Early Day Motions

Daniel often receives requests from his Constituents to sign an Early Day Motion on a subject that they feel is important. He will always consider such requests carefully however as a Parliamentary Private Secretary, Daniel does not sign Early Day Motions as doing so is likely to breach the Ministerial Code of Collective responsibility.

What are Early Day Motions?

An Early Day Motion (EDM) is a colloquial term for a motion put forward by an MP for which no date for a debate has been arranged.

The purpose of an EDM is for the MP to put forward and publicise their opinions on a subject and to seek support from other MPs about the matter in question. It is in effect a 'petition' of MPs and serves to show the strength of feeling about particular issues.

It is very unlikely that an EDM will be debated in the House of Commons, but when an EDM receives a lot of support (typically 200+ signatures) then the Government may come under sufficient pressure that it will arrange a debate on the subject.

EDMs vary widely in their content. They are sometimes strongly party political, for example the Opposition taking a stand against the Government. They can also be all-party motions, covering points of view that are held by two or more of the political parties represented in Parliament. EDMs can address local, national and international matters. They are often about very serious matters, but occasionally are used by MPs to make more trivial points of view, such as to comment on the outcome of a football match.