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’
    • ‘His own backbenchers and members of the opposition have all threatened to walk out of Westminster or resign.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Ministers and backbenchers agree that his continued membership is a source of increasing embarrassment.’
    • ‘But a minister whose policy is unpopular with some of his own backbenchers may find opposition support embarrassing.’
    • ‘He had lost some right-wing ministers and alienated many backbenchers and supporters outside Parliament.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In addition to spending more time in the chamber than most backbenchers, she also has a frontbench job as a spokesman on culture.’
    • ‘The widespread opposition of Labour backbenchers has forced the health secretary to make some cosmetic changes to the proposals.’
    • ‘Two of the backbenchers who suddenly find themselves Parliamentary Secretaries will no doubt be thrilled.’
    • ‘The position now reached by the Executive on its repeal is one backbenchers can live with.’
    • ‘Why do ministers ask so few questions in private, and backbenchers ask so few questions in public?’
    • ‘This is the time for Labour backbenchers to put political integrity before government opportunism.’
    • ‘All I ask now is that I be allowed to continue my constituency and Parliamentary work and responsibilities as a backbencher.’
    • ‘Intoxicated by the discovery of their own power, Labour backbenchers celebrated a rare parliamentary victory.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At a private meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party earlier, the Prime Minister himself urged backbenchers to back him.’
    • ‘But here he is, threatening to go on and on, surrounded by fawning Labour ministers, backbenchers and constituency delegates.’
    • ‘The parliament's backbenchers did, however, force Executive ministers to change the law so two questions on religion could be included.’
    • ‘Ideas that raced through his head, as a backbencher, became concrete legislation once he held the Ministerial reins.’