Reminder, Back the ABIBill. Contact your MP now, t... - Headway


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Reminder, Back the ABIBill. Contact your MP now, today.

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Pairofboots posted a link to Back the ABIBill a while back.

I wrote a personal email from my very high soap box to my MP asking him to back the bill and gave many reasons why he should.

Today I checked the list of MP's on the backthebill web page and my MP's name was not on it.

I phoned the MP's office and spoke to his assistant to ask why it was not there. It seems they did not get the email, so she said! My MP is from Plaid Cymru and they are often at 'war' with the Labour Party (who govern the Welsh assembly) in Wales. Chris Bryant is from the Labour Party in Wales (Rhonnda). I gave a quick reminder that this issue has no party political basis and that there is substantial cross party support, as reflected in the the MP's list on the Back the Bill page.

I urge you, if you think the bill should be supported, to look at the list on the web page and if your MP's name is not there to phone their constituency office and ask why not. Remember what you have had to go through, all the stress and difficulties along the way, make a difference for the thousands that suffer from and will suffer from an ABI. Check the list and phone your MP's office. NOW. The vote is on Friday.

21 Replies

Thanks for that - my MP hadn't signed either, so I've emailed him. If he doesn't reply by tomorrow, I'll try and ring.

Thanks Pinkvision, my MP Caroline Nokes has leant her support and she's on the list!

Thanks for this, I checked my MP, Mr Ian Levy (the fake nurse). I wasn't surprised to see his lack of commitment, as he tends to toe the party line. But I have just given him the benefit of my wisdom. I won't hold my breath, as he didn't respond to my previous contact.

Phone his office and be polite, there are Torys on the list. Have also noticed that one Plaid MP is on there too. It may be a case that constituents need to express their views. Most MP's will buckle to constituent pressure. It's a case of getting on the case and staying on the case till the last minute.

I know, I have contacted his office no chance of direct contact. Think I am on his black list. Not sure what he actually does? Not a lot as far as I can tell. Every contact by phone, email etc comes with the response of being very busy and will try to reply in 10 days, too late in this case.

MPs are usually influenced by the strength of feeling expressed by their constituents in terms of post bag size and number of emails, so it's always worth doing, and even if this particular private members bill doesn't get through, if it serves to heighten sufficient awareness so that the government can introduce legislation it will be a good thing. Bear in mind that they may well vote for the bill even if they didn't sign the letter. Though the problem with these being read on a Friday, is that many MPs - particularly those whose constituencies are most distant from London, like Wales and the North West, and so on, will have returned to their constituencies to support local charity endeavours and run their surgeries over the weekend.

I may be wrong, but I wasn't aware that the party whips got involved with private member's bills - so wouldn't expect it to divide along party lines?

You are right Painting girl, this is not on party lines and there is a Plaid MP on Chris Bryant's list. The other two are absent though.

It's difficult to guage sometimes the thinking behind some of Plaids voting strategy as a group. For instance in the Thatcher era they voted with the Tories to pass a very unpopular bill, where usually they always voted against them. A short time later the Welsh Language bill was passed. There are always horses of varying types to be traded where voting is concerned. My thoughts were drawn to this when I did not find my MP's name on the list. Welsh assembly politics on party lines is also played out in Westminster especially if a Labour MP is bringing a Bill. Like you said though constituency pressure counts.

Oh constituency pressure definitely counts, I agree PV. I was told years ago that their postbags are pretty key. Apparently there can be a huge fuss in the press about an issue, and no constituency post at all, and on the other hand, some issues are never raised in the press, but will raise huge concerns on the constituency.

Is this the first to reading of the bill do you know? More chance for input of it reaches committee stage I think?

One of the uses of private member's bills is to raise awareness, and prompt the government to include it in legislation at a later date - so it will have done it's job even if it doesn't get on the statute job - particularly if we all write to our own MP, even after today.

Hi, Levy might have returned home, to support anything other than his own interests would stretch the imagination. As for whips involvement, Levy doesn't have an option unless he is told what it is, so if it isn't on the political radar, again he is unlikely to to choose something proposed by the opposition. I maybe ultra negative about this kid, but he has earned his reputation in relatively short time.

Oh dear! Hopefully he'll learn from better examples. When does he hold his surgery?

The whole business of private member's bills is very interesting

Voting in parliament works on a pairing basis when it's party political, however on an individual free vote basis, if he has returned home it also means he can't vote against it either. As there are over 200 pledged voters for the bill the more MPs that are not present cannot vote against it. Statisicaly it would mean the bill has more chance of being voted for. So boots, your man is neutral in effect not against. If the numbers work in faviour of passing he could also be seen to be a quiet supporter.

Sorry for the stats, I'm doing this currently as part of a masters course I'm on in uni.

No apology needed. I hope you are right, he hasn't voted once for anything other than what his master tells him yet.

He's a good boy, that's what Boris tells him.


Knock me down with a feather. Levy responded. He has asked to speak on the Bill, not sure whether in the positive or negative? But he actually responded!

There is always hope, you should thank him, he may remember you if you need his help in the future.

I had an email back from my MP's caseworker today - as follows -

"You will be pleased to hear that the Government announced yesterday that it will be drafting a strategy on Acquired Brain Injury to help address the issues faced by people living with ABI.

To inform the priorities for the strategy, in early 2022, a call for evidence will be launched with healthcare professionals, people living with acquired brain injury, their families and carers.

The strategy will be developed by a dedicated Programme Board which will be co-chaired by the Minister of State for Mental Health, Gillian Keegan and Chris Bryant, the MP who presented this Private Members Bill."

So does this mean that the publicity around the private member's bill has done its job and the government is picking up the task?

What have you heard?



Read those statements. They are heavy on prevention which is good. It mentioned diagnosis just once and had no mention at all about rehab and treatment ideas. But there will be a consultation period first. I suppose that's the time to put across the difficulties experienced with finding the right kind of expertise and updating the rehabilitation options and bring the system into the 21st century. This should also address the difficulties and persecution faced by many at the hands of the degrading government departments eg the DWP and give people the right support and time to recover properly, reducing the stress and anxiety. Headway understand the issues and hopefully will have a voice at the table when the reality of the current dysfunctional system is brought under the spotlight. Hopefully they will canvas members of Headway for their opinions and input when building a correct view and position as a framework to shift the paradigm.

Have to keep an eye on Headway, and make sure we all comment if they ask then

Had a further email from my MPs caseworker because I asked what the remit of the proposed consultation and BI strategy was - just got this back ;

"At the moment I do not have details of the call for evidence as it will be taking place next year but I know that they will be engaging as many interested parties as possible. I would imagine that Headway will be putting their views to government during that period.

A strategy is not policy in itself, but is the means of effecting it and I know that the dedicated programme board will be ensuring the strategy does address the wide range of issues that affect the day to day lives of those living with an ABI."

Thanks for sharing.

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