We’re in parliament today lobbying MPs to pick a new Private Members’ Bill. Our candidate? A Bill to reduce nuisance calls and texts. Which MP will say ‘You’re hired!’?
The Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts team at Which? were at the House of Commons this morning as the ballot for the Private Members’ Bill took place.
The Private Members’ Bill, for those who may not be aware, is an opportunity for an MP to present a Bill of their choice to Parliament that could change the law.
This morning, deputy speaker Lindsay Hoyle MP, drew 20 names out of a ballot box. Usually, up to 400 MPs enter the ballot and over the last couple of years, against odds of an estimated 58,000 to 1, MP John McDonnell came top of the annual ballot two years in a row. So, was it three years lucky for Mr McDonnell? No, this year it was James Wharton who won top place. Other winners in the ballot included Paul Blomfield, Mike Crockart and Justin Tomlinson.
Now these 20 MPs will consider what Bill they’ll each put forward for an opportunity to be debated later this year. There’s already been media speculation that one of the MPs will be persuaded to put forward a Bill to require a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. Some MPs may have a personal issue they want to champion, while others will be looking around for an issue to take up. And that’s where Which? comes in.
Dear MPs, Which? has just the candidate for you!
Our Bill would help sort out a problem that affects 70% of every MPs’ constituents. Our Bill is an opportunity to improve complex rules and regulation to protect consumers. It would target an issue that’s generated over 30,000 votes in a poll here on Which? Conversation, with 100% saying they’re fed up. Our candidate? A Bill to reduce nuisance calls and texts.
As it happens Which? is not an apprentice when it comes to Private Member’s Bills. We actually have had a good track record. Previous candidates have achieved results, including simpler and clearer unit pricing in supermarkets and a change in rules so that parents can finally move children’s savings from poor performing Child Trust Funds into Isas.
So today, the Calling Time team at Which? have contacted every MP who won a place in the ballot with our big idea. We hope to persuade one of them to choose our Bill. We know many people will back an MP who’s willing to tackle nuisance calls and texts.
Though the ‘interview process’ takes almost a month – the chosen MPs have until Wednesday 19 June to decide what Bill they want to pursue – we’ll be waiting for an MP to point the finger at us and say ‘You’re hired!’
Please retweet if you think MPs should take forward our Bill to tackle nuisance calls & texts #callingtime