Is there a limit to the number of times that a bill can be bounced between the Commons and the Lords before the Commons are allowed to use the Parliament Act?

  • I want to say they go to the Lords three times before the Parliament act is invoked, but I can't find any evidence this is true.
    – Jontia
    Jan 21, 2020 at 11:40

1 Answer 1


According to Parliament UK the Lords can delay a bill for a year, not a number of times of being bounced between the houses.

Parliament Act 1949 The Parliament Act 1949 further reduced the Lords' delaying powers to one year.

This is probably related to the rules that prevent the House of Commons from re-introducing a unchanged bill in the same session of parliament

When a bill has been rejected, or lost through disagreement, it should not, according to the practice of Parliament, be reintroduced in the same session

The link between sessions and years further muddies the water here. The Parliaments page contains a list of Bills that the Parliament Act was used on, and a number where it was intended to be used;

In addition, three Bills have been introduced in a second session with a view to invoking the Parliament Act procedure but all were eventually agreed by the Lords in the second session:

Again, this references a session. Generally sessions of parliament in the UK last a year from Queen's speech to Queen's Speech. Recently however this has not been the case. With one session of Parliament running from 2017 to 2019, followed by a very short session between Johnson's prorogation and the 2019 GE.

  • Didn’t the Act specify something like a year or two sessions? I’m too lazy to look it up now …
    – Jan
    Jan 21, 2020 at 16:42
  • @Jan the Act specifies "two sessions over one year". Again the exact consequences of this, paired with Commons control over the ending of a session, are not entirely clear to me.
    – Jontia
    Jan 21, 2020 at 16:48
  • Commons doesn’t actually control the ending of a session afaik; the Queen legally does that so in constitutional theory it’s the Privy Council so in practice it’s the government. I think, the older version from the early 20th century specified two years/three sessions so when the Lords objected to the 1949 act, a special short session was introduced to overcome that obstacle. But these are all just fragments I think I remember, being too lazy to look it up so I could be wrong ^^'
    – Jan
    Jan 21, 2020 at 16:51

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