It is encouraging that several of the Early Day Motions that were set out just before Christmas have been raised up in the first few days since Parliament has reopened. One of the EDM documents was the “Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ“ which was set out by Jim Shannon on the 12th December and it was very sad that prior to Christmas, only four other MPs endorsed it, of which three others from DUP in Northern Ireland added to that from Jim and only one Lib Dem from Lake District who represented the England area and indeed he was the first person to sign it after Jim. These documents are defined as “The first 6 Members who have signed to support the motion are the sponsors. The primary sponsor is generally the person who tabled the motion and has responsibility for it. “ So it was great that on Monday two more MPs signed it bringing it to a total of 7 members. One is Bob Blackman from Conservative in Harrow East and the other is Rachael Maskell from Labour in York Central so these are a more positive response than was the case before Christmas. Later today (Wednesday) we had a Scottish SNP Peter Grant added to the petition making it 8 people who endorsed it.
There is another EDM which my MP. Caroline Lucas set out on the 7th December called “The Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill“ which had achieved 26 additional signatures by Christmas, and over the last two days Rachael Maskell and Douglas Chapman from SNP have signed it so it now has a total of 29 people involved. The day before that EDM was set out, Zarah Sultana wrote the “Free School Meals For All campaign” which had reached a total of 51 signatures by Christmas and on Monday it was added by Rachael Maskell and Clive Betts who is Labour for Sheffield. The final one that I have been following was set out by Mary Kelly Foy on 21st November entitled “Funding for fire and rescue services“ which prior to Christmas had received a total of 81 signatures. On Monday two Plaid Cymru and two SNP MPs have added to it so it now has 85 signatures and one more signed today which was an Alliance MP from Northern Ireland. This is a very significant document and it needs to be treated very strongly by the Government as indeed do the other two EDMs that are referred to here. Inevitably the Birth of Christ EDM is not something that the Government needs to respond to but it is a theme that many of us are very pleased to know about.
Inevitably many other EDMs have been signed in the last couple of days and indeed there are some new EDMs. It would be very interesting to find a way to promote the EDMs that matter for those of us who do observe them. Of course the number of the EDMs are significant and so it is very hard to keep in touch with all of them. It would be interesting to find out what sort of process is adopted with them.