Bob Stewart

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Bob Stewart is the Conservative MP for Beckenham. He entered Parliament at the May 2010 general election, the previous MP Jacqui Lait (Conservative) having stood down.

Homeopathy

In June 2010, Bob Stewart signed Early Day Motions 284: BMA Annual Representative Meeting Motions on Homeopathy[1], 285: Effect of Homeopathic Remedies on Breast Cancer Cells[2], 286: Homeopathic Medicines in the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Depression[3], and 287: Homeopathy and Chronic Primary Insomnia[4].

MMR Vaccination

In June 2012 Mr Stewart asked a Parliamentary question of the Secretary of State for Health: "what assessment he has made of the recent judgement in Italy in the case of Valentino Bocca relating to MMR inoculations and autism."[5]

Same-Sex Marriage

In March 2012 Mr Stewart (as Robert Alexander Stewart) 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."[6]

The Coalition for Marriage describes itself as "an umbrella group of individuals and organisations ... backed by politicians, lawyers, academics and religious leaders"[7]. They are supported by the Evangelical Alliance[8] and former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey[9], and have connections with other Christian groups[10].

The group claims it "draws upon a substantial body of evidence". However, science and evidence-based politics blogger Martin Robbins described their argument as "confused, irrational and ultimately self-defeating"[11].

Mr Stewart subsequently voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its second reading in February 2013[12] and its third reading in May 2013[13].

Sex Education

In May 2011 Mr Stewart voted in favour of Nadine Dorries' Sex Education (Required Content) "10 minute" Bill[14]. The Bill stated that "such education must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity"[15]. It was criticised for only applying to sex education for girls, not boys, with critics also pointing to evidence that abstinence-only sex education (which does not necessarily lead to abstinence itself) does not protect young people from unwanted pregnancies or STIs[16] (although this was not a bill advocating abstinence-only sex education, it would have meant that the only required elements of sex education would be basic information on reproduction[17], plus this new content on abstinence, with further content being up to the individual school)[18]. The Bill passed its first reading by 67 votes to 61, but had little chance of becoming law and was withdrawn in January 2012 shortly before its second reading[19].

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Bob Stewart 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[20]. 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[21]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[22]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

References

  1. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/284
  2. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/285
  3. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/286
  4. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/287
  5. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm120625/text/120625w0004.htm#subhd_205
  6. http://c4m.org.uk/signatures/
  7. http://c4m.org.uk/aboutus/
  8. http://www.eauk.org/articles/coalition-for-marriage-launched.cfm
  9. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17102352
  10. http://bengoldacre.posterous.com/thinking-out-loud-who-are-the-coalition-for-m
  11. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2012/feb/20/1
  12. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Bob_Stewart
  13. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Bob_Stewart
  14. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110504/debtext/110504-0001.htm#stpa_o51
  15. http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-12/sexeducationrequiredcontent.html
  16. http://www.thetwentyfirstfloor.com/?p=2325
  17. http://www.drpetra.co.uk/blog/what-do-we-want-from-sex-and-relationships-education/
  18. http://educationforchoice.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/abstain-from-abstinence-please-dorries.html
  19. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/20/nadine-dorries-sexual-abstinence-bill-withdrawn
  20. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Bob_Stewart
  21. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  22. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500

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