Definition of backbencher in English:



  • (in the UK) a Member of Parliament who does not hold office in the government or opposition and who sits behind the front benches in the House of Commons:

    ‘he was cheered by Tory backbenchers’
    • ‘Two of the backbenchers who suddenly find themselves Parliamentary Secretaries will no doubt be thrilled.’
    • ‘Intoxicated by the discovery of their own power, Labour backbenchers celebrated a rare parliamentary victory.’
    • ‘Many Liberal backbenchers and opposition members were completely unaware of the negotiations.’
    • ‘And would he really not make a better contribution to the national debate than half the backbenchers in parliament?’
    • ‘At a private meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party earlier, the Prime Minister himself urged backbenchers to back him.’
    • ‘His own backbenchers and members of the opposition have all threatened to walk out of Westminster or resign.’
    • ‘But here he is, threatening to go on and on, surrounded by fawning Labour ministers, backbenchers and constituency delegates.’
    • ‘The scientists here are being warned not to be disappointed if they don't get to see high ranking politicians, because today's backbencher is tomorrows cabinet member.’
    • ‘Ministers and backbenchers agree that his continued membership is a source of increasing embarrassment.’
    • ‘He had lost some right-wing ministers and alienated many backbenchers and supporters outside Parliament.’
    • ‘Ideas that raced through his head, as a backbencher, became concrete legislation once he held the Ministerial reins.’
    • ‘Why do ministers ask so few questions in private, and backbenchers ask so few questions in public?’
    • ‘The position now reached by the Executive on its repeal is one backbenchers can live with.’
    • ‘This is the time for Labour backbenchers to put political integrity before government opportunism.’
    • ‘In addition to spending more time in the chamber than most backbenchers, she also has a frontbench job as a spokesman on culture.’
    • ‘But a minister whose policy is unpopular with some of his own backbenchers may find opposition support embarrassing.’
    • ‘The parliament's backbenchers did, however, force Executive ministers to change the law so two questions on religion could be included.’
    • ‘All I ask now is that I be allowed to continue my constituency and Parliamentary work and responsibilities as a backbencher.’
    • ‘I can't wait for him to set foot in parliament as a backbencher where he is going to be face to face with the people he always arrogantly insults.’
    • ‘The widespread opposition of Labour backbenchers has forced the health secretary to make some cosmetic changes to the proposals.’