CHRISTCHURCH MP Chris Chope has been accused of “abusing the system” by putting down 47 parliamentary bills in a move which critics say will stop other backbenchers’ proposals being debated.

Mr Chope, who has previously been criticised for “talking out” bills in the House of Commons, is under fire along with Conservative colleague Peter Bone after they proposed 73 pieces of legislation between them.

But he has insisted they are putting forward valid ideas which could find their way into a Tory manifesto.

The two MPs slept in the houses of parliament for three nights to ensure they were at the head of the queue to introduce “presentation bills”. Although the bills stand almost no chance of becoming law, they are debated during the Fridays allocated for private members’ bills, proposed by backbenchers.

Mr Chope’s bills included moves to stop people registering to vote in more than one constituency; limit exit payments by public bodies to their staff; privatise the BBC and Channel 4; decriminalise TV licence-dodging; and to end the working time regulations introduced in 1998.

Mr Bone’s proposals included creating a bank holiday to celebrate Brexit.

Paul Flynn, the Labour MP for Newport, Wales, who was proposing a bill to legalise the medicinal use of cannabis, told the Echo: “This year apparently they slept in the building for three days to grab first place in the queue, in my view abusing the system by putting down 70 bills where there are only a certain number of slots.”

He added: “It’s destructive. It’s not helping the Commons to do its job.

“I think it’s made them the least popular of all MPs. I’m putting in process an attempt to change standing orders. I think it could well be the last time anyone has a chance to do this.”

Mr Chope said the two MPs had turned up on a Sunday to wait for their chance to put down bills.

“If you want to do something seriously, you make sure you’re at the front of the queue, which we did,” he said.

“I don’t know how many private members’ bills Fridays there are going to be but I know the government has said 13 have been named so far and there will be more. Peter and I have put down enough bills to ensure we can cover the possible Fridays so we’ll have the chance to debate some of our ideas.

“A lot of them are radical ideas which we think could be usefully debated and some of them I’d hope would be included in the next Conservative Party general election manifesto, for example.”

He said private members’ bills stood no chance of becoming law unless the government backed them anyway. “The idea that Peter Bone and I have taken all the slots is not fair,” he added.

Dave Munnik, trade union liaison officer with Christchurch Labour Party, said: “We know it’s not breaking the rules but it’s unproductive when other people want to bring more important bills to parliament and because of this, nobody has got a chance.”

From the House of Commons order paper for Tuesday, September 5, 2017

1. Voter Registration

Bill to prohibit persons from being registered to vote in Parliamentary elections in more than one constituency; and for connected purposes.

2. Public Sector Exit Payments (Limitation)

Bill to limit exit payments made by public sector organisations to employees; and for connected purposes

3. Student Loans (Debt Interest)

Bill to limit the rate of interest chargeable on outstanding student loan debt; and for connected purposes.

4. Local Authorities (Removal of Council Tax Restrictions)

Bill to make provision for the removal of restrictions on principal local authorities in England to set levels of council tax; and for connected purposes.

5. Healthcare (Local Accountability)

Bill to make provision about the accountability of clinical commissioning groups; to make provision about local referendums on NHS sustainability and transformation plans; and for connected purposes.

6. Human Rights and Responsibilities

Bill to require persons bringing claims or proceedings under the Human Rights Act 1998 to satisfy a test of reasonableness and equity; and for connected purposes.

7. Public Service Broadcasters (Privatisation)

Bill to make provision for the privatisation of the British Broadcasting Corporation and Channel 4; and for connected purposes.

8. BBC Licence Fee (Civil Penalty)

Bill to make provision to decriminalise the non-payment of the BBC licence fee.

9. Tax Rates and Duties (Review)

Bill to require the government to publish an annual review of the net yield to HM Treasury of tax rates and duties levied, including estimates of the impact on yield of changes to rates of those taxes and duties; and for connected purposes.

10. High Speed 2 Phase 1 (Reviews of Public Expenditure)

Bill to require the carrying out and publication of reviews of the level of public expenditure in connection with the High Speed 2 rail line (Phase 1); to establish procedures in connection with changes in these levels; and for connected purposes.

11. National Health Service (Co-Funding and Co-Payment)

Bill to make provision for co-funding and for the extension of co-payment for NHS services in England; and for connected purposes.

12. Value Added Tax

Bill to enable the maximum turnover threshold for exemption from the requirement to register for VAT to be raised; to make provision for the exemption of certain goods and services from liability to VAT; and for connected purposes.

13. Principal Local Authorities (Grounds for Abolition)

Bill to prohibit principal local authorities being abolished in the absence of the authority of its elected councillors and a local referendum; and for connected purposes.

14. Deregulation

Bill to make provision for the reduction of burdens resulting from legislation for businesses or other organisations or for individuals; to make provision for the repeal or amendment of regulations; to make provision about the exercise of regulatory powers and functions; and for connected purposes.

15. Illegal Immigration (Offences)

Bill to create offences in respect of persons that have entered the UK illegally or who have remained in the UK without legal authority; and for connected purposes.

16. Border Control

Bill to make provision about the requirements for non-UK citizens seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom; to make provision about a process for the removal from the United Kingdom of non-UK citizens, in certain circumstances and on the basis of established criteria; and for connected purposes.

17. Foreign Nationals (Criminal Offender and Prisoner Removal)

Bill to make provision for the removal from the United Kingdom of foreign national criminal offenders and of prisoners who are citizens of European Union Member States; and for connected purposes.

18. Free Trade (Education and Reporting)

Bill to impose duties relating to the provision of public education on free trade; to require regular reports from government on trade arrangements with other countries; and for connected purposes.

19. Import Tariff (Reduction)

Bill to make provision for the reduction of tariffs on goods imported into the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.

20. Employment Opportunities

Bill to introduce more freedom, flexibility and opportunity for those seeking employment in the public and private sector; and for connected purposes.

21. International Development Assistance (Definition)

Bill to make provision about the definition of international development assistance; and for connected purposes.

22. Schools

Bill to enable schools to select pupils on the basis of published criteria; to allow schools to determine maximum class sizes; to remove restrictions on the expansion of the number of pupils in schools and on the creation of new schools; and for connected purposes.

23. Bat Habitats Regulation (No. 2)

Bill to make provision to enhance the protection available for bat habitats in the non-built environment and to limit the protection for bat habitats in the built environment where the presence of bats has a significant adverse impact upon the users of buildings; and for connected purposes.

24. Green Belt (Protection)

Bill to establish a national register of green belt land in England; to restrict the ability of local authorities to de-designate green belt land; to make provision about future development of dedesignated green belt land; and for connected purposes.

25. International Payments (Audit)

Bill to make provision to require cost-benefit analysis and independent audit before payments are made by the Government to a foreign country or international organisation; and for connected purposes.

26. Local Authorities (Borrowing and Investment)

Bill to make provision about the acquisition of land and property by local authorities in England outside their own local authority boundaries; to limit the power of local authorities to invest in commercial risk-taking enterprises; to limit public borrowing by local authorities for non-core activities; and for connected purposes.

27. Benefits and Public Services (Restriction)

Bill to make provision to restrict the entitlement of non-UK citizens to publicly-funded benefits and services; and for connected purposes.

28. Public Services (Availability)

Bill to make provision about the availability of public services during weekday evenings, at weekends and on bank holidays; and for connected purposes.

29. Working Time (Regulations)

Bill to make provision for the expiration of the Working Time Regulations 1998; to provide for regulations governing working time; and for connected purposes.

30. Local Roads (Investment)

Bill to make provision about the maintenance and repair of roads by local authorities in England; to make provision for prescribing the use of funds for this purpose; and for connected purposes.

31. Holiday Pay

Bill to make provision about holiday pay for employees; and for connected purposes.

32. Local Audit (Public Access to Documents)

Bill to amend the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 to extend public access to certain documents that are commercially confidential and documents relating to NHS bodies in England; and for connected purposes.

33. Electronic Cigarettes (Regulation)

Bill to make provision for the regulation of the sale and use of electronic cigarettes; to exempt electronic cigarettes from UK law derived from the Tobacco Products Directive; and for connected purposes.

34. Electoral Commission (Duties)

Bill to impose duties on the Electoral Commission to investigate allegations of electoral fraud and other breaches of electoral law and to act as the prosecuting authority for such offences; and for connected purposes.

35. Mobile Homes and Park Homes

Bill to require the use of published criteria to determine whether mobile homes and park homes are liable for council tax or non-domestic rates; to make provision in relation to the residential status of such homes; to amend the Mobile Home Acts; and for connected purposes.

36. Sublet Property (Offences)

Bill to make the breach of certain rules relating to sub-letting rented accommodation a criminal offence; to make provision for criminal sanctions in respect of unauthorised sub-letting; and for connected purposes.

37. Fruit and Vegetables (Classification)

Bill to make provision for fruit and vegetables to be classified by flavour, condition and size for the purposes of sale in the UK; and for connected purposes.

38. Student Loans (Debt Discharge)

Bill to make provision about the forgiveness or discharge of student loan debt in certain circumstances; to make provision about the treatment of student loan debt in bankruptcy proceedings; and for connected purposes.

39. Stamp Duty

Bill to make provision for the reduction of stamp duty rates on residential property.

40. Armed Forces (Volunteer Reserve)

Bill to make provision for the recruitment and retention of Volunteer Reserves for the Armed Forces; to make provision for the eligibility for deployment of such reserves; and for connected purposes.

41. Fishing (Access to Territorial Waters)

Bill to restrict the rights of vessels not registered in the United Kingdom to fish in territorial waters; and for connected purposes.

42. Speed Limits (England)

Bill to prohibit permanent derogations from a 30 mile per hour speed limit in built-up areas in England; to make provision for the circumstances in which speed limits below 30 miles per hour may be introduced; and for connected purposes.

43. Judicial Appointments and Retirements (Age Limits)

Bill to repeal provisions for the compulsory retirement of holders of judicial office on the grounds of age; to remove upper age limits for appointment to judicial office; and for connected purposes.

44. Coastal Path (Definition)

Bill to make provision for the definition of a coastal path in England in respect of the coastal access duty under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009; and for connected purposes.

45. Domestic Energy (Value Added Tax)

Bill to reduce Value Added Tax on domestic energy bills; and for connected purposes.

46. Manufactured Goods (Trade)

Bill to remove certain restrictions on the production and sale of goods manufactured in the United Kingdom for use in the United Kingdom, in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU; and for connected purposes.

47. Criminal Fraud (Private Prosecutions)

Bill to make provision about private prosecutions in cases of suspected criminal fraud in certain circumstances; and for connected purposes.