UK MP Mr de Bois has signed just one EDM, which was against the extradition of Gary McKinnon

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http://www.northlondon-today.co.uk/tn/News.cfm?id=24898&headline=MP%20de%20Bois%20backs%20EDM%20campaign%E2%80%A6%20to%20end%20%E2%80%98expensive%20and%20ineffective%E2%80%99%20EDM%20campaigns

MP de Bois backs EDM campaign… to end ‘expensive and ineffective’ EDM campaigns

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

ENFIELD’S newest MP signed an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling for an end to the practice.

Nick de Bois, who represents Enfield North, has signed the motion which calls for an end to EDMs, saying they are completely “ineffective and achieve nothing”.

EDMs are formal motions submitted for debate by MPs, but they are rarely debated. Instead they are used as a tool by MPs to draw attention to their views on specific events or campaigns.

Mr de Bois said: “I’m conscious of how MPs use them to simply promote themselves in many marginal constituencies, especially at the expense of the taxpayer.

“Every time an EDM is published, Parliament has to reprint the whole book of them, which is ridiculous and expensive. I made a rule for myself not to sign them except if they involve the cause of a particular constituent and when it’s used as part of a series of measures in their campaign.”

Since becoming an MP on May 6, Mr de Bois has signed just one EDM, which was against the extradition of Gary McKinnon, from Palmers Green, who is facing terrorism charges in America after hacking into military and Nasa computers.

Since the new parliament was convened 454 EDMs have been submitted, and Mr de Bois feels the oversaturation has meant they have lost their ability to shape opinion.

“What’s happened is that EDMs are becoming overused, over-rated and don’t actually achieve anything,” he said. “If they changed the rules and there was greater value to them, then maybe I would change my mind.

“There is an irony in signing an EDM calling for an end to EDMs, and I did think about it before signing, but I thought I would make an exception in this case.”

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