Chemical Weapons in West Papua

EDM #2074, Tabled 12 February 2019 (2017-19 Session)

4th Sponsor (13 February 2019)

That this House is deeply concerned by reports of the use of chemical weapons by the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) in the West Papuan regency of Nduga; notes that the Nduga Regency is experiencing a significant increase in Indonesian military and police activity; further notes that Indonesia is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention; and wishes to draw attention to witness testimony and journalistic reporting indicating that the Indonesian military has made use of burn-causing chemicals potentially including white phosphorous; believes there is sufficient documentary evidence to warrant an OPCW investigation; and calls upon the Government, together with members of the international community, to push for a full investigation.

Suspension of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

EDM #2073, Tabled 12 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House is deeply concerned by the suspension of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) by the United States of America and Russia; recalls that the INF treaty strengthened European security by removing and eliminating all land-based Cruise, Pershing and 5520 missiles from Europe; notes that abrogating the INF Treaty will undermine international attempts to implement the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT); recognises the importance of preventing a new generation of intermediate-range nuclear forces being deployed; commits not to finance, deploy or assist in new intermediate-range nuclear weapons being developed or deployed in the UK or the rest of Europe in the future; and calls on the Government to use its influence in the United Nations Security Council and with other UN and NPT states to investigate and address compliance concerns and find effective ways to bring the INF Treaty back into full legal force.

Exiting the European Union (Value Added Tax)

EDM #2072, Tabled 12 February 2019 (2017-19 Session)

Prayer-praying that this Statutory Instrument is annulled.

Supporter

That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Value Added Tax (Postal Packets and Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (S.I., 2018, No. 1376), dated 17 December 2018, a copy of which was laid before this House on 18 December 2018, be annulled.

Political Trials in Madrid and the EU

EDM #2071, Tabled 12 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

6th Sponsor

That this House condemns the political show trials of Catalan democrats in Madrid of democratically elected politicians who held a peaceful and democratically convened referendum; and calls on the leaders in Europe not to be silent.

Animal Welfare Standards

EDM #2070, Tabled 12 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House welcomes the assurances from Government that animal welfare standards will be maintained or improved in the event of the UK leaving the European Union and that animal sentience will be recognised in UK law; urges the Government to table the Animals Welfare (Sentience) Bill without further delay; notes that Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty imposes a clear obligation on governments to pay due regard to the welfare requirements of animals, as sentient beings, when formulating and implementing law and policy in areas of EU competence; further notes that Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty was not converted into UK law by the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018; and calls on the Government to act swiftly to implement this obligation, to expand it to include all policy areas, make it applicable to all public bodies, and to implement it through a transparent, accountable and independent process to ensure that animals’ welfare needs are met when formulating future policy.

Registration Fees at the Health and Care Professions Council

EDM #2069, Tabled 12 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House notes that the Health and Care Professions Council plans to increase its registration fees by 18 per cent from October 2019; believes that this increase is effectively a tax on practicing, as those who are regulated by the HCPC must pay this annual fee in order to continue doing their jobs; notes that this affects a wide range of staff working in 15 health and care professions across the UK, including paramedics, occupation therapists, operating department practitioners, physiotherapists, radiographers, dieticians, chiropodists, podiatrists, orthoptists, clinical scientists, and speech and language therapists; regrets that such an increase will mean HCPC fees rising by 40 per cent since 2014, outstripping inflation as well as the smaller pay increases that health and care staff have had across this period; considers such an increase to be excessive and unreasonable, with further concerns about the lack of public scrutiny around such a large rise in fees; and therefore calls on the HSPC to reconsider this increase as a matter of urgency.

Detention of Women’s Rights Activists in Saudi Arabia

EDM #2068, Tabled 12 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House is very concerned about the continuing detention of Saudi women’s rights activists, including Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan and Samar Badawi, many months after their arrests in 2018; is extremely alarmed by allegations that some activists have been subjected to sexual harassment, torture and ill-treatment, including electric shocks, floggings and beatings on the feet, during pre-trial detention, as reported by human rights organisations Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and ALQST (Justice), and which may be on-going; notes the recent creation of the cross-party Detention Review Panel which seeks to review the activists’ detention conditions, and Saudi Arabia’s failure to allow that body access to the detainees; recognises the vital role of civil society and human rights defenders in that country and the need for their protection; urges the Saudi Government to release the women activists immediately and unconditionally, along with all those detained for the peaceful expression of their opinions or their human rights work, and to allow prompt and impartial investigation into allegations of torture and ill-treatment to ensure those responsible are held to account; and calls on the Government to make a public statement immediately calling for the release of the detained women activists by the Saudi Government.

Khojaly Massacre

EDM #2067, Tabled 12 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

2nd Sponsor

That this House extends condolences to the people of Azerbaijan as they commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Khojaly massacre on 26 February; reflects on this atrocity, committed against citizens of Azerbaijan amid conflict in the region; and supports calls for a resolution to the conflict, which respects the territory of the Republic, and for the OSCE Minsk Group to increase works for a peace plan.

Rough Sleeping in Coventry and the West Midlands

EDM #2066, Tabled 11 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House notes, whilst welcoming the fall in the total number of rough sleepers in the UK, that rough sleeping remains a growing problem across many areas of the country; condemns the particularly prominent rises in the number of people sleeping rough in Coventry and across the wider West Midlands; and urges the Government to accelerate its plans to end rough sleeping, so that rough sleeping can be brought to an end within this Parliament.

Community Security Trust Incident Figures

EDM #2065,Tabled 08 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House notes the 2018 anti-Semitic incidents report by the Community Security Trust (CST); further notes that the stated record of 1,652 anti-Semitic incidents represents a 16 per cent rise on the previous year and for the third year running the highest annual total of anti-Semitic incidents that CST has ever logged; is concerned that there is now a pattern of consistently high incident figures for attacks against Jewish people; is further concerned that these figures suggest an enduring situation in which people with anti-Semitic attitudes appear to be more confident in expressing their views; resolves to continue to support CST’s important work and that of other key organisations; and further resolves to ensure the safety of the Jewish community and to continue to work across public and civil life to eradicate and challenge anti-Semitic incidents wherever they occur.

Holiday Pay for In-House Staff

EDM #2064, Tabled 07 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House shows its gratitude for the consistent hard work and dedication of parliamentary staff at all levels, without whom this House would be unable to conduct its significant work; urges the House administration to comply with the 2017 Employment Appeal Tribunal decision in the case of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council vs Willetts and others and to pay holiday pay as an average of the previous 12 weeks rather than basic pay; and recognises that the current policy regarding holiday pay unfairly impacts on staff who either rely on overtime or are on minimum guaranteed hours contracts who are only paid for their guaranteed hours.

#HelloToKindness

EDM #2063, Tabled 07 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

6th Sponsor

That this House supports Hello magazine’s #HelloToKindness campaign; praises the campaign for supporting kindness in an effort to combat the growing problem of online abuse; congratulates the campaign for standing up to abuse that occurs on social media platforms in an attempt to promote a more positive, welcoming environment online; commends the campaign for garnering large public and celebrity support in calling for less abuse and more kindness online; and calls on the Government to work with social media companies, schools and civil society to further the aims of campaigns like #HelloToKindness.

Visa Refusals based on TOEIC English Language Test Allegations

EDM #2061, Tabled 06 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House notes the important contribution of international students to UK higher education; welcomes the presence of those who have entrusted their education to the UK; is concerned about the 35,870 students whose visas have been refused, revoked or curtailed due to allegations of cheating in the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) on the basis of doubtful evidence provided by the US testing firm ETS; urges the Government to allow those who have been accused of cheating on TOEIC and who remain in the UK to sit a new secure test; calls on the Government to reinstate the previous visa status of those who pass, granting them time to complete their studies and to clear their names of the allegations levelled at them; urges the Government to provide clarity on the 22,000 students whose tests ETS claimed were “questionable”; and further urges the Government to halt the detention and removal of students affected.

Kurdish Hunger Strikes in Turkey

EDM #2060, Tabled 06 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House expresses its deep concern for the welfare of around 250 Kurdish prisoners in Turkey, who have begun an indefinite hunger strikes in protest against the prison conditions of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan; notes that some protestors, including Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Leyla Guven, have now entered their third month of continuous strike; further notes that thousands joined a rally in Istanbul on 3 February 2019 in support of the hunger strikers; recognises that, by depriving Öcalan of visits from lawyers and family and keeping him in isolation, Turkey violates not only international conventions on human rights but its own constitution; and calls on the UK Government to make representations to the Turkish Government to end the imprisonment in isolation of Öcalan and their ongoing persecution of Kurdish politicians.

Social Media Influencers and Weight Loss Products

EDM #2058, Tabled 06 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House acknowledges the petition by Mandy Jones, entitled ‘LET’S STOP influencers and celebrities working with products promoting speedy weight loss’, which calls on the Advertising Standards Authority to regulate social media influencers; appreciates that Mandy Jones, the founder of the Empowered Women Project, is promoting this petition to highlight the dangers of advertising products which encourage rapid weight loss; understands that the irresponsible advertising of diet products and promotion of unrealistic body expectations for women may adversely effect the mental health of young people; further understands that ‘before’ and ‘after’ weight loss photos are often staged to construct an inaccurate portrayal of the effectiveness of products; and calls on the Advertising Standards Authority to consider the wider impact of paid product placement on social media sites.

Access to Cash

EDM #2057, Tabled 06 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House expresses concern about the rate at which access to cash is being reduced across the UK, with more than 200 free-to-use cashpoints and 60 bank branches closing per month according to analysis by Which?; recognises that while there has been an increase in digital payments, cash is still expected to be the second most popular payment method in a decade’s time; expresses further concern about the 25 million people for whom cash remains a necessity, according to the Access to Cash review, and the 2.2 million people who use cash for all their day-to-day payments, who risk complete financial exclusion as a result of this reduction in access; is alarmed by the number of recent major IT failures at banks, which further highlights the central role for cash as the only non-digital payment method; believes that the rapid reduction in access is not being driven by consumer demand and is not in the consumer interest; and calls on the Government to give a regulator a statutory duty to protect access to cash and a sustainable cash infrastructure for as long as people need it.

Money in Sport and the Real Living Wage

EDM #2055, Tabled 06 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House notes the passion and excitement during the first weekend of the Six Nations Rugby Championship 2019 and the contribution made by stadium workers to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all fans; further notes that the tournament would not be possible without those workers at the Principality Stadium, Murrayfield and Twickenham Stadium; observes that the current broadcasting deal for the tournament is worth more than £50 million and that many of those workers earn less than the real living wage as calculated by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation; believes that the Principality Stadium, Murrayfield and Twickenham Stadium as anchor institutions in their local communities should pay the real living wage; further believes that the Welsh Rugby Union, the Rugby Football Union and the Scottish Rugby Union should meet Citizens UK to discuss accreditation as living wage employers following the lead of Premiership football clubs Liverpool FC, Everton FC, Chelsea FC, West Ham United FC and EFL League One side Luton Town FC.

LGBT History Month

EDM #2051, Tabled 05 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House joins the LGBT community in celebrating LGBT History Month; recognises and supports the contributions that the LGBT community has made to Welsh society; acknowledges that the LGBT community is disproportionately impacted in terms of homelessness, domestic abuse, violence and housing discrimination; aspires to create a society in which LGBT teens do not disproportionately experience homelessness after coming out to their families; celebrates victories for the LGBT community, including the establishment of a gender identity service for Wales; and pledges continued commitment to full equality for all members of the LGBT community.

Dr Shoaib Suddle

EDM #2050, Tabled 05 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House welcomes the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s decision to appoint a commission chaired by Dr Shoaib Suddle; notes that the intention of the commission is to ensure implementation of the decision PLD 2014 SC 699 of June 2014 to safeguard the rights of religious minorities in Pakistan; affirms its confidence in Dr Suddle as a man of integrity and impartiality and capable of carrying out this critically important task; and assures him of its cooperation and assistance in matters of religious freedom.

TV licences for Over-75s

EDM #2046, Tabled 04 February 2019, (2017-19 Session)

Supporter

That this House notes that maintaining free TV licences for over-75s was a 2017 Conservative manifesto commitment; acknowledges that 2.2 million over-75s live alone and that paying the licence fee could push 50,000 pensioners below the poverty line; acknowledges that 4 million households will be affected if the concession is ended, that 3 million will be impacted if the concession is linked to Pension Credit, and that 1.5 million househoIds would lose out if the qualifying age was raised to 80; welcomes the petition by Age UK on this issue; and calls on the Government to guarantee the maintenance of free TV licences for over-75s beyond 2020.

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