Green MP, Caroline Lucas, has announced that she will be stepping down at the next general election.
Caroline will not be giving up politics, however, and intends to continue campaigning on
“the challenges that drive me – the nature and climate emergencies”.
I am posting an edited extract of what was arguably her most important speech in Parliament.
I say arguably, because Caroline has given so many brilliant and important speeches in Parliament since she was first elected for Brighton Pavilion in 2010, becoming the first – and only – MP for the Green Party. She was also formerly leader of her party.
On June 8, Neal Lawson, director of the cross-party campaign organisation, Compass, wrote in The Guardian that Caroline was the best PM Britain never had.
In her speech to the Commons in March last year, Caroline warned about Russian interference in UK politics, which has still not been properly investigated. It’s a most enlightening and powerful speech worthy of all our serious attention.
Together with Labour MP Ben Bradshaw and SNP MP Alyn Smith, Caroline last year took the UK government to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge its failure to investigate credible evidence of Russian interference into the Scottish and EU referendums, and the 2019 general election.
The case has now progressed to the next stage, with the European Court of Human Rights noting that the MPs claim may be designated as an “impact case.”
The MPs solicitors, Leigh Day, explained:
“Impact cases are those of particular importance because they deal with emerging of otherwise significant human rights issues or might lead to a change or clarification of legislation, or which touch upon significant moral or social issues.”
Caroline commented on the case,
“With a general election on the horizon, and with Russia’s war on Ukraine showing no sign of abating, the stakes have never been higher. Ministers simply can’t be allowed to keep ignoring national security issues for reasons of political inconvenience.
“So, I’m delighted that this landmark court case is proceeding to the next stage, and our government will be dragged to the courtroom to explain its inaction. The future of democracy is on trial. For as long as our government refuses to fight for it and protect it, it’s up to us to do so.”
Earlier this year, the Court required the UK government to respond to questions relating to the case by 26 April 2023. It’s not known if the government has provided its answers.
The Court press office advised me this week that a judgement on the case is “currently still pending” and in the meantime, “The parties’ pleadings are not published.”