Chamber debate on gangs and serious youth violence

15 February 2016

Labour MP for Streatham Chuka Umunna held a debate on gangs and serious youth violence which took place on Thursday 3 March in the Commons Chamber. The representation for this debate was put forward to the Backbench Business Committee on Tuesday 9 February.

Watch the debate and read the transcript

Watch Parliament TV: Chamber debate on gangs and serious youth violence

Read debate transcript (Hansard): Chamber debate on gangs and serious youth violence

Digital Debate

On Monday 22 February 4.30pm – 5.30pm Chuka Umunna MP held a public debate on Twitter on the subject of gangs and serious youth violence, using #StopYouthViolence. This was the first ever digital debate for a House of Commons Chamber debate. The digital debate allowed members of the public to contribute towards the discussion in Parliament, and provide a useful resource for MPs taking part.

Ian Mearns MP, Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, said:

"The Backbench Business Committee exists to allow MPs to set the agenda through leading debates in the House of Commons. This digital debate will mean that members of the public can contribute to an important debate, and will help to inform arguments and suggest solutions. I hope people will take the opportunity to participate in this special part of the democratic process."

Chuka Umunna MP said:

"This is a fantastic initiative and I hope many people will get involved in our digital debate. Gangs and serious youth violence is such an important topic and I’m keen to hear from as many people as possible."

Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy

The idea for digital debates came from a recommendation by the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy. The report recommends how Parliament can use digital technology to help it to be more transparent, inclusive, and better able to engage the public with democracy.

Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, said:

"The use of digital debates was a key recommendation of the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy, and I am delighted that it is being used on this occasion. It is an excellent opportunity for MPs and the public to engage with, or simply observe, the discussion and I am sure it will be a tremendous success."

Backbench Business Committee

The Backbench Business Committee meets weekly on Tuesdays to consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament on any subject.

The Committee then has to decide how to allocate the limited Parliamentary time it has at its disposal. The Committee's meetings are always conducted in public and can be watched on Parliament TV.

Further Information

Image: Parliamentary Copyright

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