Following a joint application to the backbench business committee on Tuesday, Carol Monaghan, MP, has secured a debate on M.E. in Westminster Hall on Thursday, 21st June from 1.30 – 4.30pm.
It had been hoped that a debate would also take place in the main chamber at the House of Commons, and this remains a possibility, although it would most likely be after the summer recess.
The application was led by Carol Monaghan (SNP), with support from Nicky Morgan (Cons), Stephen Pound (Lab), Alex Chalk (Cons), Ben Lake (Plaid Cymru) and Kerry McCarthy (Lab).
#MEActionUK kindly uploaded the parliamentary presentation to YouTube
The ME Association, #MEActionUK, Action for ME and The ME Trust, came together to write a parliamentary briefing for use by MPs in the debate. This document will alert MPs to the main issues faced by our community, as well as providing them with some key facts.
It is not entirely clear what issues Carol Monaghan and those other MPs who will be speaking will choose as their focus or what the purpose of the debate might be.
During the application presentation, Ms. Monaghan talked about the need to raise awareness and for greater biomedical research funding, but it seems likely that now we have confirmation of a debate, more specific objectives will be determined.
One of the suggestions from a member of the backbench business committee, was that a Westminster Hall debate could be used to determine priority areas and specific questions, that could be put to the Government in a subsequent debate in the main chamber of the House of Commons.
How you can help
There are only a couple of weeks before the debate takes place, so please contact your MP and ask them to attend as soon as you can.
The debate is in Westminster Hall on Thursday, 21st June, from 1.30-4.30pm. You can find your MPs contact details on the parliamentary website.
You might highlight a couple of local or personal issues in your email, and/or download and attach the parliamentary briefing document we have helped prepare, but we suggest you keep the email short to increase its impact and maximise the chance it will be read.
Local issues could include:
- the lack of a proper physician-led referral service, or
- lack of home visits for those who are house- and bed-bound because of M.E.
A personal issue might include:
- problems with obtaining a DWP benefit, or,
- lack of social care, or,
- ineffective or inappropriate management advice from your GP
We will keep you informed of any and all developments.