Monday 5th October 2015 - Paul Blomfield has launched a campaign to defend the Human Rights Act. He brought the British Institute for Human Rights (BIHR) to Sheffield for the first stop of a national Human Rights tour.
Speaking at the launch event, which was held in Sharrow on Saturday, he warned of Government plans to scrap the Human Rights Act, saying:
“Why is there a debate about the basic rights we have as human beings in 21st century Britain? Why, when only a generation ago, the world united after the atrocities of the Holocaust and World War Two and said never again? The world has moved on since then. The situations we find ourselves in are different. But the values of a civilised society - dignity, equality and accountability - must remain enshrined in law.”
He urged participants to stand up for the European Convention on Human Rights, which was incorporated into UK law by Labour in 1998 through the Human Rights Act.
At the event, organised with BIHR, Sheffield for Democracy and Sheffield Young Legal Aid Lawyers, participants heard about the Human Rights Act having helped an elderly woman with dementia moved to a care home against her will, a young boy being bullied at school and a victim of human trafficking.
The event was part of Mr Blomfield’s annual consultation, The Big Conversation, which sees him hold meetings across Sheffield so residents can share their concerns and let him know what issues he should raise in Parliament.
He said that he had organised the event because, “Hundreds of constituents got in touch concerned about the Government’s plan to scrap our Human Rights Act. I will challenge the Government in Parliament. But we must send a message outside Parliament that the country will not accept ditching Churchill’s legacy. So I asked the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) to bring their Human Rights Tour to Sheffield to talk about what’s at stake.”
After the event Mr Blomfield said:
“This vital human rights charter was born after the horrors of World War Two, but now it is in real peril in the UK. We must make clear to the Prime Minister that there is huge opposition to throwing out the Human Rights Act and replacing it with a British Bill of Rights designed to weaken protections and distance ourselves from the international standards set down by our grandparents.”
For more information please contact Mr Blomfield’s office on 0114 272 2882
Notes for Editor:
- The Conservative Party manifesto contained a commitment to “scrap the Human Rights Act and curtail the role of the European Court of Human Rights.”
- On 2 October 2000 the Human Rights Act entered into force, protecting universal human rights across the UK. Fifteen years on, this October BIHR’s Human Rights Tour is celebrating this important anniversary our Human Rights Act and the difference it has made to our democracy and people’s lives across the UK. https://www.bihr.org.uk/humanrightstour2015
- The British Institute of Human Rights is a UK-wide independent human rights charity working to bring rights to life here at home https://www.bihr.org.uk/
- Paul Blomfield MP recently challenged Government Minister Dominic Raab in Parliament about the Government’s plans to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights.
- The Big Human Rights Debate is part of Paul Blomfield MP’s annual community consultation, the Big Conversation. More details here:http://www.paulblomfield.co.uk/the-big-conversation.html .
- Sheffield for Democracy is an informal group, campaigning for a more representative democracy http://www.reformgroups.net/sheffield/