Terms and conditions

The purpose of e-petitions is to provide an easy way for the public to engage with politics in this country. All e-petitions will be accepted and published on this website providing they:

  • call on the government for a specific action
  • do not substantially duplicate an existing open e-petition
  • meet the further criteria below

Submission Conditions

An e-petition may freely disagree with the government or call for changes of policy. There will be no attempt to exclude critical views. Decisions to accept or reject will be made on an impartial basis.

However, to protect this service from abuse, e-petitions must satisfy some basic conditions.

To create or sign an e-petition, you must be either:

  • a British citizen
  • a resident in the UK (you normally live in the UK)

To submit an e-petition, you must use the online form to provide:

  • the title or subject of the e-petition
  • a clear statement that covers the subject of the e-petition and what action you want the government to take
  • the government department to which the e-petition is addressed
  • the name of the person submitting the e-petition (the 'petitioner') - names of organisations cannot be accepted
  • the petitioner's email address (this will not be published on the website)
  • the petitioner's home address (this will not be published on the website)

E-petition guidelines

All e-petitions must call for a specific action from the government.

If an e-petition does not include a clear statement explaining what action you want the government to take, it will be rejected.

When submitting an e-petition, you may not include the following:

Confidential, libellous, false or defamatory statements
  • Information which may be protected by an injunction or court order
  • Material which is potentially confidential, commercially sensitive, or which may cause personal distress or loss
  • Names of individuals if they have been accused of a crime or information that may identify them
  • Names of individual officials of public bodies, unless they are part of the senior management of those organisations
  • Names of family members of elected representatives, eg MPs, or officials of public bodies
Offensive, joke or nonsense e-petitions
  • Language that may cause offence, is provocative or extreme in its views
  • Wording that is impossible to understand
  • Statements that amount to advertisements
  • Joke or nonsense content
Matters which are not the responsibility of HM Government
  • Party political material
  • Commercial endorsements including the promotion of any product, service or publication
  • Issues that are dealt with by devolved bodies, eg The Scottish Parliament
  • Correspondence on personal issues
  • Freedom of Information requests
Matters relating to honours or appointments

E-petitions that do not follow these guidelines cannot be accepted. In these cases, you will be informed by email of the reason(s) your e-petition has been refused.

We will publish the full text of rejected e-petitions, unless the content is illegal or offensive.

It is not possible to alter a rejected e-petition, and no correspondence will be entered into regarding rejected e-petitions. Rejection of an e-petition does not stop you from submitting a new e-petition which meets the terms and conditions of the site.

Government departments and e-petitions

When submitting an e-petition, you must choose the government department that you believe owns the issue you have raised in your e-petition. Individual departments will check e-petitions. We reserve the right to transfer an e-petition to a different department, based on ministerial responsibility.

It will usually take up to seven days from the time an e-petition is submitted for it to appear on the website. During busy periods it may take longer.

Once accepted, e-petitions will be made available on this website for anyone to sign. Anyone signing the e-petition must provide their name, home address and email address. No personal details will be published on the site. This information will not be used for any purpose other than in relation to the e-petition.

The government may contact you by email to:

  • confirm you have submitted an e-petition
  • confirm you have signed an e-petition
  • provide updates about the e-petition

You will only receive a maximum of five emails for each e-petition.

If you sign an e-petition (are a 'signatory'), you will only receive updates if you choose this option when you sign it.

All petitioners and signatories will receive a first email that asks you to confirm your email address.

Paper based Parliamentary Petitions

The e-petitions system is not intended to replace the current paper based system of public petitions in the House of Commons.

For more information about the paper based Parliamentary Petitions, you can visit the UK Parliament website This link opens in a new window.