Motion Writing Workshop

The 28th July saw the Women’s Officer and Coordinator run a workshop for the women members on writing motions.

How to draft a motion – The Basics

A motion should be short and to the point and should ask somebody to do something.

Some key things to consider:

  • Check factual points are accurate – motions that have inaccuracies are less likely to be selected. Don’t rely on a single source.
  • Make recommendations – a common problem is that motions contain a lot of criticisms and a detailed description of the problem but are thin and unclear in their conclusions.
  • Stick to a few substantial points/plan rather than a long list of small changes.
  • Check any deadlines – timescales make it important to be aware of any time-sensitive issues.
  • Emergency motions – submit in writing to the Secretary as soon as the emergency allows. The Chair/Standing Order Committee will decide if the motion qualifies as an emergency motion.


Motion Writing Tips

Make sure it is:

  • Topical, accurate and concise
  • Comprehensible and logical
  • Likely to prompt good debate
  • In a subject area on which it is desirable for the Labour Party to develop or change policy
  • Be concise and clear, write in plain English, explain any abbreviations
  • Be original – conferences/meetings need exciting, topical debates, even if your motion fails it can still offer the conference a valuable perspective


  • Write long, verbose speeches or be repetitive, vague or didactic
  • Include quotations or actual sums of money
  • Include motions which are already policy
  • Submit a motion with more than three parts
  • Be afraid to submit a motion, they are key to developing and shaping policy for the future


Each motion contains 3 main sections; notes, believes and resolves.

Notes (FACTS)

  • This is the section in which you include evidence that supports your motion
  • It contains facts and figures – any points made should be factual (and make sure you know where you get your facts from)
  • This section is the back bone of your argument, and will help you during debate
  • If you feel it necessary, include a list of resources to support your facts

Believes (OPINIONS)

  • This is the section in which you state your beliefs
  • Tie in your beliefs with the point you are trying to make
  • Highlight any existing Labour Party policies which will contribute to the solution
  • For example; this CLP believes that bring prosecco to AMMs would make many people happy.

Resolves (ACTIONS)

  • This is the section in which you write what you actually want the motion to do
  • It needs to be a definitive action, otherwise people will get confused
  • For example; this CLP mandates that the Chair provides a glass of prosecco to all members who want one at every AMM
  • This is the most important section because it will determine what actions are taken should the motion pass
  • This can contain specific instructions for specific officers. It can instruct officers or representatives within the BLP/CLP/Party
  • It is possible to mandate under the Rule Book but it cannot instruct a Member of Parliament





What Happens Next?

  • Amendments and deletions can be moved and seconded from the floor of a meeting, but shall be handed to the secretary in writing
  • Motions are carried with a simple majority. In the event of there being an equality of votes, the Chair may give a casting vote provided that they have not used an ordinary vote. If the Chair does not wish to give a casting vote, the motion is not carried
  • If an amendment or deletion is carried with a simple majority, the amended motion becomes a motion to which further amendments may be moved

Motions to Labour Party Conference

What is the W/CAC?

The Women’s/Conference Arrangements Committee is elected by national conference. It takes office at the end of that conference for a year. Therefore, the annual Party Conference is run by the W/CAC elected at the previous conference. The W/CAC is responsible for deciding the order of debates and plays a significant role in determining which motions submitted to Conference gets discussed.

Who can submit a motion to national conference and how many can a CLP send?

Each trade union, affiliated organisation and CLP may submit one contemporary motion. There are strict rules about what counts as a contemporary motion; it must not be on a subject addressed in a report to the Conference and must be on a contemporary issue (i.e. one that has arisen recently). The W/CAC decides which motions meet the criteria and conducts a ballot of delegates to determine their priorities. At least 4 motions voted as highest priority by CLP delegates are placed on the agenda, as are the 4 voted top by trade union and affiliated organisation delegates.


Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search