This is an update for anybody that I may have browbeaten into contacting Nick Clegg about Dianne Abbott’s Early Day Motion. Specifically, this is anybody who is part of the Sheffield Hallam constituency, which includes anybody who lives in University of Sheffield Endcliffe Village student accomodation.

For once, I actually did what I told everybody else to do, and I’ve since had a reply from his office. The important part says:

“Unfortunately, due to parliamentary convention, party leaders do not sign non-legislative EDMs and therefore Nick will not be able to sign EDM 625. However, this EDM has been supported by a  number of Nick’s Liberal Democrat colleagues.

Speaking on this issue, Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, expressed his frustration that the government has prevented this issue being debated in parliament as part of an amendment to the human fertilisation and embryology bill, saying ‘the government has indicated that it is not appropriate to debate these issues at this time. If that is the case, when is an appropriate time to debate abortion issues?’ Please rest assured that Norman Lamb and the Liberal Democrats will continue to press for a full and open debate surrounding this issue.”

I think it’s still worth writing to Nick Clegg about this, though. Yes, he’s a party leader and apparently can’t sign this, which is sad. But he’s still a local MP, and as such has a duty to represent his constituents. So even if he can’t put pen to paper, he might at least recognise that this is an important issue, and act accordingly.