The government has recommended that parliament accept e-petitions as part of its attempt to "re-engage the public with parliament and with politics".
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Downing Street already runs an online e-petition site but a parliamentary one would carry more weight as it would see the public making demands on all MPs, rather than just the prime minister.
Parliament is expected to consider the government's proposals in the autumn, once it returns from its long holiday.
The government says basic features of an e-petitioning system for parliament should include features such as:
- E-petitions to be submitted via the parliamentary website
- If they comply with the House's rules, the petitioner's constituency MP would be asked to act as facilitator
- The e-petition would then be posted on the parliamentary website for a set period, with others able to add their names
- At the end of the period, the e-petition would be closed Members would also be able to indicate support
- It would then be formally presented to the House (either automatically or on the floor of the House)
Petitioners and signatories could opt in to receive updates on the progress of the e-petition and/or up to two e-mails from their constituency MP E-petitions would be printed in Hansard and the government would normally be expected to reply within two months of presentation
There would be opportunities for petitions to receive further consideration with the House or by committee