Debate Not Hate: Sign our public statement

Councillors, MPs and organisations: Add your voice to our Debate Not Hate public statement.

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Cllrs and MPs sign the statement now

"The intimidation and abuse of councillors, in person or otherwise, undermines democracy; it can prevent elected members from representing the communities they serve, deter individuals from standing for election, and undermine public trust in democratic processes. 

Seven in 10 councillors reported experiencing abuse and intimidation over the last 12 months and councillors reported feeling that abuse is becoming more common and increasing in severity.

Debating and disagreeing with one another has always been, and will continue to be, a healthy part of democracy. However, the right engagement matters and abuse and intimidation crosses the line into dangerous territory and has no place in politics. 

We are calling on local government leaders, the Government and relevant partners, like the police, political parties and social media companies to come together through a government convened working group to produce and implement an action plan that addresses the abuse and intimidation of elected members and candidates and ensures their safety while they fulfil their democratic roles.

Over 600 councillors have signed up to the public statement since June 2022.

Add your voice and be part of our call for change


Organisation and council signatures

Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman, Local Government Association (LGA)

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, President, Local Government Association (LGA) 

Cllr Izzi Seccombe OBE, Conservative Group Leader and LGA Vice-Chairman

Cllr Shaun Davies, Labour Group Leader and LGA Vice-Chair

Cllr Joe Harris, Liberal Democrat Group Leader and LGA Vice-Chair

Cllr Marianne Overton MBE, Independent Group Leader, LGA Vice-Chair and Co-chair of the Civility in Public Life Steering Group

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Co-Chair of the Civility Steering Group and Leader of Kirklees Metropolitan Group

Cllr Bridget Smith, Member of the Civility Steering Group and Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council

Cllr Keith Stevens, Chair of the National Association of Local Councils

Matt Hawkins, Co-Director of Compassion in Politics

John Austin, Chair of the Association of Democratic Services Officers

Frances Cleland, Chair of the Association of Electoral Administrators

Cllr Georgia Gould, Chair of London Councils

Elizabeth Taylor, CEO of Employment Related Services Association 

Helen Edwards, President of Lawyers in Local Government

Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of Local Government Information Unit

Mark Healey, Founder/CEO of National Hate Crime Awareness Week

Cllr Matthew Hicks, Chair of East of England Local Government Association

Cllr Owen Bierley, Leader of West Lindsey District Council

Cllr David Baines, Leader of St. Helens Borough Council and Chair of the North West Regional Leaders Board

Cllr Martin Carnell, Mayor and Chairman of Chard Town Council

Cllr James Swindlehurst, Leader of Slough Borough Council

Coventry City Council’s Ethics Committee

Cllr David Wright, Leader of North Warwickshire Borough Council

Cllr Suzie Morley, Leader of Mid Suffolk District Council

Cllr John Ward, Leader of Babergh District Council

Cllr Gordon Perham, Chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council 

Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, Leader of Canterbury City Council

Parish Councillor Duncan Hatfield, Chairman of Old Marston Parish Council

Cllr Pete Bradbury, Chairman of West Sussex County Council

King's Lynn and West Norfolk Council

Cotswold District Council

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council


Organisations and councils can add their signatures by emailing debatenothate@local.gov.uk 

You can sign up to receive regular updates on our democracy, civility and voluntary sector work through our e-bulletin.