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8 March 2006
A House of Commons motion calling for a better Mental Health Bill has this week received its 100th signature.
Just 30 days after it was tabled by Lynne Jones MP, Early Day Motion (EDM) 1575 has now been signed by some 102 Members of Parliament.
The EDM calls on the Government to amend its previous plans for a new Mental Health Bill and produce legislation that is in line with the Joint Scrutiny Committee of Parliamentís report last year on the 2004 draft Mental Health Bill.
The Mental Health Alliance, a coalition of 76 organisations working for a better Mental Health Bill, welcomed the EDMís 100th signature, from Brian Jenkins MP, earlier this week.
Alliance chair Paul Farmer said today: "People with mental health problems, their carers, and the staff who support them will today be delighted that more than 100 MPs have made clear their support for a very different Mental Health Bill from that proposed so far by the Government.
"The Members of Parliament who have signed this EDM have shown their support for the many people in their constituencies and across the country who have mental health problems and who fear the proposals the Government has put forward.
"We call upon the Government to heed this latest call for a new approach to mental health legislation and come forward with a Bill that promotes peopleís civil rights and public safety by being both fair and workable."
Lynne Jones MP said: "Any new Mental Health Act will be a very important piece of legislation. It will potentially affect the lives and liberties of many thousands of people. Like many of my fellow MPs, I am concerned that the current proposals do not adequately address the needs of people who may suffer from mental ill-health and consequently will not be optimally effective in safeguarding the general public in the rare cases where people with mental ill-health are a danger to others. I hope that the Government will work with the Mental Health Alliance to produce a Bill that will be both effective and just."
EDM 1575 was tabled on 6 February 2006 following a large meeting of the Mental Health All Party Parliamentary Group on 17th January during which Lord Carlile outlined his concerns with the draft proposals. This was well attended by MPs and Peers as well as charities from the fields of health, disability and criminal justice. T
The 100 signatories to EDM 1575 come from all political parties.