Jenny Jones 2018 Crowdfunder appeal to help cover staff costs.
Jenny uses her position in the House of Lords to bring campaigns into the heart of Parliament.
While opposing the EU Withdrawal Bill, she was able to work with organisations like the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Liberty, Greenpeace and the RSPB to introduce amendments to the Bill and make powerful speeches against the Government’s approach to Brexit.
Jenny continues to campaign for an elected House of Lords, as she pledged to do when she was first made a life peer. She has tabled a Private Members Bill and pressed the Government to create a debate about democratic reform.
Jenny introduced her Clean Air (Human Rights Bill) 2018 in June this year. She has worked with the Clean Air in London Campaign and the environmental lawyer Kate Harrison to draft an extensive Bill. Jenny’s ground-breaking Bill would expand the Human Rights Act to include a Right to Clean Air, and it creates a citizen-led environmental enforcement body that would help people take legal action against the Government and vehicle manufacturers.
Recently, the Government passed a piece of legislation about “Juvenile CHIS” and they nearly did it without anyone noticing. The media hadn’t picked up on the issue until Jenny stood up in the House of Lords and explained that “Juvenile CHIS” was in fact a misleading acronym used by the Government and police to hide the fact that they are using “child spies”. Jenny was inundated with TV, Radio and newspaper requests, wanting her to describe the scandal of police using children, some under 16 years old, for undercover police operations.
It can be difficult to win as the only Green in the room, but Jenny is good at working with campaign groups and NGOs to make change happen. She initiated the first Parliamentary debate on Facial Recognition Technology and is now taking the Government and the Met Police to court for their failure to regulate and safeguard people’s liberties. When Jenny tables amendments to Bills, it forces debates on the issues that she raises and allows her to probe the Government. Jenny’s contributions in Parliament have elicited specific promises from Government Ministers to go back and look at issues, such as the impact of incineration on recycling rates. And because the Government does not have a majority in the House of Lords, there is always a much greater opportunity to defeat the Government than in the House of Commons.
Jenny says, “When we get more Greens in Parliament, we will be able to secure more wins. But in the meantime, I’m asking the questions that no-one else will ask, and keeping the pressure up on the Government. Most people in the House of Lords have never even seen a Green Party member before, let alone heard what we have to say. Whenever I speak in a debate or ask a question, I get Peers coming up to me afterwards saying things like “that was a really good point, I had never thought of it like that before”. I feel like a large part of my job is pushing the boundaries of debate and informing other Peers. There aren’t enough hours in the day, and I have to say no to many important campaigns and issues, but my small team of part-time staff help me achieve much more than if I were here on my own.”
Parliament is full of archaic rules and procedures, and her staff work hard to help make sense of it all and identify opportunities to bring Green issues onto the floor of Parliament. Jenny receives a generous attendance allowance but needs to fundraise to pay 3 part-time workers.
Please donate to our 2018 Crowdfunder appeal to help cover staff costs. Appeal closes 16th November.