Colin Challen

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Colin Challen was the Labour MP for Morley & Rothwell until standing down in 2010.

Colin Challen was one of twenty members of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group[1], and is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society[2].


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Colin Challen voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus[3].


Challen signed Early Day Motion 2708 calling for schools to treat with caution creationist literature sent by the religious group 'Truth in Science'.[4]

MMR Vaccine

Colin Challen 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]


Colin Challen proposed the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1770 supporting freedom of religion and welcoming the launch of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain[6].

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. Colin Challen replied:

"1: It is my most important concern.
2: Lead, lead and lead again at every level.
3: I have started to cut my personal carbon emissions (target 25% reduction in 5 years) and have challenged other members (60 have done so) to do the same; started the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group."[7]

In February 2010, Colin Challen 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"[8].

Challen is the author of the book "Too Little, Too Late - The Politics of Climate Change" (Picnic Publishing, 2009) which, according to the publisher, "Asks why tougher policies are not being followed to tackle climate change and presents the arguments for the first time from the perspective of an elected politician."[9]

Charles Darwin

Colin Challen 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."

Libel Law Reform

In January 2010, Colin Challen signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[10]. 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.



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