Free votes for MPs on all matters arising from e-petitions

We believe that democracy in the United Kingdom was impoverished by the decision not to allow MPs a free vote in the EU Referendum debate which was held on 24th October 2011; a debate and vote in Parliament prompted by an e-petition.

We assert that the whole purpose underpinning e-petitions is that the will of the electorate should be better represented in a mid-term Parliament and the denial of a free vote in proceeding arising from such petitions is a blatant frustration of that purpose.

We therefore require the Government to alter Parliamentary procedure rules to ensure that no political party can 'whip' its MPs in any future Parliamentary proceedings which arise from e-petitions.

This e-petition has been rejected with the following reason given:

E-petitions cannot be used to request action on issues that are outside the responsibility of the government. This includes:

  • party political material
  • commercial endorsements including the promotion of any product, service or publication
  • issues that are dealt with by devolved bodies, eg The Scottish Parliament
  • correspondence on personal issues

E-petitions cannot be used for freedom of information requests.

The following explanatory notes have been added:

Whhipping is a matter for political parties and not HM Government.

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Created By

David Parkinson

Created On

Saturday 3 December 2011

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