Why I don’t sign EDMs

I regularly get requests from constituents for me to sign what are called Early Day Motions (EDMs) of the House of Commons. I write back explaining why I don’t sign EDMs.

There are a number of reasons why I don’t sign EDMs.

The main one, is that they have no effect and there are numerous other ways which are effective in which I can raise an issue or lobby the Government.

Signing EDMs requires virtually no effort. Signing EDMs has become a displacement activity for doing something useful like writing personally to the Minister, raising the issue in questions or debates in Parliament, applying for a debate, tabling amendments to Bills etc – all of which require much more time and effort. The tax payer also picks up a substantial bill for the cost of processing the hundreds of EDMs tabled each month.

This is why I took the decision many years ago to never sign EDMs on principle. However, that does not mean the issues raised are not important and instead I write personally to Ministers raising the issues and asking them to respond, as well as raising issues in other useful and effective ways.