Campaign Update 2015

Westminster Debate

The campaign is pleased to report that we have a team of Labour MP’s who are putting pressure on the Government to come clean about the extent of government interference with the charges, convictions and sentencing of the Shrewsbury Pickets.

David Anderson MP secured a debate in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 24th March 2015 to push the Government to respond to their lack of action following the vote in Parliament on 23rd January 2014 when by 120 to 3 MPs voted in favour of releasing all documents relating to the Shrewsbury trials in 1973/4. Amongst the MPs who spoke in the recent Westminster Hall debate were Ian Lavery and David Hanson. Jim Kennedy, UCATT National Political Officer and Labour Party NEC Chairperson, observed the debate with Eileen Turnbull.

David Anderson MP

David Anderson MP

The Justice Minister, Simon Hughes MP, responded to the debate by saying that the Cabinet would review the documents this year in line with their previous commitment but said that they have until December 2015 to report. He also invited David Anderson and members of the campaign to meet with Cabinet Office representatives to discuss the matter. David followed this up with a letter to Oliver Letwin, Minister for Government Policy at the Cabinet Office, to request an early meeting. We await his response.

David Anderson rejected the Government’s claim that they are only withholding four documents relating to the trials. He demanded the release of all documents that they are withholding under section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act which relate to the Shrewsbury trials. He reminded the meeting that the Labour Party are committed to releasing all the documents should they be returned to power in May.

David repeated his call during Prime Ministers Question Time on Wednesday 25th March. He reminded Cameron that it was the will of parliament to release the documents. And asked yet again for all the documents to be released now.

Labour Manifesto Promise

Labour have made a manifesto promise to release all the government papers relating to the Shrewsbury pickets if they are elected in May.

“Recognising historic cases, we will release all papers concerning the ‘Shrewsbury 24’ trials.”

A Better Plan For Britain’s Workplace, page 13.

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The campaign would like to thank the chairman of the NEC, Jim Kennedy of UCATT, for making this possible.

You can download the whole document from the Labour Party website.

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United We Stand

The play, United We stand, produced by Townsend Productions has helped spread the word about the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign. It has completed two successful runs, in autumn 2014 and spring 2015, throughout the country. They will be putting on some performances later this year and details can be found on their website. As a result of the play we have been inundated with invitations to speak at Trade Union and Labour Party meetings all over the country. Ricky Tomlinson has pulled out all the stops to address meetings, though his appearances are subject to his other contractual commitments.

The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign and Townsend Productions.

The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign and Townsend Productions.

Speakers

Terry Renshaw (convicted picket), Harry Chadwick (Campaign Chairperson)and Eileen Turnbull (Campaign Researcher and Secretary) are the main speakers and have done a brilliant job in updating supporters with the Campaign’s progress. They have been ably supported by Committee members Ken Barnes, John Bohanna , Ann Dobie, Joe Sim and Phil Simpson.