Edward Miliband

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Ed Miliband is the Labour MP for Doncaster North. He entered Parliament at the 2005 general election, and was Leader of the Labour Party from 2010 until May 2015.


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Ed Miliband voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks[1].

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report of October 2007[2] had found no good evidence of change since the 24 week limit was set in 1990, and hence no new reason for a reduction (issues included foetal viability and perception of pain). However, it acknowledged that the current scientific evidence 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.

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Edward Miliband 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[3]. 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[4]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[5]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Climate Change

Ed Miliband was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change from October 2008 until the general election in May 2010. Soon after taking on the role Miliband announced an increased government target of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050[6]. In December 2009 Miliband represented the UK at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Writing after the conference he said that, despite the lack of legally binding targets, "We must work to ensure that developed nations in particular ... deliver on the highest possible emissions cuts"[7].

February 2014 interview: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/15/uk-floods-climate-change-disaster-ed-miliband

December 2014 article: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/saving-the-planet-is-about-leadership-not-fashion-mr-cameron-9908345.html

February 2015 article: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/21/ed-miliband-climate-change-issue-national-security

Science Policy

CaSE blog entry has some information and links: http://blog.sciencecampaign.org.uk/?p=2159

LGBT Rights

April 2015 Q&A with Pink News: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/04/27/ed-miliband-backs-humanist-weddings-and-trans-children-in-pinknews-qa/ (also mentions Humanist weddings)

Same-Sex Marriage

Ed Miliband voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[8] and its third reading in May 2013[9].

Mr Miliband signed the Scottish Equal Marriage pledge[10] which stated "We support the Equal Marriage campaign to lift the ban on same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership in Scotland." The campaign website reports Mr Miliband pledged support in 2010, however news stories about this appear to date it at March 2012[11][12].


In an April 2014 interview reported in the Daily Mail, Mr Miliband was quoted as saying:

"I have a particular faith. I describe myself as a Jewish atheist. I’m Jewish by birth origin and it’s a part of who I am.
"I don’t believe in God, but I think faith is a really, really important thing to a lot of people. It provides nourishment for lots of people.
"In terms of faith for me, it’s a faith about how you change the world. And that is actually true for a lot of religious people as well."[13]

Using short quotes it was also indicated that Mr Miliband stated that Britain is a "Christian country" despite declining observance, that faith has an "important place in society", and that many faith schools do an "incredible job".[13]

In June 2014 Mr Miliband attended the annual National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast where he heard the Archbishop of Canterbury give a speech.[14]


  1. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-05-20&number=203&mpn=Edward_Miliband
  2. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  3. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Edward_Miliband
  4. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics./7673748.stm
  7. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/20/copenhagen-climate-change-accord
  8. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Edward_Miliband
  9. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Edward_Miliband
  10. http://www.equalmarriage.org.uk/blog/pledge/rt-hon-ed-miliband-mp-leader-of-the-labour-party
  11. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/miliband-gives-his-backing-to-samesex-marriages-7537781.html
  12. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/03/05/ed-miliband-signs-marriage-equality-pledge/
  13. 13.0 13.1 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2602948/I-dont-think-God-exists-faith-I-says-Jewish-atheist-Ed-Miliband.html
  14. http://www.biblesociety.org.uk/news/prime-minister-hears-archbishop-praise-church-schools-at-prayer-breakfast/

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