The Backbench Business Committee meets every week when Parliament is sitting to hear applications from backbench MPs for particular subjects to be debated in the House of Commons.Backbench MPs are ones who are not either Ministers or Shadow Ministers. Applications are made in public and then the Committee meets in private to make its decisions on which subjects will be given time for debate.
Participants in the event will attend the weekly meeting in public, and then remain to discuss with the Committee the decisions it will be making on future debates, what kind of factors are taken into account, etc. In effect they will be able to put themselves in the shoes of the Committee members as they take important decisions about the business of Parliament.
There are usually several backbench debates every week in the House and in Westminster Hall. This procedure gives an opportunity for ordinary MPs to raise issues that matter to them and their constituents without having to seek the approval of the Government or the official Opposition. Some of the debates end with a vote by the House. Previous debates agreed by the Committee include subjects as wide-ranging as a referendum on EU membership, whether to arm rebels in Syria, UK drugs policy, making Eid and Diwali public holidays, the police response to domestic violence, Scotland’s place in the UK, setting up an inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster, welfare reforms and society, and regulation of the sale of puppies and kittens.
The participation of 10 young people is being organised by UpRising, a charity that runs youth leadership programmes for people from under-represented backgrounds who are passionate about making change in their communities and on a wider level.