Petition on bullying in the Armed Forces presented to the Commons

June 30, 2009 at 1:24 pm Leave a comment

Petitions are put in this green bag behind the Speaker’s Chair

by Tony Grew

The MP for Gloucester exercised his right to present a petition from his constituents to Parliament yesterday.

Petitioning currently involves sending a written appeal to an MP who can then present it to the Commons, either by making a short statement or just placing it in the Petition Bag behind the Speaker’s chair in the Commons chamber.

The text of the petition is then published in Hansard, the Parliamentary record.

Presentation of a petition is a regular piece of Commons business, and a good opportunity for an MP to mention the subject of concern on the floor of the House.

Parmjit Dhanda told the House yesterday that the petition had been signed by “more than 160 residents and others in my constituency.”

“The names were collected on the streets of Gloucester by a former member of the Armed Forces,” he said.

“The petition states:

The Petition of those concerned about bullying in the Armed Forces,

Declares that bullying in the British Army should be stopped once and for all.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Defence to take firm and positive action to ensure that bullying in the British Army is once and for all put a stop to now.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.”

Last year the Procedure Committee recommended that the House of Commons adopt a system of e-petitions “to offer a simple, effective and transparent way for the public to tell the House and its Members about what matters to them and to indicate the levels of support for their concerns.”

However, in May the committee produced a report accusing the government of not fully supporting the new scheme.

Greg Knight MP, committee chairman, said:

“Last April we devised a system of e-petitions which offered a simple, effective and transparent way for the public to tell the House and its Members about what matters to them.

“The need for security and robustness means that such a system, if it is to be effective, is never going to be a cheap exercise.

“We are therefore very disappointed that the Government’s initial enthusiasm for e-petitions appears to have evaporated.

“We call upon the Government to think again on this issue.”

The public lobby their MP or a Lord directly but petition either the House of Commons or House of Lords as a whole, according to

Lobbying is an attempt to influence the opinions of MPs and Lords on specific subjects.

The procedure for petitions in the Lords is very rarely used.



Entry filed under: Commons, Procedure. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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