More MPs sign Commons motion demanding Mary Seacole be kept on the schools curriculum

seacole-parliament 2The number of MPs backing a Commons motion to keep Mary Seacole on the schools curriculum has now risen to 30.

That represents a jump of two thirds since the Early Day Motion was last updated.

Michael Gove is expected to unveil a new school curriculum within the next week and campaigners hope that the extent of public protest – 34,600 have signed an online petition – and resulting media coverage will have influenced the education secretary.

Celebrities who have supported the campaign include author Zadie Smith, playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah, civil rights leader Rev Jesse Jackson Snr and the Archbishop of York John Sentamu.

Rising Labour MP Chuka Umunna, singer Beverley Knight, actor Adrian Lester and comedienne Angie le Mar have tweeted support.

The Mary Seacole campaign is encouraging people to lobby their local MP to sign the Early Day Motion (number 919) – see below for more details.

The MP’s who have so far signed the EDM are:

Alan Meale Mansfield Labour

Diane Abbott Hackney North and Stoke Newington Labour

Peter Bottomley Worthing West Conservative

Jim Shannon Strangford DUP

Lady Hermon North Down Independent

Kelvin Hopkins Luton North Labour

Steve Rotheram Liverpool, Walton Labour

Virendra Sharma Ealing, Southall Labour

Stephen Williams Bristol West Liberal Democrat

Hugh Bayley York Central Labour

Ronnie Campbell Blyth Valley Labour

Martin Caton Gower Labour

George Galloway Bradford West Respect

John Leech Manchester, Withington Liberal Democrat

Jeremy Corbyn Islington North Labour

Jim McGovern Dundee West Labour

Jeremy Corbyn Islington North Labour

Valerie Vaz Walsall South Labour

Mike Hancock Portsmouth South Liberal Democrat

Mike Gapes Ilford South Labour

Tony Cunningham Workington Labour

Sandra Osborne Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock Labour

John McDonnell Hayes and Harlington Labour

Mark Lazarowicz Edinburgh North and Leith Labour

Dennis Skinner Bolsover Labour

David Wright Telford Labour

Paul Flynn Newport West Labour

David Lammy Tottenham Labour

David Simpson Upper Bann DUP

Joan Ruddock Lewisham, Deptford Labour

Mary Glindon North Tyneside Labour

Please find below a model letter for you to email to your local MP asking them to sign toe EDM, which you can adapt and personalise as you see fit.

You can find contact details of your MP on www.theyworkforyou.com – there’s a facility on the homepage.

MODEL LETTER

Dear (insert name) MP

I am writing to you as a constituent to ask that you support the campaign to keep Mary Seacole on the national curriculum. The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove has proposed that Mary Seacole be removed. A nurse, born in Jamaica, Mary Seacole travelled to the Crimea to tend wounded solidiers at her own expense and returned to Britain as a national heroine. She was recently voted the Greatest Black Britain.

The government’s proposal has been met with outrage by the public with over 32000 people signing a petition on change.org calling on Michael Gove to keep Mary Seacole on the Curriculum and a recent  open letter in The Times signed by over 50 well known personalities including members of Parliament.

I am requesting that you support the campaign by signing the petition http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/michael-gove-secretary-of-state-for-education-keep-mary-seacole-on-the-national-curriculum and signing Early Day Motion 919 tabled by Alan Meale MP.

EDM number 919 in 2012-13, proposed by Alan Meale on 15/01/2013.

That this House is aware of history which records the many heroic and compassionate acts carried out unselfishly by renowned war nursing heroine Mary Seacole for innumerable wounded soldiers injured on the Crimean War’s bloody battlefields; notes her efforts have rightly become part of the nation’s schools educational curriculum with further recognition of her contribution shortly to be revealed by the unveiling of a large bronze statue in her memory to be erected in the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital facing the Houses of Parliament; is therefore greatly alarmed by reports that the Secretary of State for Education has announced plans to overhaul the core history content taught to our nation’s schoolchildren which won’t include the story of her exploits on behalf of others; reminds the Minister that at the age of 50 years she paid her own way to the front to help establish a centre to administer the sick and tended to the wounded on the battlefield throughout the war much of the time under bombardment, brave and caring acts which led to her being little rewarded for all of her distinguished service in the field as she returned to Britain impoverished and had to declare bankruptcy; and believes the nation and its children are best served by being reminded of such unselfishness and hopes the Secretary of State will desist in his attempt to undermine her memory.

Yours sincerely

 

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