Yesterday, 50 members of 38 Degrees from all over the UK came together in Portcullis House in Westminster to meet with Angela Eagle, shadow leader of the Commons and the person who was leading on this for the Labour party. Thanks to everyone who came!
Together, we wanted to push Angela Eagle on what Labour are doing about the gagging law. Because although Labour strongly opposed it at every stage in Parliament, there’s been an eery silence since it was passed.
It was a useful meeting – Angela Eagle does really seem on our side on this issue. She opened the meeting by confirming to us that the gagging law is a ‘terrible piece of legislation’ which is ‘a totally unwarranted attack on new forms of democracy’.
38 Degrees members then posed challenging questions to Angela Eagle about what steps Labour are actually going to take to overturn the law. We wanted to make sure that we weren’t being fobbed off with all talk, no action.
Angela Eagle also made it clear that although Labour oppose the gagging law, in order for them to make this a priority in their manifesto we have to keep shouting about how the law is going to crush our campaigning efforts over the next year.
She listened carefully to (and noted down) our views and concerns, to pass them onto Ed Miliband. It’s true that we need to continue to prove to Labour that the gagging law will have a chilling effect in order to get it overturned.
So overall, quite good news. We can be confident that Labour are still against the gagging law. But it’s still not entirely clear if they’re taking serious action behind the scenes. We can’t put our feet up yet. Together, 38 Degrees members need to make sure that the commitments are followed through in Labour’s manifesto promises. Watch this space for the next steps!