From Caroline Lucas <[email protected]>
Subject Latest Newsletter
Date May 17, 2021 11:36 AM
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Green Party mailing

It's two years since Parliament declared a climate emergency and we are at
the start of a decade that is absolutely critical in terms of climate
action. Yet astonishingly climate was not mentioned once in the Queen's
Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, and the background briefing
notes released by the Government shortly after had no new initiative or
plan to tackle an accelerating crisis.

I tabled an amendment [1] at the start of the debate on the Queen's Speech
pointing out this omission and calling on the Government to adopt the
Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill (CEE Bill). It has the backing of more
than 100 cross-party MPs, and many of them joined me in writing to the
Prime Minister the day before the State Opening urging him to take up the

While the CEE Bill is vital if we are to avert the worst impacts of climate
change, by itself it is not enough. If we are to transform our economy, get
off the disastrous path we are on, and build a fairer, greener and more
sustainable future, there are five bills which we need: a Green New Deal,
the CEE Bill, a Wellbeing Economy Bill, a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation
Bill and a Better Business Bill.

I spoke about these in my response in Parliament to the Queen's Speech
(which you can read here [2]), and I wrote about why they were all needed
in a comment piece in the Independent [3] (apologies - it's behind a

I also gave my overall response to the Queen's Speech in my column for
Metro [4] (that's free to access!)

And don't forget the petition [5] in support of a switch to a Wellbeing
Economy - please sign it if you haven't already. I'm delighted to see it
getting so much support, now more than 16,000 signatures.


There's been plenty of justifiable criticism of the Government's
legislative programme and its failure to come up with any plan for social
care - despite Boris Johnson saying when he became Prime Minister nearly
two years ago that he would fix the crisis in social care with a clear plan
that was already prepared.

But I want to mention just two proposed bills: the plan for voter ID and
the reform of planning laws.

Requiring voters to produce ID at polling stations is a blatant attempt at
voter suppression. Voter fraud is a non-existent problem in this country
(there was one conviction after the 2019 election). A senior Cabinet
minister let the cat out of the bag when he said "you have to introduce
things that keep the electoral system proper _before the problem arises_".
There's clear evidence that people without formal ID like passports or
driving licences are much more likely to be poorer, and much less likely to
vote Conservative. This is a deliberate attempt to squeeze support for
other parties.

The proposed changes to planning will rob local communities of any
meaningful say over what is built in their neighbourhood. They are a way of
rewarding the Tories' developer chums who will be able to build whatever
they want in designated areas, with the local council powerless to stop it.
When we have a Housing Minister who has recently given the greenlight to a
huge development and removed environmental conditions as "unreasonable and
unnecessary", it's clear what damage these reforms could do not only to our
towns, villages and countryside but also to local council efforts to cut

Both these proposals have drawn widespread criticism, including from some
Conservatives. If they are put forward, I'll be opposing them at every step
of the way.


The situation in Israel and Gaza is deeply worrying. The UK should end its
arms trade with Israel, use sanctions to help enforce international law and
take a stand on the forced evictions of Palestinian families from their
homes, which was one of the catalysts for the most recent violence. Last
month I wrote to the Minister about the evictions, urging him to take
action. The forcible transfer of an occupied population is a grave
violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as is the transfer of an
occupier's population into occupied territory, which includes East

The wider context here is Israel's illegal annexation of occupied East
Jerusalem and internationally condemned practices that include the forcible
transfer of Palestinian families and settlement expansion throughout the
occupied Palestinian territories. You can read the letter and my statement
[6] on the situation on my website.


I was very glad that the Prime Minister finally agreed to a public inquiry
into the coronavirus pandemic but this should start as soon as possible.
There is no reason to wait until next spring. Lessons need to be learned
now, particularly as this pandemic has not yet run its course.

It is also vital that the inquiry is genuinely independent and
wide-ranging, and that bereaved families (who've been calling for an
inquiry) get justice.


I've written before about my opposition to Covid vaccine passports which
ministers appear to be pursuing even though they haven't got the basics
right. As a member of the all-party parliamentary group on Coronavirus, I
heard powerful evidence about how vaccine passports could be
counter-productive if, as feared, they alienate people in the very
communities where vaccine take-up is low. Dividing people into the
vaccinated and unvaccinated with a passport scheme risks making things


I was very pleased to see the US administration give its support to lifting
the intellectual property rights on Covid vaccines in order to accelerate
manufacture and distribution around the world. I joined more than 400 MPs,
academics, NGOs, unions and healthcare workers in writing to the Prime
Minister [7] urging him to support this waiver. It would not solve all the
problems: there are major issues around manufacturing capability, skills
and distribution. But huge amounts of public money have gone into
developing these vaccines at record speed, the global pandemic is not under
control, and it would be morally wrong to hinder vaccine rollout by
protecting the profits of pharmaceutical companies.


My attempts, along with two other MPs, to hold the Prime Minister to
account for his failure to tell the truth are ongoing. We wrote to the
Cabinet Secretary in late March about Boris Johnson's breach of the
Ministerial Code and have now received a reply saying it's not his role to
enforce the Code. That's true - it's the job of the Prime Minister who is
the one breaking it. But the Cabinet Secretary can investigate a breach and
must do so. Otherwise it's left wide open to abuse, as is happening under
the Prime Minister.


I was pleased to attend a virtual meeting organised by the Disabled
Children's Partnership to hear direct from families about the extraordinary
strain and pressures that Covid has added to the challenges facing them. I
will continue to raise these with Government, and to lobby for more respite
care, and higher pay for carers.


I had a meeting with the Hove-based family business, Matsim Properties,
which bought the Hippodrome last year to find out more about their plans
for the building. The Hippodrome is a jewel in Brighton's crown - a
wonderful Grade II-listed building in the heart of the city - and seeing it
deteriorate year after year has been so frustrating. I'm very hopeful that
at last its future will be secured and its glory returned.


Last but not least, congratulations to the 155 Green councillors who won in
the local elections. The results were fantastic and showed a Green spring
in every area of the country. I look forward to working with you all to
push our agenda for a fairer, greener Britain.

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Contacting Me

If you are a local resident and need help with case work or to find out more about my activities locally please do contact me at the office of: Caroline Lucas MP, Brighton Media Centre 15-17 Middle Street, Brighton BN1 1AL.
Tel: 01273 201 130. Email: [email protected]

I hold regular surgeries across the constituency. If you would like to book an appointment at a forthcoming surgery please call Liz Collis on 01273 201130.
She coordinates my constituency office and is able to help with most local enquiries.

If you would like to know about my parliamentary work please get in touch at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.
Tel: 020 7219 7025. Email: [email protected]

You can also keep up to date with my news on:

Twitter: @carolinelucas

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My Website:

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