Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.

17 DEC 2018

EDM 1854

Thank you for taking the time to email me about EDM 1854.

I realise you would like me to sign EDM 1854, however like many MPs I do not sign any EDMs no matter how worthy the cause. This is because EDMs now cost a huge amount per year to administer and have no chance of changing the Law. They are in effect petitions which only MPs can sign. They have also been superseded by online petitions which can be on any issue for which the Government or Parliament is responsible and any which receive 10,000 signatures will receive a response from the Government. Those petitions which reach 100,000 signatures will almost always be debated in Parliament – unless it is an issue which has recently been debated. There are also concerns that EDMs may give a false impression that action is being taken.

Nonetheless, I hope the following information on this topic from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is reassuring:

President-elect Bolsonaro received a mandate from the Brazilian people. It is not for the UK Government to interfere in the democratic processes of another country.
However, the Government is committed to tackling all forms of extremism, including extremism with a far-right influence. It will continue to raise concerns as part of our bilateral agreements with international partners and explore opportunities to work together to address the wide spectrum of risks associated with extremism. The UK Government will endeavour to work with the incoming Brazilian Administration while making these concerns clear.
The UK Government view on racism, homophobia and misogyny is clear-it would never be acceptable. The UK is also the strongest champion of human rights on the international stage. It is right that we do not shy away from expressing that view where we disagree with other Governments, even where they are close allies.
Standing up for human rights is part of the Government's strategy for creating a more secure and prosperous world. The UK regularly funds human rights projects around the world through the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy. This year £11.1 million of funding was allocated, supporting over 100 human rights projects, human rights defenders and civil society organisations. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also highlights human rights abuses in its Annual Human Rights Report.

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