By David Dennis

Successive governments have refused to bend when the public protested. For example, over one million people marched against the Iraq War, but we still went ahead in the ‘coalition of the willing’. Now we have had the stultifying Brexit fiasco. Surely, nevertheless, our petitions will be heard by parliament?  Sadly, no. 

The government made a move to try and convince voters that they would be listened to after all, by setting up the Petitions Service. If the chosen petition reached a high number of votes, then it would have to be debated by Parliament. Have you signed a petition? Your vote means nothing. Sorry but it is cancelled.

Why do I say that – because ALL petitions are cancelled. I signed the petition which asked that no more greenfield sites be used for housing development.

I received the following response:
The government’s Petitions Team wrote to me saying:

Because of the General Election, the closing date for the petition you signed has changed. All petitions now have to close at 00:01am on 6 November. This is because Parliament will be dissolved, which means all parliamentary business – including petitions – will come to an end until after the election. This means the petitions site will be closed and people will not be able to start or sign petitions.

We’re sorry we weren’t able to give you more notice that this would happen.

The petition will be available for people to read on the site even though it will be closed for signatures. This petition won’t be reopened after the election.

The Government can’t respond to petitions during the election period. This means if the petition has over 10,000 signatures, it can’t receive a response from the current Government after 5 November. After the election, the new Government will have to decide whether it wants to respond to petitions from before the election.

The current Petitions Committee, the group of MPs who decide whether petitions are debated, won’t exist after 6 November. This means that if the petition has over 100,000 signatures, it can’t be scheduled for debate during this Parliament. After the election, there will be a new Petitions Committee, and they will be responsible for deciding which petitions are debated.

The petitions site will open again after the election, but at the moment we don’t know exactly when. Many thanks,

The Petitions team UK Government and Parliament

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