Persecution of Christians

EDM #55, Tabled 23 October 2019 (2019-20 Session)

6th Sponsor (signed 23 October 2019)

That this House notes the 2019 report of Aid to the Church in Need entitled Persecuted and Forgotten? which shows that the Christian population of Iraq has declined by 90 per cent within a generation from 1.5 million before 2003 to less than 150,000 today; recognises that any Daesh resurgence in Syria or Iraq could pose an existential threat to Christians in the region; and calls on the Government in line with its commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro’s review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians to take urgent and immediate steps to safeguard the presence of Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria.

Firework safety

EDM #34, Tabled 16 October 2019 (2019-20 Session)

Supporter (signed 21 October 2019)

That this House acknowledges the distress faced by countless individuals and families as a result of the improper use of fireworks in the lead up to and during bonfire night; welcomes the recent Scottish Government consultation, which invited the public to express their views on the sale of fireworks, on the effect of fireworks on people, communities and animals, and on what actions could be taken to minimise risk going forward; understands that the consultation received a total of 16,420 responses and that a majority of respondents reported that they had been affected by fireworks used in an irresponsible or unsafe way; further notes that 94 per cent of respondents thought that there should be more control over the sale of fireworks; calls on the UK Government to update the House on the ongoing review by the Office for Product Safety and Standards regarding fireworks and to make clear what further action it is taking to reduce the scale of the disruption felt by so many communities as a result of improper use of these products; and recommends that the UK Government considers devolving powers to Scotland to allow the Scottish Government to regulate the sale of fireworks to the public.

Voter ID requirements at polling stations

EDM #30, Tabled 16 October 2019 (2019-20 Session)

Supporter (signed 17 October 2019)

That this House expresses deep concern at the Government’s announced plans to prevent people from voting unless they can provide photographic identification at the next election; notes that of the 44.6 million votes cast in 2017, there were just 28 allegations of in-person voter fraud and one conviction; recognises that some 11 million citizens do not possess a passport or driving licence and that people aged between 17 and 30 and black and minority groups are 15 per cent less likely to own driving licences; expresses concern that this policy will introduce widespread voter dropout among vulnerable and disadvantaged groups if rolled out; and calls on the Government to urgently review its proposals.

Prison officer pension age

EDM #15, Tabled 15 October 2019 (2019-20 Session)

Supporter (signed 15 October 2019)

That this House recognises the dangerous working conditions in the Prison Service; expresses concern at the increasing number of violent assaults on prison staff; believes that prison officers approaching the age of 70 should not be expected to deal with violent and dangerous criminals aged in their twenties, thirties and forties; considers the demands placed on prison officers, as uniformed emergency workers, to be similar to police officers and firefighters, who can retire at 60 in recognition of the unique nature of their roles; and calls on the Government to show its thanks and appreciation for our prison staff through practical action to improve prison safety, enhance terms and conditions and align prison officers’ pension age with other uniformed emergency services.

Anti-Semitic Attack in Halle, Germany

EDM #12, Tabled 14 October 2019 (2019-20 Session)

5th Sponsor (signed 15 October 2019)

That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the heinous anti-semitic attack at the synagogue in Halle, Germany, and sends condolences to those affected; notes with concern the increase in antisemitism in society and the impact on the Jewish community; resolves to support the Jewish community in doing everything possible to work towards the elimination of antisemitism, and all forms of racism, in society; and calls on the Government to redouble efforts to work with faith groups to ensure the security and safety of places to worship.

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