New laws should meet ‘compassion’ standard, say MPs

A group of MPs led by Caroline Lucas, of the Green Party, are arguing that the government should test new laws against a compassion standard.

8 May 2019| News

The politicians – who stand for Conservative, Labour and Green Parties – will propose a Bill that states legislation “cannot leave the most vulnerable in society worse off” and “does not benefit the current generation at the expense of future generations”, as part of an initiative spearheaded by campaign group Compassion in Politics.

Lucas cited as motivators for the Bill “the endless facts and figures around poverty and austerity in the UK”, recent Institute of Fiscal Studies predictions of a 7% rise in child poverty by 2022, which she described as “shocking”, and increased awareness around the dangers of climate change.

She also said she was inspired to take action by the threats of violence received by her fellow parliamentarians and the toxicity of recent debate.

“I think the beauty of the idea around compassion is that it brings both social justice and environmental justice together,” she explained.

“There’s just a real question now about why it is that compassion is so lacking in politics, when it is a value that most people say they aspire to,” she added.