Monday, July 18, 2011

Betting Shops: Joan's 10 Minute Rule Bill tomorrow

This blogger received news last week from Joan Ruddock's office that she will be presenting a new bill in the Commons tomorrow, as part of the ongoing campaign against betting shops. I was on holiday at the time, so here is the belated news:


Tuesday 19 July

Ten-minute Rule Motion


Joan Ruddock

That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require the Secretary of State to create a new planning use class for betting shops which would require the granting of planning permission; to provide that local planning authorities assess demand for betting shops when considering applications for premises in that planning use class and place a cap on the number of betting shops for which planning permission may be granted in any area; and for connected purposes.


Glad to hear Joan's contributing to the cause, but not entirely sure what a Ten Minute Rule Bill/Motion is, so went to the oracle...

The Ten Minute Rule, also known as Standing Order No. 23, is a procedure in the British Parliament for the introduction of Private Member's Bills in addition to the 20 per session normally permissible. It is one of the ways in which a bill may receive its first reading.

Any MP may introduce a bill under the Ten Minute Rule, although in practice it is only used by backbenchers. To qualify to introduce a bill under the Rule, the MP in question must be the first through the door to the Public Bill Office on the Tuesday or Wednesday morning fifteen working days (three weeks) prior to the date they wish to introduce their bill. Due to the popularity of the Rule and the difficulty in launching a Private Member's Bill by other means, MPs have been known to sleep outside the Public Bill Office in order to guarantee a slot.

Ten Minute Rule motions are held in the main Commons Chamber after question time, at around 12:30pm on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Whichever MP has reserved the slot presents their bill and is entitled to speak for 10 minutes to convince the house of its merit. After the 10 minutes have passed, another MP may speak for a further 10 minutes to oppose the bill. The Speaker then calls a voice vote to decide whether the bill should be allowed a second reading, which is when the bill is debated at a later date. The Speaker will divide the house for a recorded count of votes if there is some opposition. However, the majority of Ten Minute Rule motions are not objected to, and are allowed to proceed without any debate at this stage. This is because MPs have not yet had time to review the bill's content.

When a Ten Minute Rule motion passes, the bill is added to the register of parliamentary business. It is scheduled for debate along with the other Private Member's Bills, but at a lower priority. The MP presenting the bill must tell the Speaker the date for this second reading debate. The bill is generally printed and published shortly before the second reading.

Bills introduced under the Ten Minute Rule rarely progress much further, since the Government usually opposes Private Member's Bills in the later stages and, given their low priority in the schedule, there is often insufficient time for the debate to be completed. Most Ten Minute Rule introductions are instead used to stimulate publicity for a cause, especially as the debate follows the media-popular question time and is usually broadcast live on BBC Parliament, or to gauge the opinion of the house on an issue which may later be introduced in another bill.


  1. Just watched the Joan Ruddock present the bill seeking to tighten planning permission restrictions for high street betting shops.
    Laurence Robertson, Conservative Member for Tewkesbury plans to oppose the bill when it is debated in January based on the income the Government and Horse Racing gets from Betting Shops. At least that is how his response sounded.

  2. Thanks Charlz, am watching it now. What an obfuscation of the real issues. The betting industry gives not a shit about the racing industry. It was forced to contribute to the racing levy when Betfred bought the Tote. It was a one-off payment, and not an ongoing commitment. Has this man been asleep?
    All his statistics are wrong. Someone needs to find out who paid him. Ah, I see David Lammy is accusing him of speaking for the betting industry, and he says he speaks for the racing industry...I, for one, can slam every single one of his points. Do you want to check out Robertson, Charlz?