Desmond Turner

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Desmond Turner was the Labour MP for Brighton, Kemptown until standing down in 2010.

While an MP he sat on the Science and Technology Select Committee from 1997 to 2010.[1]

Biographical background

Des Turner was born in Southampton and studied at Imperial College and University College London, gaining a doctorate in research chemistry.[1]

Creationism

Turner signed Early Day Motion 2708 calling for schools to treat with caution creationist literature sent by the religious group 'Truth in Science'.[2]

Healthcare

MMR Vaccine

Desmond Turner 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.[3]

Homeopathy

Desmond Turner was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[4].

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Desmond Turner voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus[5].

Animals in Medical Research

In 2006, Desmond Turner 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".[6]

Policymaking On Drugs And Alcohol

Desmond Turner 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 January 2010, Desmond Turner signed Early Day Motion 423 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.

Climate Change

In February 2010, Desmond Turner 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].

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://iwc2.labouronline.org/165220/biography
  2. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2005-06/2708
  3. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2008-09/754
  4. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1240
  5. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  6. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2005-06/1850
  7. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423
  8. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/524

External Links