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Freedom of Speech: For whom exactly?

Dawn Butler, a Labour MP, was recently ordered to leave her place in the House of Commons for the rest of the day. This comes after Butler expressed her thoughts and feelings about Boris Johnson's repeated lies to the public about the Coronavirus outbreak - with no consequences.

Whilst a vast majority of the public would agree with Dawns claims against the Prime Minister, unfortunately there are strict rules for the House of Commons. Those rules state that MPs must refer to each other as ‘Honorary members’ and accusations of dishonesty are absolutely not allowed.

Yes, those may be the laws of the land for MPs but when thousands of people's lives are on the line, one has to wonder if remaining silent is the best course of action. Dawn Butler refused to stand down, despite the Temporary Deputy Speaker's repeated requests for her to ‘reflect on her remarks’.

Dawn Butler, as a woman of colour, is already subjected to a variety of problems that her white counterparts are not. Following the 2019 elections, it was revealed that ethnic minorities made up an awful 10% of Members of Parliament in the House of Commons. So, despite being a member of a small minority, Butler continuously musters the bravery to speak out for what she believes in.

You'd think that at a moment like this, people would stand in solidarity with Butler and acknowledge that the public in many ways has been duped and lied to by the UK government.

It's a shame that those in higher political positions are permitted to act in such a way, utterly deceiving a population with little to no repercussions. We applaud and stand with those like Butler, who continuously defy conventional norms and continue to fight for the common good, even if it means putting themselves in harm's way. We can only hope that those at fault, will one day admit their faults and take accountability.

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