Annette Brooke

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Annette Brooke was the Liberal Democrat MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole from 2001 until she stood down at the 2015 general election.

Healthcare

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Annette Brooke voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 22 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 Annette Brooke voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to have genetically related 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.

MMR Vaccine

Annette Brooke signed the February 2009 Early Day Motion 754: MMR Vaccine and the Media supporting the use of the MMR vaccine. The motion expressed disappointment with the reporting of the vaccine by Jeni Barnett on her LBC radio show in January 2009, and expressed the hope that future reporting of the issue of MMR would be less sensationalist and more evidence-based.[5]

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. Annette Brooke replied:

"1: It is the biggest single challenge facing us and action must be taken now.
2: I have been deeply concerned that politicians have been ducking the issues of giving leadership and introducing policies to change behaviour this is a situation where it is vital to put forward polices which aren't obvious vote winners, if we have any conscience about the inheritance of future generations. It is not acceptable to say there is no point us taking action when there are countries like India and China. We have to give leadership now, we have benfited from our early industrialisation and our own polluting practices, now we have to convince other countries that global action is vital by our own actions. A Climate Change Bill for the next parliamentary session would be a start."[6]

Science Funding

In September/October 2010, Annette Brooke signed Early Day Motions 707: Government Funding for UK Science[7], and 767: Science is Vital Campaign[8]. Both motions supported investment in science in the face of cuts anticipated in the coalition government's forthcoming spending review.

Libel Law Reform

In December 2009, Annette Brooke signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[9]. 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.

The motion was tabled following the recent formation of Libel Reform Coalition, which has the backing of Index on Censorship, English PEN and Sense about Science. Sense about Science have been campaigning in defense of a member of its board of trustees, author and journalist Simon Singh, who has been sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association. They issued a statement entitled "The law has no place in scientific disputes".

Same-Sex Marriage

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

University Tuition Fees

In December 2010 Annette Brooke voted against increasing the upper limit on university tuition fees from £3290 per year to £9000 per year[12]. The proposed increase was a response to the Browne Report, published in October of that year, which had proposed a complete removal of any upper limit on fees, together with other measures (largely adopted by the coalition government) to ease the burden of repayment.

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=Annette_Brooke
  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.parliament.uk/edm/2008-09/754
  6. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/climate-change-what-mps-think--a-to-c-424376.html
  7. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/707
  8. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/767
  9. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423
  10. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Annette_Brooke
  11. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Annette_Brooke
  12. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2010-12-09&number=150&mpn=Annette_Brooke

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