Alistair Carmichael

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Alistair Carmichael is the Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland. He entered Parliament at the 2001 general election.


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Alistair Carmichael voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus[1].

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Alistair Carmichael 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.

Ayurvedic Medicine

In October 2016, Mr Carmichael signed Early Day Motion 507: Celebration of First Ayurveda Day on 27 October 2016[5], which states a belief that "Ayurveda's integration into the NHS would ensure freedom of choice in healthcare for the populace; and calls on the Government to introduce an Ayurveda Chair." (Information about Ayurvedic medicine here.)

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 Carmichael replied:

"It is the biggest single challenge facing the world today. The three warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. 19 of the warmest 20 years have been since 1980. There is now an almost universal acceptance in the scientific community that climate change is something which must be addressed now as a matter of great urgency.
Legally binding targets on carbon emissions would be a good start. However, if almost a decade of Labour Government has taught us anything it is surely that targets alone are never enough. Targets must be matched with effective policies so that carbon emissions are brought down. To achieve that the burden of taxation must move off people and onto polluting activities. Only with the right set of incentives will we see the radical change in behaviour that is needed."[6]

Libel Law Reform

In March 2010, Alistair Carmichael signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[7]. The motion noted that human rights activists, scientists, writers and journalists are currently prevented from publishing, and the public prevented from reading, matters of strong public interest due to the chilling effect of the law.

Same-Sex Marriage

Alistair Carmichael voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[8] and its third reading in May 2013[9].



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