Since being elected in December 2019 I have made the decision not to sign any Early Day Motions (EDMs). This is not because I disagree with all the subjects on which EDMs are created for, but because of the ineffectiveness of these as a tool.
The EDM system is equivalent to a petition, but as a Member of Parliament I believe my role is to do more than petition on a subject. I have a unique ability to work with Government and colleagues across the House of Commons to make a difference, and that is what I want to do. And there are also better ways for my constituents to put their thoughts across too. The Parliamentary Petitions website allows people to show their views on any subject and the number of local signatories can be viewed on every issue.
And unlike Parliamentary Petitions tabled by constituents, which once over 10,000 must get a Government response and once over 100,000 can be considered for Parliamentary debate, there is no automatic action taken on the back of an EDM. Hundreds are tabled every year and nothing happens as a result. I would therefore urge all constituents who care passionately about a subject to find the petition online and sign it. I keep a close eye on these to see what issues matter to the people of Burnley and Padiham.
EDMs are also costly and although the expense to the tax payer is falling, each one costs between £400 - £500. Given no action needs to be taken as a result of an EDM, and that they do not change law, on principle I do not sign any even if I do sympathise with the content. This position is shared by many of my colleagues in Parliament and will only change if EDMs are made more effective in the legislative process.
As a result, if you are a constituent of Burnley and would like me to sign an EDM, I will always decline. Instead I will take action in much more effective ways on your behalf, by lobbying Ministerial colleagues and speaking in debates. This will be much more cost effective and valuable way to work on your behalf. If you would like more information on EDMs, please click on the link below: http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/edms/
I will continue to work on your behalf through ways which I feel best meet the needs for my constituents, either through lobbying Ministerial colleagues or through speaking in debates.