MPs plan three-hour debate on claims Muslims are taking over Britain
A Birmingham MP has condemned plans for a three-hour Commons debate about a petition attacking immigrants and accusing Muslims of trying to take over the country.
MPs are to debate claims that “foreign citizens are taking all our benefits” on October 19.
MP Steve McCabe (Lab Selly Oak) said: “I’m in favour of discussing immigration but I don’t think we should dignify the views of total bigots with a Commons debate.”
It follows a promise in the Conservative manifesto before the 2010 general election that any petition signed by more than 100,000 people will be eligible for a debate in Parliament.
And a petition titled “stop allowing immigrants into the UK”, on the official Commons petition website has now been signed by 183,622 people.
It reads: “The UK government need to prevent immigrants from entering the UK immediately!
“We MUST close all borders, and prevent more immigrants from entering Britain.
“Foreign citizens are taking all our benefits, costing the government millions!
“Many of them are trying to change UK into a Muslim country!”
The petition’s entry on the website also includes an explanation written by the person who started it.
He said: “If the Government does not do anything, then Britain may take in 12 million more immigrants by 2060.
“There is footage of foreigners destroying British soldiers graves, which is a huge disrespect to us.
“Sign this petition to show the government what they need to do!”
The House of Commons Petitions Committee has decided to hold a debate on the petition. It will take place in Westminster Hall, a debating chamber of the Commons which is less well-known than the main Chamber with its famous green benches. However, debates held here officially have the same status as those in the main Chamber.
Mr McCabe said: “This highlights the problem with saying that if you have enough signatures on a petition then it will be debated. It is a licence for bigotry, and that is what we are witnessing here.
“I have spent a lot of time in recent years consulting my constituents about immigration.”
The debate will be led by Conservative MP Paul Scully who represents Sutton and Cheam in Greater London but that does not mean he will speak in favour of the views expressed in the petition.
There will be a speech from a Government Minister, from a Labour front-bench spokesperson and also from a spokesperson for the SNP, which is now the third largest party in the House of Commons. There will also be speeches from as many backbench MPs as time permits in the three-hour debate.
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