I have been very concerned to witness the growth of an increasingly hostile form of debate in Parliament.
Not only is it off-putting to many members of the public, I think it leads to decision-making which lacks empathy and respect for the needs and wishes of the people politicians are meant to represent.
I am emailing to ask if you will sign the #StopTheNastiness pledge which has been created by Compassion in Politics and a number of other civil society organisations. By signing this pledge you commit to:
- Not use language or behaviour that incites hate or contempt.
- Treat those you disagree with respectfully. No name-calling or violent language.
- Call out hate.
- Promote kindness and compassion.
I don't usually sign pledges because, however much I want to achieve something, the number of seats won by each party in an election can limit one MP's power to achieve a change.
However, the #StopTheNastiness campaign really is in the hands of every individual MP and candidate. I totally agree that the tone of political debate has taken a turn for the worse in recent years, and I think MPs should seek to lead by example.
I cannot guarantee to be perfect, but I will try my best to keep these commitments. I think that this is a set of values I have embodied in my time as a Cornwall Councillor, and if I ever fall short of these ideals, I hope you will feel able to challenge me and hold me to account.