SNP MP tops ballot to ‘make a difference’ and introduce new laws in the Commons
SNP MP Stuart McDonald has come first in a ballot for backbenchers to propose their own laws and “make a difference”.
The Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East MP and SNP home affairs spokesman won the private members’ bill ballot on Thursday morning, thereby securing first pick when it comes to securing parliamentary time on a sitting Friday to propose a bill he wishes to become law.
Second was Labour’s Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central), followed by Conservative Greg Smith (Buckingham), Labour’s Sir Mark Hendrick (Preston), Conservative former cabinet minister Dr Liam Fox, Conservative Bob Blackman (Harrow East) and Conservative former cabinet minister Greg Clark.
Twenty numbered ballot balls, corresponding to 20 MPs, were drawn by Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing, but normally, only the first seven ballot bills will get a day’s debate and therefore have more chance of becoming law.
A total of 460 members entered this year’s ballot.
We all look forward to seeing the range of bills that will now come forward because you must never forget that it's not only the Government who can instigate changes in legislation
Dame Eleanor explained: “There is great excitement mounting. 460 members entered the ballot this year. We will draw 20 numbers.
“This is the bowl with the numbers in it and yes, anyone who likens it to bingo is not far wrong.
“But the prize is far greater than a mere bingo prize, because the prize is a great opportunity.”
After pulling out the ball corresponding to Dr Fox, who also made it to the top seven last year, Dame Eleanor said in a humorous way: “He had one last year. Is he allowed another one this year?”
Conservative MP Peter Bone (Wellingborough), present in the room for the ballot, jokingly shouted “no”.
After announcing Mr McDonald as the winner, Dame Eleanor said: “I am quite sure that in the offices of all 20 members whose names have been drawn out, there will now be great excitement.
“We all look forward to seeing the range of bills that will now come forward because you must never forget that it’s not only the Government who can instigate changes in legislation. Every member of Parliament has an opportunity through this process and others to make a difference.
“That’s what we have all come here for and I wish the very best of good fortune to all 20 members whose names we have called out this morning.”
The 20 MPs, in order of priority, are:
1. SNP Stuart C McDonald (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
2. Labour’s Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central)
3. Conservative Greg Smith (Buckingham)
4. Labour’s Sir Mark Hendrick (Preston)
5. Conservative Dr Liam Fox (North Somerset)
6. Conservative Bob Blackman (Harrow East)
7. Conservative Greg Clark (Tunbridge Wells)
8. Conservative Dean Russell (Watford)
9. Labour’s Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East)
10. Liberal Democrat Wendy Chamberlain (North East Fife)
11. Conservative Mark Jenkinson (Workington)
12. Labour’s Alex Cunningham (Stockton North)
13. Conservative Henry Smith (Crawley)
14. Conservative Claire Coutinho (East Surrey)
15. Liberal Democrat Wera Hobhouse (Bath)
16. Labour’s Ian Mearns (Gateshead)
17. Labour’s Christina Rees (Neath)
18. Conservative Matt Hancock (West Suffolk)
19. Conservative Sally-Ann Hart (Hastings and Rye)
20. Conservative Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock)
The best videos delivered daily
Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox