Hitchin and Harpenden constituents oppose Bim Afolami's vote in parliamentary petition

Bim Afolami is now speaking to all the other Tory leadership candidates. Picture: Martin Wootton

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami - Credit: Archant

A petition campaigning for the right to peaceful protest to remain has gained significant traction from residents in Hitchin and Harpenden, as well as across the UK.

The petition 'Do not restrict our rights to peaceful protest' has now accumulated more than 160,000 signatures. At the time of publishing, 640 Hitchin and Harpenden residents have signed the petition, the highest number of any Conservative constituency in the country.

As the petition has surpassed 100,000 signatures, parliament will consider the subject for debate, with a date due to be set in a day's time. A government response to the petition is expected over the weekend.

This comes as Hitchin and Harpenden residents have condemned their MP Bim Afolami this week for voting in favour of what they say are restrictions to peaceful protests.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday, March 16 with 359 ayes and 263 noes. 

The vote was catapulted into controversy in light of the policing strategy at the vigil held in Clapham on Saturday in memory of Sarah Everard.

People in the crowd turn on their phone torches as they gather in Clapham Common, London, after the

People in the crowd turn on their phone torches as they gather in Clapham Common, London, after the Reclaim These Streets vigil for Sarah Everard was cancelled - Credit: PA Wire

In light of the recent uproar, the bill has been delayed, meaning the Bill Committee won’t now start until May, rather than next week, according to a Labour source.

If you would like to sign the petition, click here.

You may also want to watch:

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter