The Parliamentary Debate, David Anderson MP

The Shrewsbury 24 Parliamentary Back Bench Debate calling for the release of all papers relating to the 1972 building workers strike and the subsequent trials took place in the House of Commons on Thursday 23rd January 2013. David Anderson MP worked solidly to obtain a Parliamentary Back Bench Debate for the Shrewsbury Pickets. We owe him a great debt for the way in which he persuaded twenty fellow MPs to add their signatures to the Backbench Committee application form requesting a three-hour debate in Parliament.

David Anderson MP

The Campaign wishes to thank you all for your support

We are delighted with the debate in Parliament on the 23rd January, 2014. To bring the issue of the Shrewsbury Pickets back into the centre of the political system is a tremendous step in our fight to overturn this miscarriage of justice. To achieve a vote of 120 to 3 for the release of documents gives the campaign confidence of success in 2014. We would like to thank everyone who supported our petitions in calling upon the government to release all the documents relating to the charges, trials and convictions of the pickets.

A special thanks to the Labour MPs on the Backbench Business Committee who successfully secured the debate in Parliament.

The team of MPs, led by David Anderson and ably supported by John McDonnell, Ian Lavery, Ian Mearns, Tom Watson and Steve Rotheram, worked hard to encourage their colleagues to participate in the debate. They brought about a unity in the PLP which has not been seen for a long time. This was demonstrated both in the well-researched and precise arguments put by the MPs on the floor of the house and the vote which followed.

We would also like to particularly thank the following people who played an important part in the success of the debate: Len McCluskey, Unite General Secretary and his team, James Bevan and Daniel Carden; Karie Murphy, Office Manager for Tom Watson; Amy Jackson, Liaison Officer for Unite the union; and Steve Murphy UCATT General Secretary, Jim Kennedy UCATT National Political Officer and his team.

We would like to thank everyone who supported our petitions in calling upon the government to release all the documents relating to the charges, trials and convictions of the pickets.

Finally, a big thank you to the tens of thousands of people who signed the petitions and the trade union activists who circulated petition sheets and sent them to us.

Eileen Turnbull Researcher and Treasurer

The Motion

This house is seriously concerned at the decision of the government to refuse to release papers related to the building dispute in 1972 and subsequent prosecutions of the workers known as the Shrewsbury 24 and calls on it to reverse this position as a matter of urgency.

The Result

This motion was proposed but David Anderson and debated 0n 23/1/2014 in the Back Bench debate in the House of Commons. The motion was passed by 120 votes to 3.

Update, June 2020. Despite the vote in our favour, to date we have not received any documents from the Home Office.

Ricky Tomlinson, Eileen Turbull and Terry Renshaw on College Green before the debate.

Ricky Tomlinson, Eileen Turbull and Terry Renshaw on College Green before the debate.

Press Coverage

The transcript at Hansard:

www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140123/debtext/140123-0002.htm#14012382000001

Below if some of the coverage of the day:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/shrewsbury-24-ricky-tomlinson-wants-3048439

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-25866461

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/unless-ricky-tomlinson-is-working-for-alqaida-national-security-is-an-odd-reason-for-secrecy-8462110.html

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-1e15-Shrewsbury-24-activists-hail-MPs-vote-for-full-facts-of-1972-plot

http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2014/01/23/bid-for-release-of-shrewsbury-24-papers/

http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2014/01/23/labour-mps-call-for-release-of-shrewsbury-24-papers-in-commons-debate/

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/jan/20/ricky-tomlinson-shrewsbury-24-secrecy

http://www.shropshirelive.com/2014/01/23/shrewsbury-24-debate-takes-place-in-house-of-commons/

http://www.thelondoneconomic.com/2014/01/23/englands-erin-brockovich-vs-24-miscarriages-of-justice/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-25815690

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/andy-mcsmiths-diary-aidan-burley-is-not-antisemitic–hes-just-stupid-and-very-convincing-9078461.html

http://www.daventryexpress.co.uk/news/regional/bid-to-release-jailed-picket-papers-1-5825525

http://www.itv.com/news/central/update/2014-01-23/shrewsbury-24-debate-to-be-held-in-parliament/

http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/ricky-tomlinson-and-unite-urge-mps-to-back-the-shrewsbury-24/

http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/pcs_comment/index.cfm/mps-to-vote-on-release-of-shrewsbury-24-papers

http://www.itv.com/news/2013-01-23/the-royle-familys-ricky-tomlinson-to-urge-government-to-release-shrewsbury-24-documents/

http://www.itv.com/news/story/2013-01-23/tomlinson-accuses-ministers/

http://www.daventryexpress.co.uk/news/regional/bid-to-release-jailed-picket-papers-1-5825525

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/with-insights-like-these-gerald-howarth-must-be-a-shooin-for-the-most-cerebral-backbencher-award-9086449.html

http://www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk/news/local-news/listen-durkan-weighs-in-on-shrewsbury-24-debate-over-widgery-role-1-5832410

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