How petitions work

  1. You create a petition. Only British citizens and UK residents can create a petition.
  2. You get 5 people to support your petition. We’ll tell you how to do this when you’ve created your petition.
  3. We check your petition, then publish it. We only reject petitions that don’t meet the standards for petitions.
  4. British citizens and UK residents can then sign your petition — and can only sign a petition once.
  5. The Petitions Committee reviews all petitions we publish. They select petitions of interest to find out more about the issues raised. They have the power to press for action from government or Parliament.
  6. At 10,000 signatures you get a response from the government.
  7. At 100,000 signatures your petition will be considered for a debate in Parliament.

Debates

Petitions which reach 100,000 signatures are almost always debated. But we may decide not to put a petition forward for debate if the issue has already been debated recently or there’s a debate scheduled for the near future. If that’s the case, we’ll tell you how you can find out more about parliamentary debates on the issue raised by your petition.

MPs might consider your petition for a debate before it reaches 100,000 signatures.

We may contact you about the issue covered by your petition. For example, we sometimes invite people who create petitions to take part in a discussion with MPs or government ministers, or to give evidence to a select committee. We may also write to other people or organisations to ask them about the issue raised by your petition.

The Petitions Committee

The Petitions Committee can:

The Petitions Committee is set up by the House of Commons. It comprises up to 11 backbench Members of Parliament from Government and Opposition parties. The number of committee members from each political party is representative of the membership of the House of Commons as a whole.

Standards for petitions

Petitions must call for a specific action from the UK Government or the House of Commons.

Petitions must be about something that the Government or the House of Commons is responsible for.

Petitions can disagree with the Government and can ask for it to change its policies. Petitions can be critical of the UK Government or Parliament.

We reject petitions that don’t meet the rules. If we reject your petition, we’ll tell you why. If we can, we’ll suggest other ways you could raise your issue.

We’ll have to reject your petition if:

We publish the text of petitions that we reject, as long as they’re not:

Recall petitions

If an MP has been convicted of certain criminal offences or suspended from the House of Commons for at least 10 sitting days, they may be subject to a recall petition.

Petitions to recall Members of Parliament do not appear on this website and the Petitions Committee are not responsible for them. They are run locally, by the returning officer for your area, and have to be signed in person, by post or proxy. Your local authority will have issued a “notice of recall petition” on their website. This will tell you how and when you can sign the petition.

Find out more about recall petitions here.

If you have any other questions, please get in touch.