Parliament motion gains impressive support

An Early Day Motion (EDM) calling for a rethink on the cuts to adult learning received 63 signatures, making it one of the most signed motions in this parliamentary session. This level of support is particularly impressive given the limited time available to canvass MPs on the issue before parliament was dissolved, and highlights the depth of feeling which surrounds these controversial cuts.

EDM 851 stated:

‘That this House believes that further education colleges are central to improving the nation’s skills; shares the concerns of those working and studying in further education regarding the recently announced 24 per cent cuts to non-apprenticeship adult education funding in England; recognises that this will have a devastating effect on the sector and will shut the door on those sections of the community that rely on adult education the most; and therefore urges the Government to rethink this spending reduction which could threaten the future prospects of hundreds of thousands of people across the country.’

barry sheerman

Primary sponsor of the EDM, Barry Sheerman, co-chair of the Skills Commission

The motion’s primary sponsor was Labour MP Barry Sheerman, who is co-chair of the Skills Commission, and other sponsors including Caroline Lucas MP of the Green Party and Jim Shannon of the Democratic Unionist Party. Crucially, the motion attracted cross-party backing with three Liberal Democrat signatories and support from a number of independents as well. Messages of support were received from several MPs who were unable to sign the EDM because of their ministerial role.

caroline lucas

Caroline Lucas co-sponsored the EDM

Some MPs also lent their support to two other EDMs on further education cuts which had a more local focus – one was sponsored by George Galloway MP (Bradford West) and one by Keith Vaz MP (Leicester East).

jim shannon

The third co-sponsor, Jim Shannon

Parliament has now been dissolved as we approach the election, but the EDMs have all helped to raise awareness of the issue in parliament and the campaign partners will continue discussions on further education funding with whoever is elected in May.


63 MPs signed the EDM

Name Party Constituency
Abbott, Diane Labour Party Hackney North and Stoke Newington
Ali, Rushanara Labour Party Bethnal Green and Bow
Allen, Graham Labour Party Nottingham North
Bayley, Hugh Labour Party York Central
Betts, Clive Labour Party Sheffield South East
Blomfield, Paul Labour Party Sheffield Central
Bottomley, Peter Conservative Party Worthing West
Campbell, Ronnie Labour Party Blyth Valley
Caton, Martin Labour Party Gower
Connarty, Michael Labour Party Linlithgow and East Falkirk
Crausby, David Labour Party Bolton North East
Cunningham, Jim Labour Party Coventry South
Cunningham, Tony Labour Party Workington
Doran, Frank Labour Party Aberdeen North
Ellman, Louise Labour Party Liverpool Riverside
Farrelly, Paul Labour Party Newcastle-under-Lyme
Field, Frank Labour Party Birkenhead
Fitzpatrick, Jim Labour Party Poplar and Limehouse
Flynn, Paul Labour Party Newport West
Galloway, George Respect Bradford West
Gapes, Mike Labour Party Ilford South
George, Andrew Liberal Democrats St Ives
Glindon, Mary Labour Party North Tyneside
Godsiff, Roger Labour Party Birmingham Hall Green
Hain, Peter Labour Party Neath
Hancock, Mike INDEPENDENT Portsmouth South
Hemming, John Liberal Democrats Birmingham Yardley
Hermon, Lady INDEPENDENT North Down
Hoey, Kate Labour Party Vauxhall
Hopkins, Kelvin Labour Party Luton North
Huppert, Julian Liberal Democrats Cambridge
Jackson, Glenda Labour Party Hampstead and Kilburn
Johnson, Alan Labour Party Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle
Kaufman, Gerald Labour Party Manchester Gorton
Leech, John Liberal Democrats Manchester Withington
Lewell-Buck, Emma Labour Party South Shields
Love, Andrew Labour Party Edmonton
Lucas, Caroline Green Party Brighton Pavilion
Marsden, Gordon Labour Party Blackpool South
McCrea, Dr William Democratic Unionist Party South Antrim
McDonnell, John Labour Party Hayes and Harlington
McGovern, Jim Labour Party Dundee West
McInnes, Liz Labour Party Heywood and Middleton
Meale, Alan Labour Party Mansfield
Mearns, Ian Labour Party Gateshead
Morrice, Graeme Labour Party Livingston
Morris, Grahame M Labour Party Easington
Mulholland, Greg Liberal Democrats Leeds North West
Qureshi, Yasmin Labour Party Bolton South East
Ruddock, Joan Labour Party Lewisham Deptford
Russell, Bob Liberal Democrats Colchester
Shannon, Jim Democratic Unionist Party Strangford
Sharma, Virendra Labour Party Ealing Southall
Sheerman, Barry Labour Party Huddersfield
Sheridan, Jim Labour Party Paisley and Renfrewshire North
Simpson, David Democratic Unionist Party Upper Bann
Skinner, Dennis Labour Party Bolsover
Stringer, Graham Labour Party Blackley and Broughton
Thornberry, Emily Labour Party Islington South and Finsbury
Vaz, Valerie Labour Party Walsall South
Walley, Joan Labour Party Stoke-on-Trent North
Williams, Mark Liberal Democrats Ceredigion
Woodward, Shaun Labour Party St Helen’s South and Whiston