Andy Reed

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Andy Reed was the Labour MP for Loughborough from 1997 until 2010, when he lost the seat to Nicky Morgan (Conservative).

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Andy Reed voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 20 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, hence no abortion amendments were added to the bill.

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report of October 2007[2] had found no good evidence of change since the limit was set in 1990, and hence no new reason for a reduction. However, it acknowledged that this was only one of many factors to be taken into account when legislating, and did not make any recommendations as to how MPs should vote.

Religion

Reed is a Council Member of the Evangelical Alliance,[3] an organisation that describes themselves as "part of a movement uniting to change society [...] to present Christ credibly as good news for spiritual and social transformation".[4]

Reed is also a member of other Christian groups including the Christian Socialist Movement, Christians in Parliament and A Rocha. He chaired the first "Prayer Breakfast" to be held inside Westminster Hall, and has worked for CARE, a Christian group that aim to influence public policy.[5]

In 2008, Reed visited Nigeria to meet with Nigerian MPs and other politicians to promote the development of links between Christian MPs in both Parliaments. Flights and accommodation were paid by the Bible Society.[6]

Reed describes his religious involvement on his website:

"My faith is important to who I am and the way I live out my life and the desire to serve to create a better world. I know not everybody agrees with my faith position but I trust they accept it is fundamental to my public service."[7]

Christian Action, Research and Education (CARE)

Reed 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".[8]

Reed himself voted in favour of repeal of Section 28[9]. This was a free vote for the Labour Party, though only three party members voted against the measure.

Religion and Sexuality

Andy Reed has a section on his website where he talks about his opposition to homophobia in the context of his Christianity[10]. He writes:

"The lobby by SOME of the more extreme Christian organisations against the Sexual Orientation Regulations continues a depressing theme from some of them. An obsession with sexuality distorts both the view of Christians from those with little or no faith and depresses the vast numbers of Christians who do not share these distorted views."

Charles Darwin

Andy Reed was one of 79 MPs who signed Early Day Motion 377 noting the achievements of Charles Darwin, and calling for Darwin's birthday to be designated a public holiday to honour "one of the fathers of modern science and one of Britain's greatest, if not the greatest, scientific minds."

Climate Change

In January 2010, Andy Reed signed Early Day Motion 524: Recognising Climate Change which states that "this House agrees that climate change is happening and is man-made" and calls this statement a "fact, which has the support of the overwhelming majority of the scientific community"[11].

References

  1. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-05-20&number=201&mpn=Andy_Reed
  2. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  3. http://www.voteandyreed.org.uk/christian-faithwork.html
  4. http://www.eauk.org/about/
  5. http://www.eauk.org/about/
  6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/representatives/profiles/25341.stm
  7. http://www.eauk.org/about/
  8. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-rightwing-christian-group-pays-for-commons-researchers-802607.html
  9. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2003-03-10&number=109&showall=yes
  10. http://www.voteandyreed.org.uk/sexualorientationregulations-deb.html
  11. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/524

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