Friday, October 31 2014

MPs voting records

Your MP is your representative in the national parliament and it is his/her responsibility to ensure that the views of his/her constituents are conveyed and publicised in that assembly both through speaking on the floor of the House and by voting on motions and laws put before the House. Your MP bears the duty of representing your views and executing these through his/her voting patterns in the legislature.

You can check the voting record of your MP at: www.publicwhip.org.uk. The website lists MP voting records and is searchable by MP or by subject matter.

Where you feel your MP has not satisfactorily represented your views, write to him/her and ask for a written response on why s/he voted the way s/he did.

You can also visit your MP in his/her constituency office during surgery hours and discuss in person any concerns or objections you have regarding their voting or speaking record.

Where your concerns are matched by others in your constituency, or your ward, organise a meeting and invite your MP or councillors to listen to you and your fellow residents. Your MP and councillors, by having a better idea of how strongly you feel about a subject, will be in a better positon to represent you.

MPs and councillors are your representatives in local and national government. Help them represent you better by regularly informing them of your views.

There have been a number of laws recently passed which have had some significant impact on the British Muslim community. These include legislation on extending the period in which individuals can be detained without charge from 28 to 90, 60 and 42 days; incitement to religious hatred legislation; the expansion of powers of stop and search by the police and the motions debated and passed by Parliament committing British troops to an invasion of Iraq.

You can read below some of the motions presented to the House and the voting records of MPs relating to these. Did you MP vote in accordance with your wishes? Did you challenge him/her on it if not?

Before the Government could commit British troops to an invasion of Iraq it had to present its case in favour of war to the House of Commons and seek the backing of Parliament. MPs voted in five separate divisions each of them detemining the possibilities for the Government to be part of the coalition forces that were being readied for the invasion.

In November 2002, MPs voted on whether or not a second resolution from the United Nations, one expressly mandating any offensive against Iraq, was required. This motion was rejected leaving the way open for the Government to pursue a strategy against Iraq without authorization from the UN.

Those MPs that voted ‘no’ were voting against the necessity of a further resolution from the UN before the British government could contemplate war in Iraq.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 16:51

Iraq Inquiry

Parliament has since the war in Iraq began debated at various stages the need to hold an inquiry into the run up to the war and the Government’s handling of affairs in its aftermath.

One such debate and motion was voted on in March 2008.

Iraq Inquiry – Call reject

25 March 2008
Division 133

The motion voted on stated that:

‘This House calls for an inquiry by an independent committee of privy councillors to review the way in which the responsibilities of Government were discharged in relation to Iraq, and all matters relevant thereto, in the period leading up to military action in that country in March 2003 and its aftermath and to make recommendations on lessons to be drawn for the future.’

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2008 17:18

Racial and Religious Hatred

Racial and Religious Hatred Bill
(Reasoned amendment on second reading)
21 Jun 2005
Division 14

The Government’s proposed legislation on Incitement to Relgious Hatred faced a number of challenges by MPs and peers before it was adopted into law.

One such challenge came to the second reading of the Bill in the House (Bills are presented to the House three times before moving on to the House of Lords in the next stage of the legislative cycle) when MPs voted on whether the Bill should be read and voted on a second time.

The motion voted on stated that:

‘This House declines to give a Second Reading to the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill because, while the Bill recognises the problems caused by extremists seeking to stir up hatred against others on the grounds of their ethnic identity, by creating a new offence of inciting religious hatred, it will disproportionately curtail freedom of expression, worsen community relations as different religious and belief groups call for the prosecution of their opponents, create uncertainty as to what words or behaviour are lawful and lead to the selective application of the law in a manner likely to bring it into disrepute.’

Those that voted ‘aye’, that is in favour of the motion, were voting against the Bill’s becoming law by refusing it a second reading explaining their reasons for doing so in the reasoned amendment.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2008 17:28

Terrorism Legislation

In 2005 the Government attempted to extend the period of detention during which a person can be held without being formally charged with a crime from 14 to 90 days (see below). On losing the vote on that motion, the Government proposed a revision and put a ’28 day’ proposal before the House which it won.

In 2008, the Government sought again to revise this figure upwards asking the Commons to back an extension period of 42 days. The voting results for this motion are given below.

Those that voted ‘aye’ in this division were voting in support of the Government’s plans to extend the period of detention without charge to 42 days.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2008 17:31

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