Friday, 16 October 2015

Which MPs Attended the Cannabis Debate - What Now?

The Cannabis Debate in Westminster 12th October 2015 - Photo from IBTimes

Complete List of MPs Who Attended The Debate:

Lyn Brown - LAB West Ham (Shadow Home Office minister)
Lisa Cameron - SNP, East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow
Nigel Evans - CON Ribble Valley (Chair of the debate)

Paul Flynn - LAB Newport West
Cheryl Gillan - CON Chesham and Amersham (Chair of the debate)
Lady Sylvia Hermon - IND North Down
George Howarth - LAB Knowsley
Rupa Huq - LAB Ealing Central and Acton
Norman Lamb - LibDem North Norfolk
Peter Lilley - CON Hitchin and Harpenden
Caroline Lucas - GREEN Brighton Pavilion
Anne McLaughlin - SNP Glasgow North East
Dr Paul Monaghan - SNP Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
Mike Penning - CON Hemel Hempstead (Home Office minister)
Dr Daniel Poulter - CON Central Suffolk and North Ipswich
Graham Stuart - CON Beverley and Holderness
Andrew Turner - CON Isle of Wight

Please note that 4 MPs were there because they had to be rather than wanted to be:

  • Lyn Brown was there as a shadow Home Office minister. 
  • Nigel Evans and Cheryl Gillan were there because they took turns to chair the debate.
  • Mike Penning was there as the Home Office minister with responsibility for drugs policy.
You can watch this whole debate (For a little while) HERE
You can read my summary and opinion HERE

If you wrote to your MP and they did attend the debate, please write again to offer your thanks, though of course, if they did speak, feel free to pick up on any points they might have made. 

You can read the full transcript of the debate HERE 

If your MP did not attend the debate, particularly if you wrote asking them to, it is your right to ask for an explanation firstly as to why they could not represent you and what they plan to do to support you going forward and secondly to demand that they request from the government a detailed, evidenced and reasoned response to all the points raised within the debate.

Write (again) To Your MP


  • Google your MP’s name to find their personal websites and more contact details.
  • Write a letter to your MP at: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
  • You must include your full postal address and postcode to show that you are a constituent.  Without this your email or letter will be ignored.
  • An email or a letter is fine, both is even better and a follow up phone call to their office can be very effective in getting a response.
  • Write in YOUR own words. Parliamentary email systems can identify and delete “Template Emails” to address campaigns by petitioning groups that have inundated MPs with such correspondence.  
  • Be Polite. You might feel REALLY angry, but in a communication to your MP this is unlikely to get a response.
  • Keep your letter fairly brief. Limited to 3 or 4 paragraphs and a single page is best.

We had a great many of you writing to MPs before the debate and whilst there was little to be positive about, it is the perfect time to double down, keep up the campaign and write again.

A good format for your correspondence is:
Paragraph 1: Why you are writing? What do you want from your MP

  • I wanted to thank you for attending/I was disappointed you did not attend
  • What do you expect in return - I want you to tell me your position on this subject. 
  • I want to arrange an appointment to see you.
  • I want you to demand a proper answer from the government

Paragraph 2: This is the body of your letter.

  • What is YOUR interest, are you a medical cannabis patient.
  • What are YOUR reasons for wanting change.
  • What were your thoughts on the debate and which aspects need challenging and which you feel were inaccurate and need further explaination
  • Refer to my summary, or others if you need some tips

Paragraph 3: I appreciate you taking the time to read this. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you. Grovel (not really)

Lastly and most importantly; Do give United Patients Alliance a mention.

GOOD LUCK! Let us know how you get on.

Jon Liebling – Political Director of United Patients Alliance
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