This evening, I was delighted to speak in favour of the Government’s important Public Order Bill. This Bill seeks to introduce new sensible police powers specifically to tackle incidents of locking-on that have brought gridlock to roads across the country.
The disruptive tactics of environmental groups such as Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain show the importance of such legislation. As many of my constituents will know, travelling by road, rail and bus is the lifeblood of London’s economy, and many residents rely on these modes of transport for work, attending hospital appointments and of course taking their children to school.
The Government is right to take action to update legislation to protect my constituents. Ministers have listened to the sensible voice of many rights across the country. Allowing our police to tackle the changing nature of protests is absolutely the right thing to do.
In my speech, I drew the House’s attention to the importance and necessity of this legislation. I also decided to focus my remarks on New Clause 11 that would allow local authorities obtain public space protection orders. I know from my time in local government how costly and complex obtaining such notices can be.
While maintaining sympathy for the plethora of emotive debate, I take the view that, whatever we think about the detail of the abortion debate, it is right that we protect all our citizens. I recognise that there are rightly concerns about the drafting of the proposals; I am hoping that the Government will work with those who opposed the new clause in the Bill.
As I have set out, I broadly support this Bill and recognise its importance. My constituents will be delighted to see the Bill complete its passage through the House of Commons and has now gone onto the House of Lords. I look forward to seeing its further passage and scrutiny as it continues to be reviewed by Peers.