I am often asked by constituents, usually through standard email and letter campaigns, to sign Early Day Motions (EDMs). Like many Members of Parliament I do not sign EDMs, but would like to reassure you that this does not mean I don’t take an interest in the issue, or that I won’t act on your behalf where possible.
EDMs are essentially petitions which only MPs are able to sign. While they served a purpose in an age where they were the only way to attract attention to a cause, they have been superseded in this respect by a number of methods such as social media and a widely-read online press.
E-petitions, which anyone can sign, have also in my view proven more successful than EDMs have ever been as a way of bringing issues to the table. This has been proven on multiple occasions since the introduction of the e-petitions system, where issues have been raised and debated in Parliament that would otherwise not have been.
Not only do EDMs appear to be outdated, but they are expensive too. The House of Commons Library has said that it costs on average £271 to publish each EDM. I do not believe this is a good use of taxpayers’ money given the myriad of ways available to bring issues to the forefront for free.
I understand that ways to reform the system are being considered however until such reforms come along, I don’t feel that it would be right for me to sign them.