Full statement on the murder of Sir David Amess MP

2021-10-17 13:06:00 +0100

“We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Sir David Amess. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues at this distressing time.

“The attack on Sir David demonstrates how important it is that we build a society free from hate, fear, and hostility. This appalling event must become a line in the sand - a point from which politics changes for good.

“We urge the Members of Parliament who have, since Sir David’s murder, spoken with such compassion and warmth about their colleague to always act in that same spirit whether it be in addressing one another or the public at-large. What kind of message must the public receive when they see politicians boo, jeer, and holler at one another during Prime Minister’s Question Time? That kind of behaviour would not be accepted in any other workplace and it has no place in our democracy. It’s time we banned brutish behaviour in the Commons and embedded a form of debate based on listening, respect, and cooperation.

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“We should also rid our politics of lies and deceit. A few rogue politicians have made it appear that lying in politics is the norm - eroding trust and confidence in the process. We need to create new rules to ensure that politicians who deliberately lie to the public are held accountable for their actions.

“We must seek to tackle one of the most common sources of hate: social media. Social media sites benefit from users who share the most controversial and inciting content. This cannot be allowed to continue. The Online Safety Bill, soon to be debated in parliament, must meet its ambitions of creating an online environment free from abuse by reducing the reach and number of anonymous accounts and by requiring social media companies proactively prevent the circulation of malicious material.

“Finally, we urge the prime minister to double-down on his efforts to ‘level-up’ society. The UK has repeatedly failed to adopt the United Nations’ recommendation to introduce rights to social and economic security. That must be changed immediately so that the UK can become a country of security, safety, and inclusion for all. Investment in public services, community programmes, and outreach projects are the way that we build a more inclusive society where everyone can feel supported and engaged. That way we can curtail the supply of anger, venom, and animosity that fuelled the appalling attack on Sir David.”

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