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Commons Speaker raises a flag to the International Day of Parliamentarism

30 June 2021

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Curtailing the rights of MPs to speak out will be one of the subjects under the spotlight as Parliaments across the globe celebrate the International Day of Parliamentarism.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians, which protects MPs under threat, says it has found many examples of politicians being persecuted, simply for doing their job.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, who marked the International Day of Parliamentarism with the raising of the IPU flag, said MPs had a right to shine a spotlight on those who have no voice.

He spoke out recently in defence of British MPs, two peers and others who faced sanctions from China for speaking out against human rights violations against the Uyghur people.

"The ability to speak out on the things that matter to us – however controversial - is a basic human right of every British citizen," he said.

"The imposition of sanctions has not dampened our ardour – on the contrary, it has made us more determined than ever to raise our voices even louder."

His views were backed by the British Group IPU Chair, Harriett Baldwin MP, and other members attending the flag raising in New Palace Yard, who are keen to highlight the rights of parliamentarians globally to have freedom of expression.  Ms Baldwin MP directly raised this matter with the support of other like-minded delegations at the 142nd IPU Assembly in late May.

The IPU, which is the global organisation of national parliaments, also works hard to encourage more women and young people to become parliamentarians.

What is the International Day of Parliamentarism?

The International Day of Parliamentarism is celebrated every year on 30 June - the date in 1889 on which the IPU was founded. The Day was established in 2018 through a United Nations General Assembly Resolution. 


Image credit: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor