Speaker to


adjourn House or


suspend sitting.



46. In case of grave disorder arising in the House the Speaker


may, if he thinks it necessary to do so, adjourn the House


without putting any question, or suspend the sitting for a time


to be named by him.


Short speeches.



47.—(1) The Speaker may announce at or before the


commencement of proceedings on any motion or order of the


day relating to public business that he intends to call Members


to speak in the debate thereon, or at certain times during that


debate, for no longer than any period he may specify (which


shall not be less than eight minutes), and whenever the Speaker


has made such an announcement he shall, subject to paragraph


(2), direct any Member (other than a Minister of the Crown, a


Member speaking on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition, or


not more than one Member nominated by the leader of the


second largest opposition party) who has spoken for that period


to resume his seat forthwith.


(2) In relation to any speech, the Speaker shall add to any


period specified in paragraph (1) of this order—


(a) one minute if one intervention is accepted, plus the


time taken by that intervention;


(b) two minutes if two or more interventions are accepted,


plus the time taken by the first two such interventions.


(3) The Speaker may call Members between certain hours to


speak for a specified maximum time (not being less than three


minutes) and during this time the reference to eight minutes in


paragraph (1) and the provisions of paragraph (2) shall not




Public Money




from Crown


required on




relating to public





48.This House will receive no petition for any sum relating


to public service or proceed upon any motion for a grant or


charge upon the public revenue, whether payable out of the


Consolidated Fund or the National Loans Fund or out of money


to be provided by Parliament, or for releasing or compounding


any sum of money owing to the Crown, unless recommended


from the Crown.






relating to public





49. Any charge upon the public revenue whether payable out


of the Consolidated Fund or the National Loans Fund or out of


money to be provided by Parliament including any provision


for releasing or compounding any sum of money owing to the


Crown shall be authorised by resolution of the House.


Procedure upon


bills whose main


object is to create


a charge upon the


public revenue.



50.—(1) A bill (other than a bill which is required to be


brought in upon a ways and means resolution) the main object


of which is the creation of a public charge may either be


presented, or brought in upon an order of the House, by a


Minister of the Crown, and, in the case of a bill so presented or


brought in, the creation of the charge shall not require to be


authorised by a resolution of the House until the bill has been


read a second time, and after the charge has been so authorised


the bill shall be proceeded with in the same manner as a bill


which involves a charge that is subsidiary to its main purpose.


(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) of this order shall apply


to any bill brought from the Lords, of which a Minister of the


Crown has informed the Clerks at the Table of his intention to


take charge.


Ways and means





51.—(1) A ways and means motion may be made in the


House without notice on any day as soon as an address has been


agreed to in answer to Her Majesty’s Speech.


(2) A Minister of the Crown may without notice make a


motion for giving provisional statutory effect to any proposals


in pursuance of section 5 of the Provisional Collection of Taxes


Act 1968; and the question on such a motion shall be put




(3) When the question has been decided on the first of several


motions upon which a bill is to be brought in for imposing,


renewing, varying or repealing any charge upon the people, the


question on each such further motion shall be put forthwith;


and proceedings in pursuance of this paragraph, though


opposed, may be decided after the expiration of the time for


opposed business.

previous section contents continue
House of Commons home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 2007
Revised 19 April 2007