On Thursday there was an extensive debate in the House of Commons to deal with 86 amendments for the Domestic Abuse Bill. These amendments are all items that have been raised by the House of Lords and even the Government have largely accepted them. Sadly there are 12 amendments that the Government is unwilling to accept and they have managed to persuade most of their party members to reject them all. However a small number of Conservative MPs have been willing not to vote against the amendments and indeed the DUP MPs have also chosen to accept some of the 12 amendments. One Sussex MP did not vote for or against any of the amendments and so this may mean that either Peter Bottomley is not willing to oppose these amendments or perhaps he was matching his votes with another MP from another party. However there were two Conservative MPs from outside of Sussex who supported several of the amendments. Jason McCartney is the MP for Colne Valley and Robert Halfon is the MP for Harlow and indeed on many occasions he has been willing to challenge his own Government. Thankfully the Labour Party and most of the other parties agreed to support 9 of the 12 amendments but for some reason the other 3 were not voted for. Even worse, none of the 9 voted amendments were protected due to the lack of votes, essentially because of the dominance of the Conservative Party. However these are the amendments that were supported by either Robert or Jason or both of them.
Clause 2 (amendment 1) Definition of “personally connected” supported by Jason McCartney and Robert Halfon.
Clause 55 (amendment 9) Support provided by local authorities to victims of domestic abuse supported by McCartney & Robert Halfon.
After Clause 64 (amendment 33) Training supported by Robert Halfon.
After Clause 72 (amendment 40) Victims of domestic abuse: data-sharing for immigration purposes supported by Jason McCartney.
Amendment 41 Victims of domestic abuse: leave to remain and the destitution domestic violence concession (DDVC) supported by Jason McCartney.
Amendment 42 Monitoring of serial and serious harm domestic abuse and stalking perpetrators under Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements supported by Jason McCartney & Robert Halfon.
Amendment 43 Effective protection and support for all victims of domestic abuse supported by Jason McCartney.
Clearly we do not know how these can be reintroduced but we can thank Jason and Robert for supporting these amendments. I am actually even more proud that the three non Conservative MPs in Sussex supported all 9 of the amendments discussed on Thursday. Sadly there were no Sussex MPs who bothered to discuss the amendments and tragically the Sussex Conservative MPs apart from Peter Bottomley all voted against all of the amendments. Let us be very thankful for the decisions taken by Caroline Lucas, Peter Kyle and Lloyd Russell-Moyle.