Almost half of the available Liberal Democrat MPs have signed parliamentary EDM (Early Day Motion) 1167 calling for more support for users of BSL (British Sign Language) while only 2% of Conservative MPs that are not in government have signed the motion. Labour don’t fare much better with only 9% of their MPs showing support for BSL users.
In total, 55 MPs have signed the motion from across the parties out of a total available number of about 517. There are 650 MPs but about 100 Conservatives and 23 Liberal Democrats are serving in Government which disallows them to sign any EDM – so count them out. Count out too the 5 Sinn Fein MPs who don’t take their places and four other MPs also must remain impartial as they are the Speaker or his deputies.
It is unrealistic to expect any EDM to get the support of every MP and so far the BSL Act Facebook Group, who have been contacting MPs en-mass in the last couple of weeks, have persuaded 10%. Conservative support for the EDM is concerning with only five of their 206 eligible MPs backing the campaign. Labour also have a very long way to go too.
John Smith, one of the campaign leaders, addressed the group on Facebook yesterday and revealed that there is a meeting on the 8th April where the next steps for the campaign will be discussed. Recent developments from the group have been the appointment of more administrators, now nine in total, and the setting out of the groups aims. One of the founding members of the group, James Clarke, is stepping down as an administrator to focus on his personal commitments.
The focus of the group over the last two-weeks has been to encourage members to write to their MP and ask them to sign the BSL EDM. With the Easter recess now upon us, there is likely to be little more action on that front until the House returns on the 15th April. John Smith urged patience from the group – the road will be long.
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