Gary Streeter

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Gary Streeter is the Conservative MP for South West Devon. He initially entered Parliament in 1992 as MP for Plymouth, Sutton.

Healthcare

Abortion

Mr Streeter is a listed member of the House of Commons' All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group (as of September 2012)[1].

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Gary Streeter voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 12 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks[2]. After four separate parliamentary votes on varying time limits, the majority of MPs voted to keep the abortion time limit at 24 weeks, in keeping with scientific and medical consensus, hence no abortion amendments were added to the bill.

Mr Streeter voted for Nadine Dorries’s amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill on 7 September 2011, which was ultimately defeated by 368 to 118 votes. This amendment would have stopped BPAS and Marie Stopes from providing counselling for women with unwanted pregnancies and allowed ‘independent’ counselling including that provided by faith-based organisations.[3]

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Gary Streeter voted against allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease[4]. If allowed, mitochondrial donation would be regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) meaning that there would be ongoing assessment of the safety and efficacy of such procedures. An October 2014 briefing report by the HFEA, which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe[5]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[6]. The majority of MPs voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation.

Homeopathy

Streeter was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[7].

When asked by journalist Tom Whipple what evidence the MP had used in deciding to support the motion, Streeter responded, "My evidence was simply 15 years of anecdotal reports from many, many constituents. Not scientific, but persuasive." [8]

Climate Change

In January 2013 Mr Streeter posted a blog post titled "Natures way or Manmade?"[9] in which he wrote on the subject of recent floods and climate change. One paragraph:

"The floods coincide with the met Office confirming that the planet has not experienced global warming in the past fifteen years and none is expected in the next five years! This is contrary to all the man-made climate change propaganda (almost a new religion) heaped upon us for the past two decades. I am now convinced that what we are seeing is simply part of the great sweep of natural climate changes – cycles and seasons – that our planet has always experienced. Of course we should still be good stewards of our precious world.

Religion

Conservative Christian Fellowship

Gary Streeter is a former trustee of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, an organisation allied with the British Conservative Party, established in 1990. The organisation wishes to unite the Christians of the British Conservative Party and to recruit more Christians into the Party.[10]

Faith based Adoption Agencies

In 2007, Gary Streeter seconded 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.[11]

Christian Action, Research and Education (CARE)

Streeter was one of a number of MPs who registered their employment of interns from the Christian charity group Christian Action, Research and Education (CARE). Described by the Independent as a 'right wing Christian group', CARE were investigated by the Charity Commission and the House of Commons standards watchdog for lobbying activities, specifically related to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

CARE also campaigned against the repeal of Section 28, which banned the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools, and helped defeat laws on assisted dying in the House of Lords. Its work has been condemned in the Lords as "propaganda". [12]

Clearing the Ground

Mr Streeter is the chair of Christians in Parliament, an official All-Party Parliamentary Group. In 2012 in this role he chaired the group's "Clearing the Ground" investigation and report into the freedoms of Christians within UK public life. In February 2012 the group published a preliminary report, which can be downloaded here: http://www.eauk.org/current-affairs/publications/clearing-the-ground.cfm

ASA Ruling on Healing Prayers

In February 2012 the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the group "Healing on the Streets - Bath" could not claim to be able to heal various diseases through prayer[13]. In March Mr Streeter was one of three MPs to sign a letter (apparently written by him) to the chair of the ASA:

"We are writing on behalf of the all-party Christians in Parliament group in Westminster and your ruling that the Healing On The Streets ministry in Bath are no longer able to claim, in their advertising, that God can heal people from medical conditions.
"We write to express our concern at this decision and to enquire about the basis on which it has been made. It appears to cut across two thousand years of Christian tradition and the very clear teaching in the Bible. Many of us have seen and experienced physical healing ourselves in our own families and churches and wonder why you have decided that this is not possible.
"On what scientific research or empirical evidence have you based this decision?
"You might be interested to know that I (Gary Streeter) received divine healing myself at a church meeting in 1983 on my right hand, which was in pain for many years. After prayer at that meeting, my hand was immediately free from pain and has been ever since. What does the ASA say about that? I would be the first to accept that prayed for people do not always get healed, but sometimes they do. That is all this sincere group of Christians in Bath are claiming.
"It is interesting to note that since the traumatic collapse of the footballer Fabrice Muamba the whole nation appears to be praying for a physical healing for him. I enclose some media extracts. Are they wrong also and will you seek to intervene?
"We invite your detailed response to this letter and unless you can persuade us that you have reached your ruling on the basis of indisputable scientific evidence, we intend to raise this matter in Parliament."[14]

(An example of scientific evidence against the medical effectiveness of prayer: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16827626)

National Prayer Breakfast

In June 2013 Mr Streeter attended the National Prayer Breakfast, an event sponsored by the Bible Society and held in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament. At the event John Lennox gave a speech, in which the Bible Society reported that he claimed that the new atheism was responsible for "the moral drift" in today's society.[15]

Libel Law Reform

In January 2010, Gary Streeter signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[16]. 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.

References

  1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/pro-life.htm
  2. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  3. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110907/debtext/110907-0002.htm#110907-0002.htm_div339
  4. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Gary_Streeter
  5. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  6. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  7. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1240
  8. http://statsdontlie.wordpress.com/2007/11/19/responses-from-signatories-to-homeopathy-motion/
  9. http://gary-streeter.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/natures-way-or-manmade-on-journey-to.html
  10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/representatives/profiles/25211.stm
  11. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/742
  12. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-rightwing-christian-group-pays-for-commons-researchers-802607.html
  13. http://asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Adjudications/2012/2/Healing-on-the-Streets_Bath/SHP_ADJ_158433.aspx
  14. http://www.totalpolitics.com/blog/314662/mps-try-to-overturn-and39god-can-healand39-ad-ban.thtml
  15. http://www.biblesociety.org.uk/news/christians-need-to-have-courage-to-talk-up-the-bible/
  16. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423

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