‘Conversion practices’ to be debated in Westminster on 4 June

21, May 2024

The Government has said that the second day of the Criminal Justice Bill’s Report Stage will take place on 4 June.

An amendment on ‘conversion practices’ has been tabled by Alicia Kearns MP (Con), known as New Clause 117 (NC117). Assuming it is selected, it will be debated in the first three-hour debate on that day.

This is the seventh time Alicia Kearns has tabled a ‘conversion practices’ amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill. The previous versions have been withdrawn, but it is still rather confusing. Find below some FAQs about the upcoming debate:


Will NC117 definitely be debated?

Not all amendments that are tabled to a Bill are ‘selected’ by the Speaker (who chairs the debate). But there has to be a good reason to exclude an amendment. An amendment which is tabled too late, or one which doesn’t fit within the ‘scope’ of a Bill are perhaps the most common reasons. There has been no suggestion that NC117 will be excluded, so we must assume it will indeed be debated.

Could Alicia Kearns put down another new version of her amendment?

Difficult as it is to believe, yes! Alicia Kearns has time to table yet another version of the amendment. Usually an amendment needs to be tabled two clear days ahead of the debate. But as the Westminster Parliament is in Recess next week it has been decided that MPs have until 4:30pm on 30 May to put down their amendments.

Will much time be given to debate ‘conversion practices’?

It seems NC117 will be taken at the same time as a host of other amendments. On the previous day of Report Stage (last Wednesday) all the amendments were taken simultaneously. It could make for a rather confusing debate, with MPs speaking on a large range of subjects at the same time. It is likely very little time will be given to debating ‘conversion therapy’, but it will be up to participating MPs.

Could the date of the debate change?

Yes, though there is a good likelihood of it staying the same. 4 June has been given as a provisional date. Business for that week won’t be officially confirmed until this Thursday (23 May).

Is it normal to table so many versions of one amendment?

No. It is quite an extraordinary step to continually withdraw and resubmit amendments with minor changes. It highlights how impossible it is to find wording that appeases LGBT activists and still satisfies human rights law. We wrote this blog when Kearns tabled the previous version, NC90.

What can I do about it?

Please sign up to the Let Us Pray campaign and we’ll keep you up-to-date, and let you know what you can do. Sometimes we’ll ask you to write to the politicians that represent you, or to the Prime Minister. We’ll give you advice on what is best to say. And if you’re a Christian, please pray that MPs would use their voices to strongly oppose the proposals.

Sign up to the Let Us Pray campaign for updates on the amendment and more - join the campaign.

See also: Alicia Kearns MP retables 'conversion therapy' amendment yet again

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