Page last updated at 13:18 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 14:18 UK

Filibustering

Filibustering is a method used to delay or postpone the passage of legislation through Parliament by using various procedural devices during debate.

These include tabling large numbers of amendments, raising spurious points of order and making excessively long speeches in which there is a great deal of repetition and irrelevance.

It is also known as "talking out" a bill.

Time is a precious commodity in Parliament and if it runs out for adequate discussion of bills or motions then they cannot be voted on and will not be able to progress further.

The Speaker often warns members who are trying to filibuster to come to the point, and he has the power under Standing Orders ultimately to require a member behaving in this way to stop speaking.

In 1983, John Golding talked for over 11 hours during an all-night sitting at the committee stage of the British Telecommunications Bill.



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