David Taylor

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David Taylor (22 August 1946 – 26 December 2009) was the Labour MP for North West Leicestershire until his death in 2009.

At the May 2008 meeting of his Constituency Labour Party, Taylor announced he would not be standing for re-election at the next general election. Taylor died at the end of 2009, before the general election. There will be no by-election before the general election on 6th May 2010.

David Taylor was one of fifteen MPs appointed to the Ecclesiastical Committee,[1] which considers measures passed by the General Synod of the Church of England.

Scientific Research

Taylor signed the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1134 calling on the Government to ensure that the UK maintains a reliable supply of talented, experienced and motivated scientific researchers and that the Government makes the best use of the Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004 to 2014.[2]

Animals in Medical Research

In 2006, David Taylor signed Early Day Motion 1850: Animals in Medical Research which noted that "animal research is only permitted where there is no better alternative and that pain and suffering are minimised and balanced against the potential benefit to humans and animals", supported "the building of the new state of the art biomedical research laboratory at Oxford University", condemned "unlawful animal rights extremism, including any violence, harassment or intimidation of those associated with lawful animal research", and supported "the well-regulated use of animals in medical research".[3]

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), David Taylor voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 16 weeks[4]. 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[5] 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.

Faith based Adoption Agencies

In 2007, David Taylor signed Early Day Motion 742 calling on the government to exclude "faith based" adoption agencies from the Equality Act to avoid such agencies being forced to consider gay couples.[6]

Charles Darwin

David Taylor 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."

Policymaking On Drugs And Alcohol

David Taylor signed Early Day Motion 2244 calling for Government policy on alcohol and drugs misuse and harm to be based on scientific evidence. The motion came shortly after the sacking of Government drug adviser David Nutt by Home Secretary Alan Johnson in 2009.

Libel Law Reform

In December 2009, David Taylor proposed the amended Early Day Motion 423A1 calling for a reform of the English libel law[7]. 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 original EDM 423 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". The amended version added a statement of the belief that "libel laws discriminate against average and low paid people when victims of defamatory comment in the pages of national publications".

References

  1. http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/ecclesiastical_committee/ecclesiastical_committee_members.cfm
  2. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1134
  3. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2005-06/1850
  4. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-05-20&number=200&mpn=David_Taylor
  5. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  6. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/742
  7. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423#423A1

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