This was the headline in the Independent on Friday on the 20th of November 2015.
MPs chatted away for hours, so much so in fact that the deputy speaker likened Mr Davies speech to reading out “a telephone book”. See these bills have only a select number of time to pass. If no clear vote is able to pass in that time the bill is then shelved and this is exactly what Tory MPs did.
The bill had the backing of many First Aid organisations including St John’s ambulance, The British Heart Foundation, Siren training and the British Red Cross.
Tory MP Philip Davies, who has somewhat of a reputation for “talking out bills” or “filibustering”, gave the longest speech of all. Lasting nearly an entire hour. Longer than some budget speeches granted ones in the 1800’s…
“I do not agree with the principle of compulsory first aid education in schools. Why on earth would I allow a bill that principle of which I don’t like a second reading?” Asked Mr Philip Davies…
Labour MP Teresa Pearce, who represents Erith & Thamesmead proposed the bill had support from both parties. With Tory MP Mr Gale can be quoted “I’d like to think that given that this is a matter of life and death (Mr Davies) might allow this to have a second reading and then allow it to be dissected further.”
Mr Davies claimed that the bill was “ludicrous” and among other reasons claimed he had been on a First Aid course at school but had now forgotten what he was taught and he went on to emphasize that First Aid courses can be provided by voluntary organisations and that he didn’t want the National curriculum to become overloaded.
While St John’s ambulance and British Red Cross have expressed their disappointment in the result we at Siren training want to emphasize our outrage!
Siren says: It is with great sadness that I inform you that this bill is now shelved. The opportunity for school children to attend First Aid courses is invaluable and we find the actions of Mr Davies simply immature and ignorant. We call upon all of our readers to join the other 30,000 people and sign this petition which is calling the Government to reform the filibuster process.