Members of the Public continue to write to their Members of Parliament to defend Julian Assange against US Extradition. It seems that if a Member of Parliament is member of the government in whatever role (for example they may be a minister, junior minister or parliamentary secretary) they are not allowed to sign Early Day Motions. The same applies for Shadow cabinet Ministers among the parties in opposition.
Reply to Constituent sent on behalf of Ellie Reeves Member of Parliament for Lewisham West & Penge
Thank you for contacting me about EDM 719 regarding Julian Assange, press freedom and public-interest journalism. As I am a Member of the Shadow Front Bench, I am unable to sign EDMs however, I agree that press freedom is fundamental to our democracy and I can assure you that I remain committed to this value.
Thanks again for raising this and hope to see you soon.
All the best
Sent on behalf of Ellie Reeves MP
Member of Parliament for Lewisham West & Penge
If we live in a democracy, everyone in the UK Parliament, must have the right to sign the EDMs, if they wish too.And the case of Julian Assange is of national and international interest, his persecution sets a dangerous precedent for journalism, for the freedom of the press and our right to know.
Yes, I was incorrect in my assertion about this; the constraint apples to Ministers, not MPs generally. However, who makes these rules and to what end? I don’t remember ever being asked my opinion after a public conversation on the topic.Of course, this is just one more diversion from the central point in a systemic process to thwart democracy, assuage public opinion and preserve the established power structures.