Unlike MPs, who receive state funding, members of the House of Lords don’t receive any financial support to employ staff or fund office costs.
As the only Green in the House of Lords, covering as many issues as I can, I need staff to help me with research and press work. I have a small, part time team (equivalent to one full time person) who are paid for from donations from people like you.
Without funding for a communications officer, I can’t promote my Clean Air Bill in Parliament which aims to establish clean air as a human right. Without staff support I can’t write the letters, or Parliamentary questions which challenge the government and police over the way they are imposing fracking on communities who don’t want it.
I fight for civil liberties
Earlier this year, I initiated the first Parliamentary debate on facial recognition technology. Alongside Big Brother Watch I am taking the Met Police and Government to court for their failure to regulate the use of facial recognition technology.
It was revealed a few years ago that the Metropolitan Police had designated me a “domestic extremist” and gathered intelligence about my political and protest activities. This has given me a personal connection to the struggles of others, such as the women whose lives were invaded by undercover officers.
I regularly ask oral questions to Ministers about civil rights and hold the police to account, but I need the staff to help me draft these questions and to liaise with the NGOs and friendly lawyers.
Stopping the hard Brexit power grab
I have worked hard during the last year to safeguard our liberties and environmental protections, as part of the EU Withdrawal Bill. My next job is to stop even worse policies going through as part of the Trade Bill, which includes an attempt to grant even more Henry 8th type powers to Ministers to by-pass Parliament when making decisions.
Staff working with me behind the scenes help comb through vast amounts of complex Bills and give me the detailed information I need to contribute to debates and propose amendments.
I am the only Green in the House of Lords, one of only two Green voices in Parliament at this critical time for our planet, please support my work by contributing to our crowdfunder