The Independent reports that education secretary Michael Gove and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg could be on a collision course over the issue. The piece mentions me by name.
Meanwhile Hugh Muir’s Guardian diary carried the same story and quotes Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote saying of Clegg: “Given the political furore about Clegg’s broken promise to students over tuition fees, it is inconceivable that he would make another pledge that he couldn’t keep.”
I was pleased to see that the public petition for Mary Seacole has now reached 35,500 signatures.
I was also delighted to note that the number of MPs who have so far signed a Commons motion (Early Day Motion) has now risen to 48.
The Mary Seacole campaign are continuing to ask people to lobby their local MP to sign the EDM, unless they are on the list of MPs that have signed. Please see details below of how to lobby your MP.
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
John Leech Manchester, Withington Liberal Democrat
George Galloway Bradford West Respect
Martin Caton Gower Labour
Jeremy Corbyn Islington North Labour
Jim McGovern Dundee West 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
Mary Glindon North Tyneside Labour
David Wright Telford Labour
Paul Flynn Newport West Labour
David Lammy Tottenham Labour
David Simpson Upper Bann DUP
Joan Ruddock Lewisham, Deptford Labour
Ian Lavery Wansbeck Labour
Alex Cunningham Stockton North Labour
Keith Vaz Leicester East Labour
Roger Godsiff Birmingham, Hall Green Labour
Ann Clwyd Cynon Valley Labour
George Mudie Leeds East Labour
Alasdair McDonnell Belfast South Social Democratic and Labour Party
Andrew Love Edmonton Labour
David Ward Bradford East Liberal Democrat
Frank Doran Aberdeen North Labour
Martin Horwood Cheltenham Liberal Democrat
David Anderson Blaydon Labour
Andrew Stunell Hazel Grove Liberal Democrat
Hywel Francis Aberavon Labour
Ian Davidson Glasgow South West Labour
Gerald Kaufman Manchester, Gorton Labour
Jimmy Hood Lanark and Hamilton East Labour
Andrew Percy Brigg and Goole Conservative
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.
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.