UK House of Commons

Life of a Standing Order

Date Change Text
04 March 2010 Made

At the commencement of every Parliament, or from time to time, as necessity may arise, the Speaker shall notify the House of the arrangements to be made to elect a Chairman of Ways and Means and two Deputy Chairmen of Ways and Means, who shall be known respectively as the First and the Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means.

The election shall be by secret ballot.

Preparatory arrangements for a ballot shall be made under the supervision of the Clerk of the House.

(a) Nominations of candidates shall be in writing and shall be received by the Clerk of the House between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm on the day before the House is to elect the Deputy Speakers.

(b) Each nomination shall consist of a brief signed statement made by the candidate declaring his willingness to stand for election accompanied by the signatures of not fewer than six nor more than 10 Members. No Member shall sign more than three such statements and if any Member does so, his signature shall no longer be valid.

(c) As soon as practicable following the close of nominations, lists of the candidates and their sponsors and the statements shall be placed in the Members' lobby and published.

(a) A ballot shall take place between eleven o'clock and twelve o'clock in a place appointed by the Speaker.

(b) Each Member intending to vote shall be provided with a ballot paper bearing the names of the candidates listed in alphabetical order.

(c) Each such Member may vote for as many or as few candidates on the ballot paper as he wishes, marking them in order of preference.

(d) Counting shall take place under arrangemens made by the Clerk of the House.

(e) The ballot shall be counted under the Single Transferable Vote System with constraints that of those elected:

(i) two candidates shall come from the opposite side of the House to that from which the Speaker was drawn, the first of which candidates will be Chairman of Ways and Means and the second, Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means;

(ii) one candidate shall come from the same side of the House as that from which the Speaker was drawn and shall be First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means; and

(iii) at least one man and at least one woman shall be elected across the four posts of Speaker and Deputy Speakers.

The Speaker shall have discretion to vary the timings given in this order and power to give final directions on any matter of doubt arising from the conduct of a ballot or from an individual ballot paper.

As soon as practicable after the votes have been counted the Speaker shall announce to the House the results of the ballot and direct the Clerk to enter the names of the elected Members in the Journal.

Where a ballot is needed to elect to a single post of Deputy Speaker as a result of a change in the Speaker, the election shall be held with candidates from only the relevant side of the House.

Each Deputy Speaker elected under this order is so elected to serve until the end of the Parliament.

The Deputy Chairman shall be entitled to exercise all powers vested in the Chairman of Ways and Means, including his powers as Deputy Speaker.