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.

27 JUL 2017

Gaza EDM 208

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about the situation in Gaza.

I understand that you would like me to sign EDM 208 on this matter, 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 They have also been superseded by online petitions which can be on any issue for which the Government or Parliament is responsible and any which receive 10,000 signatures will receive a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 of interest:

There will ultimately be no relief for the people in Gaza, until there is a political solution. The international community must redouble its efforts to support a comprehensive peace agreement that delivers an independent Palestine alongside a safe and secure Israel.
In tandem with that effort, the UK is continuing to provide aid to the Occupied Palestinian Territories. British aid is helping to build strong institutions and enabling the Palestinian Authority to deliver essential services such as policing, health and education. UK funding provides around 25,000 young Palestinians with access to an education, up to 3,700 immunisations for children, and 185,000 medical consultations each year.
Ministers are fully engaged with the situation on the ground in Gaza. Earlier this month the UK participated in a joint mission with the UN to Gaza. The UK will continue to closely monitor the situation in Gaza and will work with our international partners in order to bring tangible change and improvements to the lives of those living in Gaza and peace to the wider region.

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