175 years of the People’s Charter

At the time of writing, seventy-five MPs have signed an Early Day Motion proposing that the House of Commons celebrates the 175th anniversary of the launch of the People’s Charter in 1838. Signatories include MPs from the Conservative, Democratic Unionist, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru, Scottish Nationalist, and Social Democratic and Labour parties. The motion, whose primary sponsor is Dr Hywel Francis (MP for Aberavon), is as follows:

‘That this House celebrates the 175th anniversary of the launch of the People’s Charter on 8 May 1838 which was a blue print for our Parliamentary democracy; salutes the men and women of the Chartist Movement across the UK who sacrificed so much to achieve universal adult suffrage; acknowledges the Black Chartist leader William Cuffay and others who were transported to Australia for striving for political justice; recognises that it was left to the Suffragist and Suffragette movements to win universal female suffrage; notes the subsequent roles of political parties in legislating for many of the Chartist demands including the secret ballot; and welcomes the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History to commemorate in appropriate ways the debt that all parliaments owe to the selfless campaigning of the Chartists in achieving democracies in many countries.’

Early Day Motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons, though very few are actually debated. EDMs allow MPs to draw attention to an event or cause and for other MPs to register their support by signing individual motions.

Official page for the EDM on the People’s Charter and the full list of signatories.