EDM 603

Early Day Motion 603, which calls on the Home Office to stump up its share of the cost of the National Wildlife Crime Unit has attracted six new signatures from MPs in the last week and has now reached 114 signatures.  It is now the 8th-most-signed EDM of this session of Parliament (and has risen one place in the Top 10 this week).

The new signatories are: Rosie Cooper (Lab), Sarah Teather (LibDem), Andy Sawford (Lab), Roger Williams (LibDem), Dave Watts (Lab) and Alan Reid (LibDem).  Thank you to all of them.

The breakdown of political support for this wildlife-protecting EDM is now as follows and I have ordered this list by the number of MPs who have signed as a proportion of the number of MPs in that political party:

SDLP (3/3)

Plaid (3/3)

Green (1/1)

Respect (1/1)

Alliance (1/1)

SNP (4/6)

DUP (5/8)

Independent (1/2)

Lib Dem (26/57)

Labour  (65/255)

Conservative (4/304)


The performance of Conservative MPs is very poor on this issue.

There are 219 MPs who haven’t signed any EDMs at all.  Most of these, in parties other than the Conservative Party, are Ministers or Shadow Ministers and there is a convention (which is sometimes broken) that Ministers do not put their names to EDMs.  Apart from six Sinn Fein MPs the non-signers are, by political party; 16 Liberal Democrats, 49 Labour and 148 Conservatives.  All 16 of the Lib Dems are Ministers, Whips or PPSs so we can say that all Lib Dem MPs who are, by convention allowed to, do sign EDMs.  By inspection, it appears to me (though I haven’t done a full check) that most Labour non-signers are in similar Shadow Ministerial positions.  But there are an awful lot of non-signing Conservative MPs.

Several readers of this blog have had replies from their Conservative MPs along the line that they don’t sign EDMs because EDMs don’t count for much.  It is true that EDMs are mere expressions of support rather than strong grips on the reins on power but I am very glad that my MP, Andy Sawford, has signed EDM 603.  If I ever waiver in my support of the Labour Party before the next General Election then I will remember he signed EDM 603 when asked.  And quite honestly, I want to know what my MP supports and what he doesn’t and EDMs provide a very easy way for me to find out on the parliamentary website.

But here is a list of MPs who have signed more than 100 EDMs but have not yet signed EDM 603 – if any of these are your MP then please do get in touch with them and ask them to put their names to EDM 603:

David Simpson, DUP , Upper Bann;  Virendra  Sharma, Labour, Ealing Southall; Bob Russell, Lib Dem,  Colchester;  Jim McGovern, Labour, Dundee West;  Mark Williams, Lib Dem, Ceredigion; Graeme Morris, Labour, Easington; Gregory Campbell, DUP,  Londonderry East; Jim Cunningham, Labour, Coventry South;  Valerie Vaz, Labour, Walsall South; Steve Rotheram, Labour, Liverpool Walton; David Morris, Conservative , Morecambe and Lunesdale; Glenda Jackson,  Labour, Hampstead and Kilburn; Hywel Francis, Labour, Aberavon; Yasmin Qureshi, Labour, Bolton South East; James Gray, Conservative , North Wiltshire.

And also please sign this epetition too.



23 Replies to “EDM 603”

  1. It seems that some of the Conservative MPs who have stated that they do not sign EDMs on principle have claimed that the reason is that, as well as being ineffective, they are extremely costly. I confess that I don’t understand why they should cost so much money as they claim but, even if they are correct in this assertion, I find their concern for the Public Purse is somewhat undermined by their demands that they should have a 32%(!) pay increase when all other aspects of Government spending are being severely capped.

    1. I also wonder why this group of non-EDM signing MPs feel they know best, when EDMs are presumably one means established by Parliament over time to reflect public concern and/or holding government to account. They might not be perfect but they’re a quick and easy way for an MP to publicly identify where they stand on an issue – so helpful to the electorate too. Nobody said an MP had to stop at signing an EDM if they really want an issue debated on the floor of the House…

  2. No comment from my MP, a resounding silence! Conservative Ben Gummer, he does reply really fast if he likes the subject.

    1. Holly – welcome and thank you for trying – it will have made a small difference! Gummer jr is one of the MPs who hasn’t signed any EDMs so it’s unlikely that he will sign this one. But now he knows that a voter wanted him to. Thank you. Maybe get some friends to make the same ask to reinforce the message…?

  3. Thank goodness my MP, Alan Reid, has signed the EDM. Whilst I did contact him earlier in the week, I take no credit for the outcome as he may well have done it of his own volition. I do think it equally important to routinely contact MP’s on these matters, whatever their pattern of response previously, as it indicates what their constituents are concerned about. It’s a “long” game!!!!

    I confess I don’t see the point relating to cost given it’s an accepted part of our democracy!

  4. I have been in touch with my MP, Alun Cairns, who is one of the very few Conservative MP’s in Wales. I can’t fault his record in replying to emails, but unfortunately he ‘rarely signs EDM’s due to their lack of impact’. Perhaps if a few more Conservative MP’s did sign EDM’s they might have a greater impact and become a more effective (and cost effective) part of our democratic process?

  5. Well I emailed Pete Wishart MP – but he has not seen fit to reply to me (just like he did not reply to me when I asked him to support the No More Page Three campaign). Makes me wonder what he does down in Westminster. Just checked out the list of signers – and of the 4/6 SNP MPs in Westminster who have signed – guess what – he’s not one of them. So why is that – as he has not seen fit to reply to my email I can only muse…… Maybe he doesn’t want to ruffle any feathers in his North Perthshire constituency? Possible – but I bet there are far more voters there who care about wildlife than there are who are of the wildlife criminal fraternity. Maybe he can’t be bothered with people living in his constituency – unless there is a good photo-opportunity to be had (more likely!). I am surprised by his silence – as 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland – where we should all be celebrating Scotland’s wildlife and all the benefits that it brings to the people of Scotland – you would think that Pete Wishart would jump at the chance to be seen to be supporting the Wildlife Crime unit and everything that it does. He’s perhaps a bit short-sighted.

  6. It was hardly going to be surprising the number of tories that have/haven’t signed the EDM, the real surprise is the “similar” response from tories that have said no..dare I say a template was issued by Tory HQ. Well done to Alan for the epetition too, signed it, for what it’s worth as no doubt they see epetitions in the same light as EDM’s so glad they’ll end up with a pay raise….probably.

  7. I emailed my MP, Alan Campbell (Labour), & he repllied to say that as an opposition whip he is not allowed to. However he sent me a full page letter saying he follows the issue closely, he is well informed about it, is concerned that the 10% cut to the NWCU is on top of the 20% cut to police forces, & thanked me for keeping him informed. I always get a reply when I write to him, so he does impress me & I will vote for him next time.

  8. “Ther’s no money left”

    How can you vote for the same Labour Party that trashed (again) our economy and promises to do so at its next opportunity !

    Utter madness !

  9. No comment from my MP so far. Conservative Alistair Burt. Anyone who believes that our country’s economy was wrecked solely at the hands of Blair & Brown are in my view being a trifle myopic. I don’t consider either to be smart enough to have done this on their own.

  10. Heard from Patrick McLoughlin. Doesn’t sign EDMs. Also says role played by NWCU will evolve with the creation of a National Crime Agency and introduction of elected police commissioners. Thinks it may be better to let these bodies deal with allocation of resources at a local level.

  11. Nice to know my MP (Roger Williams) listens to his constituents. I hadn’t realised he’d signed the EDM following my email.

    1. Mike – welcome! You should claim all the credit! Roger is a pretty good friend of wildlife and a nice guy.

  12. My MP is Chris Huhne who has signed the EDM. He also asked a parliamentary question on the subject: Chris Huhne: “To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will take steps to ensure that funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit will continue at current levels for the remainder of the spending review period; and if she will make a statement.” [129498] Mr Jeremy Browne: “Decisions on Government funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit beyond March 2013 will be taken by Ministers later this year.”

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