Lee Dillon Urges Local MP to Vote Against Policing Bill


Lee Dillon, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Newbury, has written to Newbury MP Laura Farris urging her to vote against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would place draconian restrictions on peaceful protest.

Lee said:

"Freedom of speech, association and assembly are values that, alongside other human rights, form the cornerstone of British democracy. I believe that the Bill to be voted on this evening puts those values at risk.

The events on Clapham Common last Saturday evening show just how important the right to peaceful protest is. I believe the scenes that we saw that night, of women being forcibly restrained and arrested as they attempted to hold a peaceful vigil in memory of Sarah Everard and in condemnation of violence against women and girls, were shocking, and not something that the UK should be aspiring to replicate in the future.

I therefore urge our local MP to vote against this Bill. I believe that the UK should seek to be a world leader in the democratic rights that we afford our citizens, and this Bill and the draconian restrictions on people’s freedoms that it permits would most certainly take us in the opposite direction of that."

You can read the letter in full below.

Dear Laura,

RE: Peaceful protests

I’m sure you will agree that freedom of speech, of association and assembly are values that, along with other human rights, form the cornerstone of British democracy. I write to you today because I believe that the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021, to be voted on this evening, puts those values at risk.

The provisions in Part 3 of this Bill would give the police new powers to disrupt peaceful protests, marches and assemblies, criminalise more people for organising and participating in them, and also increase the prison sentences they may face.

The events on Clapham Common last Saturday evening show just how important the right to peaceful protest is. I believe the scenes that we saw that night, of women being forcibly restrained and arrested as they attempted to hold a peaceful vigil in memory of Sarah Everard and in condemnation of violence against women and girls, were shocking, and not something that the UK should be aspiring to replicate in the future.

I therefore urge you to vote against this Bill. I believe that the UK should seek to be a world leader in the democratic rights that we afford our citizens, and this Bill and the draconian restrictions on people’s freedoms that it permits would most certainly take us in the opposite direction of that.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Lee Dillon

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Newbury


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