from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Member of Parliament who does not have cabinet rank, and who therefore sits on one of the backbenches or in one of the back rows of the legislature.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a member of the House of Commons of Great Britain who is not a party leader.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a member of the House of Commons who is not a party leader


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • She's a first-term backbencher from exurban Minneapolis who says the Lord told her to run for Congress.

    Liberal Values

  • He's called a backbencher because anytime someone on these pages says anything nice or positive about a Republican it must be tempered with a slap.

    GOPer Walsh: It's Time to Get Out of Iraq

  • If he was an abject failure or what Mark Levin calls a backbencher, nobody would give Rush a second look.

    Hot Air ยป Top Picks

  • But back at home, the ex-PM is doing something that would be unimaginable for an ex-POTUS: He's still in Parliament as a "backbencher," repping his old district, a string of small mining communities in the southern part of Scotland.

    Ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a "backbencher" at home, global thinker abroad, feted at swanky D.C. book party

  • Now iRoy reminds us that Benn isn't just Britain's longest-serving parliamentarian -- he's also an inventor, the creator of the "backbencher" ( "a rucksack with stool attached") as well as a car-mounted easy-chair, a totally bad-ass pocket-protector, a briefcase that turns into a lectern, a magnetic map for logging your parking spot, and the "seat-case," a suitcase that turns into a chair.

    Boing Boing

  • Anon - in the last year, I've earned twice as much as a councillor as a 'backbencher' by virtue of being a portfolio holder.

    Councillors' pay: a proposal

  • Often, the press focused on Dole's "first woman" status, giving the impression that she was a "backbencher," not the seasoned political operative she in fact was.

    Caryl Rivers: The Gender Rules

  • He and Ryder anticipated a different kind of backbencher, less loyal to the leadership and dogmatically opposed to Europe.

    Betty Bothroyd The Autobiography

  • Tory Euro-sceptics such as backbencher Richard Shepherd insisted that having promised the people a vote, he must go ahead regardless and party chairman Eric Pickles caused surprise by stating it was likely the party would be able "to name the day of the referendum during the election campaign" as the ratification process would not be complete.


  • By all means, follow backbencher Joe Wilson, "Truth-Bomb Thrower."

    Key Democrat predicts final health bill will have 'some form' of public option


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