Commons Early Day Motion on ME Research – 123 MPs sign so far

September 14, 2011

The first ‘Early Day Motion' devoted to ME research in the new UK Parliament was tabled on 11 October 2010 by Ian Swales, the Liberal Democrat MP for Redcar, near Middlesborough. So far, it has gained the support of 123 MPs.

The EDM is carefully worded to take in many existing concerns about the illness. It follows the usual convention which is to string together every point you want to make in a single sentence:

That this House notes that despite the fact that the Department of Health now accepts myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) as a genuine medical condition, diagnosis can still pose a problem because ME symptoms are similar to those present in a number of other medical conditions; recognises that one of the main obstacles to the adequate treatment of ME is the lack of knowledge and consensus about the disease; believes that funding and research must be focused on the bio-medical factors involved and not just simply managing the psychological symptoms; requests that the Government establishes an independent scientific committee to oversee ME research; and calls on the Government and the Medical Research Council to work with ME sufferers and bio-medical researchers in order to achieve a proper understanding of the condition's challenges and unjust perceptions of the condition.

You can follow its progress by clicking on the following link: Early Day Motion No 778

MPs who have signed the motion so far are:

Ian Swales, Peter Bottomley, Adrian Sanders, David Simpson, Kelvin Hopkins, Martin Caton, Dr Julian Lewis, Sandra Osborne, Jeffrey Donaldson, Mike Hancock, Nicholas Soames, Dr William McCrea, Jeremy Corbyn, Jim Dobbin, Alan Meale, Annette Brooke, Russell Brown, Andrew George, John Leech, Mark Williams, Virendra Sharma, Mary Glindon, Kate Hoey, Gregory Campbell, Dave Watts, Mike Crockart, Stephen Gilbert, Margaret Ritchie, Naomi Long and David Tredinnick.

Early Day Motions rarely get debated in the House of Commons but backbench MPs use them as a way to signal support for particular courses of action.

October 25: Number of MPs who have signed the EDM is now 38. Latest to sign are Michael Meacher, Austin Mitchell, William Cash, Tom Clarke. Don Foster, Sheila Gilmore, Graham Brady and Martin Vickers.

October 26: The number of signatories is now 46. Latest to sign are Bob Russell, Tom Harris, Jon McDonnell, John Cryer, Fabian Hamilton, Graham Stronger, Simon Wright and Grahame M Morris.

October 27: Another MP has signed – Hugh Bayley.

October 28: Stephen Lloyd has now signed.

October 29: Three more have signed – Eric Illsley, Anne McGuire and David Crausby.

November 2: Three more signed yesterday: Pete Wishart, Sharon Hodgson, and Julian Sturdy.

November 3: Two new signatories: Hywel Williams and Tim Farron.

November 4: Four more have signed: Charles Kennedy, Caroline Lucas, Anne Begg and John Thurso.

November 5: Robert Walter and Peter Aldous signed yesterday.

November 9: Three more signed yesterday: John Robertson, Frank Dobson and Paul Farrelly.

November 10: Three more! Jim Dowd, Stephen Williams and Marcus Jones.

November 11: Alasdair McDonnell and Roberta Blackman-Woods added their signatures yesterday.

November 17: No new signatures since November 10.

November 18: The EDM kicked  back into life yesterday when three more MPs added their signatures – Joan Ruddock, David Miliband and Tessa Munt.

November 22: No new signatures since November 17.

November 24: Three more MPs signed the EDM yesterday – bringing the total up to 76. The latest are David Amess (who was temporary chairman of the APPG on ME), Andrew Rosindell and Yasmin Qureshi.

November 25: Linda Riordan has now signed.

December 2: Jonathan Evans signed yesterday

December 3: Jim Hood signed yesterday.

December 7: Three more signatures added – belonging to Jon Cruddas, Mark Durkan and Gordon Henderson.

December 8: 86 MPs have now signed the Commons EDM on ME research – including yesterday Cathy Jamieson, Paul Murphy, Louise Ellman and Fiona Bruce.

December 10: Nigel Dodds signed yesterday.

December 14: No new signatures since December 9.

December 15: New signatures yesterday by Julie Elliott, Alan Beith and Stewart Hosie.

December 17: Jenny Chapman signed yesterday. A total of 91 MPs have signed the EDM so far.

December 22: Mike Gapes signed yesterday – last day before the Christmas recess.

January 10: Parliamentarians returned from their Christmas recess today. No new signatures since Mr Gapes signed on December 21.

January 13: Two MPs signed yesterday – Angus Robertson and Jonathan Edwards.

January 19: Douglas Carswell has now signed.

January 20: Greg Mulholland signed yesterday.

January 25: Dan Rogerson and Julian Huppert signed yesterday.

January 26: Pamela Nash signed yesterday

February 1: Eric Joyce has bought the total up to triple figures! He signed yesterday.

February 4: Natascha Engel signed yesterday.

February 11: Kate Green and Greg Knight signed yesterday. Eric Illsey, who is no longer an MP, has had his name removed from the list.

February 16: Graeme Morrice signed yesterday.

February 17: Michael Connarty signed yesterday.

February 18: Joe Benton signed yesterday.

March 20: The following signatures have now been added: David Ward, Martin Horwood,Lorely Burt, Tom Brake, David Laws, Lady Hermon, Stuart Bell and Barry Sheerman.

March 25: Lisa Nandy signed on March 23.

March 30: John Whittingdale signed on March 28.

April 1: Albert Owen signed yesterday.

May 2: no further signatures since the end of March.

May 11: Roy Lindsay signed today

May 19: Robin Walker signed today

July 4: Ian Murray (Lab. Edinburgh South) signed today.

September 13: Kerry McCarthy (Lab. Bristol East) signed today

October 21: Zac Goldsmith (Con. Richmond Park) signed today.

29 February, 2012: Paul Blomfield (Lab. Sheffield Central)

March 27: David Anderson (Lab. Blaydon)

15 thoughts on “Commons Early Day Motion on ME Research – 123 MPs sign so far”

  1. margaret laverick

    The Sunderland ME group, in particular Pauline Donaldson, supplied me with the information that convinced MP Ian Swales to propose this Early Day Motion. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to contact their MPs. Let’s lobby for as much support as we can get.

  2. Huge thanks and credit to Jan and Margaret Laverick, with grateful thanks also to Pauline Donaldson and the Sunderland ME group.

    Tony, I do appreciate you posting this on the website and providing these almost daily updates, too.

  3. My MP has advised he is precluded from signing Early Day motions because he is at the Northern Ireland office. However he has given me his assurance that he will discuss the points raised with the relevant spokesperson and his parliamentary colleagues. Its a great pity he cant add his signature to this motion especially as my constituency is in Scotland.

  4. I have pestered my MP several times about Early Day Motion and attending Parliamentary ME Group. To be fair he has told me he thinks EDM’s are a waste of time but he did promise to visit Group meetings before he got newly elected in May. He hasn’t! He has also written to me that MRC and NICE seem to be doing all that is possible for ME sufferers.

    1. christine standing


      Glad to hear that you are pestering your MP. He doesn’t seem to be well up on the politics of our illness, does he? Please tell him that the involvement of MRC and NICE hinders our cause. Refer him to ‘Breaking the ME enigma’ – 20 key figures sign letter in the Daily Telegraph today, 6 February 2010 and ask why this letter was necessary if the MRC and NICE had been doing their job properly?

  5. What’s the potential outcome of this particular EDM? Anyone care to speculate?

    I too have asked my MP. Am awaiting a reply but will write again.

  6. I have looked into this further – as my own MP has yet to sign – and discovered that there was an earlier EDM on ME/CFS sponsored in July 2010.

    My MP has signed that one and both are still open. The earlier one though has only attacted less than 40 signatures.

    However I am inclined to request that my MP also support the EDM referred to above as it is more relevant I feel to the issue at hand.

    This earlier EDM may however account for the lack of support for the current one. Only speculation on my part of course!

  7. Update: sorry guys – my MP signed in January 🙂

    113 have now signed.

    Time to revamp the pressure? Or do you think this one has run its’ course?

    I don’t think that by the way – the fundamental points contained in the EDM are still very much valid.

  8. Thanks for the update, Firestormm, and for seeing what I couldn’t – that not only has the weblink to this EDM had been changed but so has the way information about EDMs as a whole are displayed.

  9. My MP is Thomas Docherty who is now a front bench MP and cannot sign the EDM according to his caseworker. The MP in the next constituency is Gordon Brown, so I have emailed him asking for his support instead. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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