By Jonathan Isaby
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Sir Peter Bottomley has a thing about Early Day Motions – the virtually never debated motions which are akin to petitions which MPs sign to make their feelings know about all kinds of issues.
Whilst some dismiss them as “parliamentary grafitti” and don’t bother signing them and others do so very sparingly, the Worthing West MP often signs dozens a day.
In fact, he has already managed to sign 1,042 of the 1,995 EDMs tabled during this parliamentary session (sixth equal among all MPs in the House, with the next Tory in the list only having backed a mere 202).
He has only tabled 16 of his own EDMs, though, and these include EDM 1888 recommending that people read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s writings (no one else has signed it) and EDM 1437 opposing the blanket ban on prisoners voting.
This week Sir Peter has tabled EDM 1946 marking the life of Brian Haw, the anti-war protester who died last weekend after spending most of the last decade living in a tent on Parliament Square – and attracting an increasing large number of others to settle there too.
Bottomley’s motion notes “the range of views on Brian Haw’s cause and his methods” and suggests “it could be appropriate for a memorial service in Westminster to mark his passing”.
He goes on to express his hope that “to mark his life the unsightly camp of hangers-on in Parliament Square ends and a plaque be set in the pavement.”
The motion has attracted one other signature – that of North Wilsthire Conservative MP, James Gray.