Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett opposes bill that 'could send protesters to jail for 10 years for being annoying'
An MP has opposed a bill going through parliament that includes new rules over protesters.
Jon Trickett, MP for Hemsworth, has responded to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021 in the House of Commons.
The bill increases the police’s already extensive powers in relation to protests and creates new offences that limit the manner, method, location and even volume of demonstrations.
It is being debated in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard and condemnation of the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the vigil for Sarah in Clapham on evening.
Mr Trickett said there was no doubt the bill needed to be opposed.
He said: “This bill continues the authoritarian drift of this government.
"First we had the Overseas Operations Bill, which basically gave immunity to people abroad serving our country who committed torture.
"Then we had the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill, which gave immunity to state agents breaking the law in our country, including rape.
"And now we have Clause 59 of this bill, which proposes a 10 year jail sentence for causing the risk of serious annoyance.
“There are many things which might we might risk causing annoyance every day, but it's only in dictatorships or repressive regimes that such actions are subject to drastic sentencing.”
“This government claims to have its roots in libertarianism. And of course, they are champions of liberty. But it's the Liberty only for the powerful and the wealthy. The get rich quick merchants and the spivs, those whose freedoms allow them to cause all kinds of annoyance, firing decent, hard working employers and then rehiring them on worse conditions, or paying poverty wages.”
“This House of Commons should be a beacon of liberty, a protector of our rights, to speak to associate freely and to assemble in public to express our reservations about how the country is going. repressive legislation will never eliminate the thirst and hunger for justice, which remains so powerful in our country today. Is is the duty of the Commons to stand up this evening and reject this bill.”