This Friday, 25 September, the second reading of the Public Interest Disclosure (Protection) Bill 2019-21, a private members bill put forward by Dr Philippa Whitford MP of the Scottish National Party, will take place.
If you care about whistleblowers, and think that the law needs to change, please urge your MP to attend the debate.
The Bill suggests a radical reform of the current whistleblowing law (the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, or ‘PIDA’). Protect support many aspects of this bill; and although we don’t believe that a full repeal of PIDA is the right way forward, we welcome this vital opportunity for the issues with PIDA to be debated at parliamentary level.
For further information on how Dr Whitford’s bill differs from Protect’s suggested reforms and what aspects the proposals share, please see this recent article.
Protect need your help to bring this bill the attention it deserves. We want MPs to know that people care about whistleblowers, and get them engaging with the key issues at stake.
How to contact your MP:
- Find out who your MP is by entering your postcode here: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP
- Decide if you will email or call your MP – you could do both!
Calling your MP:
It’s best to write a brief list of points before the call. Having a list ready means that you can make sure you’ve covered everything you want to say in the call clearly. See ‘Key Points’ below for tips. Be aware that it’s unlikely you will be able to speak directly to your MP unless you’ve arranged this in advance. However, an aide or assistant will be able to pass your message on.
Emailing your MP:
Remember that you don’t have to write pages and pages to be effective – in fact sometimes shorter messages carry more impact. Include your address and post code so that your MP knows you’re a constituent, as some won’t reply without this information.
- Keep it personal – why does this matter to you?
- Give examples if you can – examples when whistleblowers have been let down, or not listened to. If this relates to a local case or local news story it is likely to have more impact.
- Be specific: what about the law needs to change and why? See Protect’s Legal Reform Campaign page
- Conclude: what are you asking them to do? “Please attend the reading on Friday 25 September”
Please let us know if you receive a response so we can strengthen our knowledge and support MPs to engage with whistleblowing law reform. If you’d like a copy of the parliamentary briefing which Protect has sent to MPs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org