Lords likely to vote down draconian protest clauses in Policing Bill after Green campaign

14 January 2022

Green Party peers have welcomed an announcement by the Labour Lords that they will finally pledge to reject most of the 18 pages of Government amendments to the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill which would effectively criminalise protest on Monday [1].

Following a campaign by Green parliamentarians, elected representatives and members to defend the right to effective protest [2], the move means that the Greens, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and some independents will have enough votes to defeat the government.

This will force Government ministers to either drop the proposals or bring them back in completely separate legislation at a later date, if they choose. 

The Lords only have this power on very rare occasions. In this case because the Government introduced the amendments late and by-passed scrutiny in the Commons. 

These Government amendments would give the police the power to stop people attending demonstrations who have no criminal conviction, and to stop and search without suspicion. 

Green Party peer, Baroness Jenny Jones said:

"This is crunch time for opposition to this increasingly authoritarian Government. We welcome the Labour Party’s decision to support us and others in opposing the majority of these repressive laws. There is every chance that we can strike a blow for civil liberties and defend democratic rights in this country. This will be a huge victory for green campaigners.

“These are Belarus-style laws, but the Lords can stop them if we can motivate enough peers to stay with us during Monday’s late night sitting and vote for basic democratic values. It’s no way to run a country, but a lot will come down to stamina and I’m bringing my sleeping bag.”

ENDS

Notes

1

https://twitter.com/LabourLordsUK/status/1481958957392568321

2

https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2022/01/12/green-parliamentarians-call-on-labour-to-%E2%80%9Cstand-up-against-this-government%E2%80%9D-over-right-to-protest/

3

Green Party peers Jenny Jones and Natalie Bennett are both available for interview - for more information or to arrange an interview please contact press@greenparty.org.uk or call 0203 691 9401






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