On Monday, we informed you that the Petitions Committee had confirmed that it would be debating the petition ‘Ban Driven Grouse Shooting: Wilful blindness is no longer an option’ on 25 January.
Unlike many of those against driven grouse shooting, we believe it is essential that this issue is debated on the facts. We therefore produced a comprehensive briefing note that has been sent to MPs ahead of the debate, and asked you to contact your MP using our e-lobby so that you could ask them to read that briefing note, and if they were unable to participate in the debate, to write to the Minister, Rebecca Pow MP, expressing their support for grouse shooting and its considerable and diverse benefits. Well over 500 have so far made use of our e-lobby, and we are extremely grateful to them for doing so.
On Tuesday afternoon we heard that that the Government had tabled a Motion to suspend sittings in Westminster Hall with effect from Wednesday 13 January, until the House otherwise ordered. Although that Motion was objected to, and therefore could not be agreed, the Government re-tabled the same Motion, and yesterday evening it was announced that all debates in Westminster Hall had indeed been suspended until further notice, due to concerns surrounding Covid-19. It was however noted that they are looking for an alternative venue for debates and the Leader of the House of Commons has said that they will try and make time in the Chamber for Petitions Committee debates, though with no indication as to when that might be.
In view of Parliament’s decision, we have suspended our e-lobby as it would be inappropriate for MPs to be contacted on an issue that is no longer timetabled for debate, and when they will have other matters of importance with which to deal. You will be informed as soon as we have a new date for the debate, and very much hope that those that have yet to engage with their MP will then consider using the e-lobby to do so.