A week or two ago Mrs May, our beloved Prime Minister, announced that forever more there would be a Stephen Lawrence Memorial Day. She may well think that’s appropriate, but surely it opens the doors for other victims. There are surely other people, victims of violence, who deserve their own Memorial Day.
One of these, in my opinion, was the late PC Keith Palmer, murdered by a Terrorist whilst protecting Parliament.
To recognise his valiant sacrifice I started a government petition to commemorate PC Palmer in a similar way to Stephen Lawrence.
Create a Permanent National Memorial Day for PC Keith Palmer
The precedent was recently set by the Prime Minister in creating a permanent Stephen Lawrence Memorial Day. Whilst Stephen Lawrence did not deserve to die and the circumstances of his death were quite awful, so were the circumstances surrounding PC Keith Palmer’s death.
He died violently with no regard for his personal safety, protecting the politicians and staff present within the Houses of Parliament. If it is important to remember the death of Stephen Lawrence in this way, then surely it is important to remember the death of a Police Officer protecting Parliament from a ‘live’ Terrorist Attack The creation of a permanent PC Keith Palmer Memorial Day will properly reflect a true act of selfless bravery, keeping our politicians safe from harm. A true Hero.
It seemed reasonable to me, people signed it. People said they wanted to sign it but it had been taken off line whilst it was ‘checked’. Then today I got my email in response to my petition. REJECTED. Why? I thought. What could possibly be wrong with it, it was polite etc. Then I read the test of my email.
Dear Alan Wright,
We rejected the petition you created – “Create a Permanent National Memorial Day for PC Keith Palmer”.
It included confidential, libellous, false or defamatory information, or a reference to a case which is active in the UK courts.
We’ve marked your petition as confidential to avoid the risk of causing distress to the family and friends of PC Keith Palmer. Parliament has been working to find the most appropriate way to honour and remember PC Palmer, in consultation with his family.
We only reject petitions that don’t meet the petition standards:
If you want to try again, click here to start a petition:
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament
Confidential, libellous, false or defamatory information? Really? Where?
A reference to a case which is active in the UK courts. That can only relate to a Coroner’s Inquest surely, but why not be precise so that I, and the others who signed or supported it , can understand?
We’ve marked your petition as confidential to avoid the risk of causing distress to the family and friends of PC Keith Palmer. Personally i find that comment highly offensive. I would not do anything that I thought would cause distress to PC Palmer’s family and friends and I’m mortified at the suggestion that this petition might do that.
I am sadly left with only one conclusion, that this government really doesn’t care about the Police Officers that, every day, protect them and the Public to the very best of their ability. Further than that I really don’t wish to say.
I emailed the Petitions Committee querying their precise reasons for binning my petition and received this very prompt response
Dear Mr Wright,
Thank you for your message.
As we explained, we marked your petition as “confidential” to avoid the risk of causing distress.
I absolutely understand that it was not your intention to cause distress to the family and friends of PC Keith Palmer. However, I hope you will understand that we can only accept petitions of this kind with the consent of those close to the person who has lost their life.
A petition campaign can be very high profile. If your petition were successful, it could be seen by hundreds of thousands of people and would be likely to make the headlines. A debate in Parliament (if it reached that stage) would also be very high profile. That would be good for your campaign, but it might not be what someone’s family and friends want to happen.
If a campaign is run without the involvement of the person’s family, it is very hard to know how they might feel about it. There is a risk that people might not welcome having so much public and media attention, which might be intrusive. They might also prefer to remember the person they have lost in a different way.
As we explained, Parliament has been working to find the most appropriate way to honour and remember PC Palmer, in consultation with his family. I’m sure you would agree that their wishes should be paramount in any decisions that are made.
I can’t be bothered to email them further, but it does seem to me that there is more than one interpretation of their response.