Alistair Burt

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Alistair Burt is the Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire.

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Alistair Burt voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 20 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks[1]. After four separate parliamentary votes on varying time limits, the majority of MPs voted to keep the abortion time limit at 24 weeks, in keeping with scientific and medical consensus, hence no abortion amendments were added to the bill.

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Alistair Burt voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease[2]. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe[3]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[4]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Climate Change

In 2006, MPs were asked three questions by the Rough Guide's Mark Ellingham on how seriously they took climate change as politicians and as responsible, active citizens. Alistair Burt replied:

We need a climate change bill which will incorporate further carbon reductions. A better balanced energy policy with more emphasis on all renewables not just land based wind power will help."[5]

Christian Action, Research and Education (CARE)

Burt was one of a number of MPs who registered their employment of interns from the Christian charity group Christian Action, Research and Education (CARE). Described by the Independent as a 'right wing Christian group', CARE were investigated by the Charity Commission and the House of Commons standards watchdog for lobbying activities, specifically related to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

CARE also campaigned against the repeal of Section 28, which banned the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools, and helped defeat laws on assisted dying in the House of Lords. Its work has been condemned in the Lords as "propaganda".[6]

Blasphemy Law

On 6th May 2008, Alistair Burt voted against a Lords amendment to abolish the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel[7]. The amendment was nonetheless passed by a vote of 378 to 57.

Same-Sex Marriage

Mr Burt was one of a number of Conservative Party MPs to sign a December 2012 letter to the Telegraph in support of same-sex marriage. It also noted:

"We feel strongly that religious freedom must be protected. This means that religious groups should be allowed to conduct same sex marriages if they choose, but equally none should be compelled to do so."[8][9]

Mr Burt subsequently voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its second reading in February 2013[10] and its third reading in May 2013[11].

References

  1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  2. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Alistair_Burt
  3. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  5. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/climate-change-what-mps-think--a-to-c-424376.html
  6. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-rightwing-christian-group-pays-for-commons-researchers-802607.html
  7. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-05-06&number=170&display=allvotes
  8. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/9730713/Statutory-regulation-of-the-press-will-end-up-as-state-control.html
  9. http://www.freedomtomarry.org.uk/content/marriage-should-available-all
  10. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Alistair_Burt
  11. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Alistair_Burt

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