Posted: 09 December 2015

MPs to debate some Seriously Awkward questions

Our Seriously Awkward campaign is getting noticed in Parliament and we need your help. Theresa May has already responded to questions our campaigners helped ask - and now there's going to be a debate next Thursday.

Read on to find out more about the debate:  

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Write to your MP

Write to your MP to ask them to take part in our Parliamentary debate on child sexual exploitation.

What does a debate in Parliament mean for the Seriously Awkward campaign?

Over the last couple of weeks, with help from campaigners in constituencies across the country, we’ve been building support for the Seriously Awkward campaign in Parliament.  Thanks to this and the great work of Kit Malthouse MP and Ann Coffey MP on the 17 December there is going to be a two and a half hour debate in parliament on sexual exploitation of 16 and 17 year olds.

How did this happen?

In Parliament, there’s a group of MPs called the Backbench Business Committee who help decide what gets debated in parliament on certain days. Through this committee MPs can apply for time to debate issues.

Obviously there are loads of different applications for debates every week and so MPs are really lucky if their application is successful. However, the committee were thoroughly impressed with the application with one member remarking that ‘the consciousness of the country is on your side at the moment. I think you would get loads of members to come and talk on this’.

Why is a debate important?

Parliamentary debates like this allows MPs to ask questions directly to Ministers from the relevant department, in this case the Home Office. It means the government have to respond directly to points made by MPs. In particular, these are seen as non-partisan debates so they bring in support from all parties, including the Government’s own backbenches.

Debates like this also significantly raise the profile of issues and, crucially, show the government the breadth of support that a campaign has. We know from years of campaigning that when members from all parties are speaking out on an issue it can have a real impact and you can help this happen.

Finally, we know that the Government are expected to publish their Policing and Criminal Justice Bill in the new year and a debate can be a great pre-cursor to trying to change primary legislation.

What you can do?

We can email MPs as much as we want but we know that who they really want to hear from is you, their constituents.

An invite from you asking your MP to attend the debate could be just the right nudge they need that gets them into the chamber to speak on this issue.

Take action now and help us get the change that children need.

Write to your MP

By Jake Mcleod - Policy team
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Write to your MP

Write to your MP to ask them to take part in our Parliamentary debate on child sexual exploitation.
more...

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Our policy work around child sexual abuse and exploitation

Posted: 15 April 2011