On Monday Janet Whitaker asked a clear question to the Government and the answer which came from Stephen Greenhalgh was very superficial and did not really answer the question. To be fair many of the questions that get asked in both the House of Lords and the House of Commons are badly answered or ignored. However surely it is reasonable for us to call for better answers. This question was a theme that I have been aware of on many occasions coming from Janet Whitaker and she would not ask the question unless she was wanting a meaningful response. Sadly it did not arrive. Here is the question and answer and what do we need to do to call for Greenhalgh to be challenged? According to the information he is the Minister of Home Department and Levelling up Housing and Communities.
Baroness Whitaker: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to support Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month in June.
Lord Greenhalgh: The Government supports Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month and welcomes the wide range of organisations across the country that celebrate it each year. This includes schools, colleges, housing associations, Government departments and local authorities.
As it happens back in the House of Commons on the following day the Labour MP Mary Kelly Foy set out this Early Day Motion under the headline Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller History Month 2022 and the text of the EDM is as follows:
That this House notes that during the month of June 2022 it is Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month; further notes that a key theme in 2022 is What Makes a Home?; recognises that what makes a home can mean different things to different peoples and cultures, with homes to be found on the roads and waterways, in fairgrounds, and within communities; believes that the rich culture and history of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities is something that must be both celebrated and protected; and encourages everyone to positively engage with the communities.
The MPs that have so far supported it are the five MPs in the initial document which were three Labour and two SNP MPs and then the other signatures so far are Labour or SNP or three Plaid Cymru and Wera Hobhouse who is the first Liberal Democrat and Caroline Lucas. One of the Labour MPs is Lloyd Russell-Moyle who is Caroline’s neighbour.