Early Day Motions are a way of raising an issue in Parliament. MPs write a few words about an issue and then other concerned MPs can add their names to demonstrate support. If an EDM gets a lot of support, particularly cross-party support, then the issue tends to be taken a little more seriously than if no-one signs up.
EDMs are the playground for backbench MPs – Ministers and Shadow Ministers usually don’t sign them (although they are able to – it’s a loose convention not a hard rule).
And so, checking whether your MP (for they do work for you!) has signed any EDMs, which ones and whether their apparent interests represent your own, is a good thing for you to do to get a little involved in the democratic process. You will find that the personalities of MPs come to the fore here – some are notoriously grumpy about EDMs and never sign any, whereas others throw their favours around rather indiscriminately. Which category is your MP in, or do they pick and choose?
If you would like your MP to sign a particular EDM then ask them! That’s what I did on Friday evening and my MP, Andy Sawford, replied very quickly to say that he would add his name to EDM 603 so I expect that his name will appear on the list in a few days time. Well done Andy and thank you!
EDM603 refers to the future funding of the National Wildlife Crime Unit and already has 108 MPs signed up. That makes it the equal-9th most-supported EDM in this session of Parliament.
Interestingly there is a very noticeable party split of support. The Green Party’s whole parliamentary membership (ie Caroline Lucas) is signed up, as are the whole of the Respect Party (George Galloway) and Alliance Party (Naomi Long). In addition there are Plaid Cymru (3), Scots Nats (4), SDLP (3), Independent (1), Liberal Democrats (23) and DUP (5) MPs too. 62 Labour MPs are already signed up (and Andy Sawford will be adding his name) but a small and insignificant party called the Conservative Party has only managed 4 signatories; Andrew Rosindell (the sponsor of the EDM), Peter Bottomley (who signs many EDMs – 421 out of 870 in this session of Parliament), Zac Goldsmith (who is the greenest Tory in Parliament and a member of the Environmental Audit Committee whose recent report supported the work of, and need for, the NWCU) and Sheryll Murray (for whom this is the only EDM she has signed).
But just four out of 303 Conservative MPs supporting this EDM? Very poor. Totally inexplicable of course.
Ask your MP to sign EDM 603 (or any others – why not?) and ask them also to explain why they won’t if they are not prepared to do so. Tell them that you care about this issue and that wildlife issues may influence your vote in the next general election.
And if your MP has signed already then why not thank them by sending them an email, or on Twitter or Facebook?
I will keep you updated on the signatures to EDM 603 over the coming weeks.
- Posted in: Uncategorized