Bob Blackman

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Bob Blackman is the Conservative MP for Harrow East. He entered Parliament at the 2010 general election, taking the seat from Tony McNulty (Labour).

Mr Blackman is reported to have a BSc in Physics and Maths from Liverpool University.[1]

Indian Traditional Sciences

Mr Blackman is a vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Indian Traditional Sciences (March 2015)[2]. The group's purpose is to "promote and facilitate informed discussions on issues concerning all Indian traditional sciences practised in the UK (Ayurveda, Ghandharv, Jyotish, Siddha, Unani, Vastu, Yoga etc) within Parliament".

In October 2016, Mr Blackman proposed Early Day Motion 507: Celebration of First Ayurveda Day on 27 October 2016[3], 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.)

Abortion

Mr Blackman voted for Nadine Dorries’s amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill on 7 September 2011, which was ultimately defeated by 368 to 118 votes. This amendment would have stopped BPAS and Marie Stopes from providing counselling for women with unwanted pregnancies and allowed ‘independent’ counselling including that provided by faith-based organisations.[4]

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Bob Blackman voted against allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease[5]. If allowed, mitochondrial donation would be regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) meaning that there would be ongoing assessment of the safety and efficacy of such procedures. An October 2014 briefing report by the HFEA, which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe[6]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[7]. The majority of MPs voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation.

Same-Sex Marriage

In February 2012, Mr Blackman signed the Coalition for Marriage petition which stated:

"I support the legal definition of marriage which is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I oppose any attempt to redefine it."[8]

The Coalition for Marriage describes itself as "an umbrella group of individuals and organisations ... backed by politicians, lawyers, academics and religious leaders"[9]. They are supported by the Evangelical Alliance[10] and former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey[11], and have connections with other Christian groups[12].

The group claims it "draws upon a substantial body of evidence". Science and evidence-based politics blogger Martin Robbins described their argument as "confused, irrational and ultimately self-defeating"[13].

Mr Blackman subsequent voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its second reading in February 2013[14]. He did not vote at its third reading in May 2013[15].

References

  1. http://bobblackmanmp.info/bob.html
  2. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/indian-traditional-sciences.htm
  3. https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/507
  4. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110907/debtext/110907-0002.htm#110907-0002.htm_div339
  5. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Bob_Blackman
  6. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  7. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  8. http://c4m.org.uk/signatures/
  9. http://c4m.org.uk/aboutus/
  10. http://www.eauk.org/articles/coalition-for-marriage-launched.cfm
  11. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17102352
  12. http://bengoldacre.posterous.com/thinking-out-loud-who-are-the-coalition-for-m
  13. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2012/feb/20/1
  14. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Bob_Blackman
  15. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Bob_Blackman

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