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Early Day Motions

These are motions set down for 'an early day'.  No time is available for debating them, but they provide an opportunity to register an opinion and gather support on almost any subject

To see which EDMs I have sponsored or 'tabled' (that I have initiated) and signed (given my support to) click here.

If you would like to browse other MPs EDMs you can  search the EDM Database or look under the House of Commons on the Parliament website:

Below are some examples of EDMs I have tabled recently and in previous years:



That this House supports the Mind Week campaign to raise awareness of men's mental health in England and Wales; notes that 75 per cent. of all suicides are by men and that one in seven men who experience prolonged unemployment will develop a mental health problem; is concerned that the recession will have a disproportionately negative effect on the mental health of men in England and Wales; and further supports Mind's call for greater awareness of men's mental health problems.



That this House believes that in light of the global economic crisis and in the context of the forthcoming G20 talks it is vital that the focus of the UK Government is on creating a new, improved economic model rather than simply business as usual; therefore commends the Put People First Alliance report and campaign, backed by over 100 development and climate charities, non-governmental organisations and trades unions; and hopes that the Government will heed its recommendations and support the following four principles laid out in the report, when negotiating and acting on this matter, of ensuring democratic governance of the global economy, creating and supporting decent jobs and public services, ending global poverty and inequality and building a green economy.



That this House welcomes the Let Them Work campaign to allow asylum seekers permission to work while they are waiting for a decision about their claim; notes with concern that asylum seekers who fled persecution in their own countries are among the most vulnerable people in the UK and are being denied the opportunity to work to support themselves and their families, to pay taxes, and to contribute to the economy; is additionally concerned about the situation of those asylum seekers without status who are unable to return home, many of whom spend years in limbo and are reliant on charity hand-outs or forced into illegal work just to survive; is alarmed that this leaves already vulnerable people open to destitution and exploitation; and therefore calls on the Government to allow asylum seekers to work if they have been waiting longer than six months for a full resolution on their asylum claim and to ensure that permission to work remains for people whose claim for asylum is refused, but who are unable to return home immediately through no fault of their own.



That this House considers that the measures in relation to prostitution contained in the Policing and Crime Bill, though well-intentioned, are deeply flawed; believes that there is no justification for involving the criminal law in consensual transactions that cause no public nuisance; notes the opposition to the proposals from the Royal College of Nursing and other members of the Safety First Coalition, who call for an end to the criminalisation of prostitution, which they consider makes sex workers more vulnerable to attack; further notes that police evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee has cast doubts on the enforceability of the proposals on paying for the sexual services of a prostitute controlled for gain and therefore opposes these provisions in the Bill; and calls on the Government to make more effective use of existing laws against trafficking and sexual exploitation and to enlist the support of purchasers of sexual services to help expose those establishments that use trafficked women.



That this House notes that Clause 16 in the Policing and Crime Bill providing for the introduction of Orders Requiring Attendance at Meetings for those found to be loitering or soliciting for the purposes of prostitution is simply a rehash of the abandoned proposal in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill for compulsory rehabilitation; considers that there is no evidence that compulsion assists in rehabilitation and agrees with the Royal College of Nursing that the proposal will lead to greater detention of some of the most vulnerable, stigmatised and marginalised people in society whose criminalisation helps institutionalise them in prostitution; and therefore urges the Government to concentrate instead on providing high-quality outreach programmes, independent of the criminal justice system, which offer healthcare and support, sexual health advice and drug rehabilitation opportunities that individuals who want to leave prostitution can access.



That this House notes with disappointment that the Government has failed to use the Policing and Crime Bill to honour the commitment in the Home Office report of January 2006, A Co-ordinated Prostitution Strategy and a summary of responses to Paying the Price, for an amendment to the definition of a brothel so that two or three individuals could work together from shared accommodation; and is concerned that the omission of this provision misses an important opportunity to allow women in the sex trade to work more safely, to have more control over their work and to make it easier for them to leave the trade should they so wish.



That this House notes the report by the Social Security Advisory Committee on Social Security (Lone Parents and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008 that will force lone parents with children as young as seven to seek work or suffer benefits cuts of up to 40 per cent.; endorses the Committee's view that in the absence of high quality and reliable `wrap around childcare' this could increase hardship and be detrimental to family life; further notes that the report states that `Lone parents who are sanctioned face financial penalties that will increase child poverty - an outcome at odds with the primary rationale that the Department for Work and Pensions has put forward'; and further notes that the reforms could also damage lone parents' health by causing worry and stress and have negative wider social impacts including on children and considers that the Government should accept the Committee's recommendation not to implement the regulations.



That this House is deeply concerned by the horrific killing of 13 year old Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow who was stoned to death in Somalia; condemns the al-Shabab militia who arranged for a group of 50 men to stone Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow in front of a crowd of 1,000 spectators; notes that she was accused of adultery in breach of Islamic law but that her father and other sources told Amnesty International that she had in fact been raped by three men; is appalled that when she attempted to report the assault to the al-Shabab militia, she was detained and sentenced to death; further notes that when some of the witnesses to the stoning attempted to come to her aid, the al-Shabab militia opened fire and shot dead a boy who was a bystander; and calls on the Government to intervene in any possible way to help ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice and to help prevent any repetition of such a barbaric act.



That this House notes that 33 criminal justice organisations, including the Prison Officers' Association, have written to the Secretary of State for Justice calling for titan prisons to be abandoned and that there is opposition to titan prisons from the Prison Governors' Association whose President, Paul Tidball, told the Justice Committee `We are under-whelmed by the case... Our instinct is that smaller is better'; further notes that the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers, has stated that titan prison complexes go against evidence that smaller prisons work better offering an environment in which people are known, in which relationships can develop, and where people are often closer to their homes; further notes her warning that in France in 1992, a titan-style prison was built outside Paris to hold 2,800 people which now holds 3,600 people and that France has decided it will never repeat this model; further notes the concern of the Howard League for Penal Reform that communities near titan prisons would suffer as thousands of prisoners pass through without additional help with relocation; and therefore supports the call for titan prisons to be abandoned.



That this House welcomes the guide for the media entitled What's the Story produced by Shift, the Department of Health-funded campaign to tackle stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness; notes that headlines continue to carry derogatory terms like nutter, schizo or maniac and considers that by challenging these stereotypes, rather than reinforcing them, the media can encourage more openness about mental illness which will dramatically improve the lives of all those affected and will encourage others to come forward to get the treatment they desperately need; further notes the information provided by the guide on the dangers to vulnerable people of sensational reporting of suicides and the need to avoid reporting excessive detail about methods used in order to prevent copycat suicides; and urges all those reporting on mental health issues to make good use of this guide and the contacts listed within it.



That this House notes the unacceptable power that the Israeli authorities hold over access to and within the Palestinian territories; is concerned about the increased tendency to refuse access to international visitors, including the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak and a party of women from Birmingham on a mission whose purpose had been fully explained in advance to the Israeli Embassy; trusts that the pilgrimage to the Holy Land of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Moderator of the Free Churches, the Reverend David Coffey, and the Primate of the Armenian Church of Great Britain, Bishop Nathan Hovhannisian, meets with no such difficulties; and hopes that their visit will not only draw attention to the campaign by Open Bethlehem, an international project working to draw attention to the city's plight and to the devastating effect on the economy of Bethlehem of the illegal wall and the associated restrictions on movement, but will also help promote the goodwill needed to end the cycle of violence and secure lasting peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians.




That this House congratulates the Fairford Coach Action campaign on obtaining a House of Lords ruling that the police acted unlawfully in preventing 120 people from demonstrating at RAF Fairford airbase on 22nd March 2003 by searching their coaches for nearly two hours when only two miles from the airbase and then forcing the coaches back to London by police escort; notes that passengers were not permitted toilet or rest breaks during the return two and a half hour journey to London, despite repeated requests; further notes that, despite the then Home Secretary's allegations, no cudgels and swords were found on the coaches, but agrees with Lord Justice May that two pairs of scissors actually found `would not make much impression on the perimeter fencing of the airbase'; notes that stop and search powers under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 were used 2,254 times at RAF Fairford as people demonstrated there between 6th March and 27th April 2003 but no arrests followed, providing evidence for the view that the Terrorism Act was used to harass protestors who wished to dissent against the war in Iraq; and celebrates that this ruling protects the right to freedom of protest in the future, ensuring that members of society can make their voices heard and call politicians and Government to account for their actions.

Click here to see my press release in support of the campaign in 2004

From a previous Session, I tabled the following EDM on 25 Feb 04:


That this House applauds the courage and patriotism of GCHQ translator Katharine Gun who made public information about a memo from the US Government National Security Agency requesting UK assistance with a covert surveillance campaign of the United Nations Security Council members such as Mexico and Chile prior to voting on a resolution which would have endorsed the proposed invasion of Iraq in March 2003; welcomes the decision to drop the charges against her for breaching the Official Secrets Act; considers that the actions of Ms Gun qualify her as a whistleblower - an employee who, on the basis of principle, exposes a malpractice or a miscarraige of justice that deserves public attention; calls on the Government to reform the Official Secrets Act so that whistleblowers are able to have a public interest defence so that if a jury can be persuaded that a breach of the Official Secrets Act is in the public interest this should be an absolute defence; and calls on the Government to make a statement on the information made public by Ms Gun.

Another example from a previous Session, the following EDM was tabled on 07 January 2003:


That this House supports the statement from the Refugee Council, Shelter, Amnesty International UK, Asylum Rights Campaign, CRISIS, JCORE, JCWI, Maternity Alliance, Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, Migrant Helpline, Oxfam, Refugee Action and Refugee Arrivals Project against the Government's decision to deprive destitute in-country asylum applicants of the right to food and shelter from 8 January 2003; notes that the National Asylum Support Service is only available to people who show they would otherwise be destitute and people who lose this support through the operation of Section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 will become destitute; is deeply concerned that Section 55 will affect all in-country applicants who represent two thirds of those applying for asylum; notes that refugees are often unable to claim asylum at ports of entry for the reasons cited by the 1996 Social Security Advisory Committee, including lack of knowledge of the UK asylum process, language difficulties and trauma; further notes this is supported by official figures showing that 65 per cent of all successful claims, including Exceptional Leave to Remain, are made by in-country applicants; regrets that the Government focus on deterrence of people seeking asylum has seen a more punitive philosophy take hold of government policy and notes this has had no long-term effect in reducing numbers of asylum applications but has had a detrimental effect on the well-being of refugees; believes that all asylum applicants should have their cases considered fairly and be treated with dignity.

click here for more information on refugees

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