Gregory Campbell

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Gregory Campbell is the DUP MP for East Londonderry, and an MLA for the East Londonderry assembly constituency.

Healthcare

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Gregory Campbell voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 12 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks[1]. 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. Also the Abortion Act 1967 does not currently apply to Northern Ireland.

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Gregory Campbell voted against allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease[2]. 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[3]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[4]. The majority of MPs voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation.

MMR Vaccine

Gregory Campbell 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]

Homeopathy

Following the publication of the House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee's report "Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy" in February 2010, Gregory Campbell signed Early Day Motion 908: Science and Technology Committee Report on Homeopathy, which was critical of the report[6].

In June 2010, Campbell signed Early Day Motions 285: Effect of Homeopathic Remedies on Breast Cancer Cells[7], 286: Homeopathic Medicines in the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Depression[8], and 287: Homeopathy and Chronic Primary Insomnia[9].

Herbal Medicine

Mr Campbell contributed to a July 2013 Westminster Hall debate on the regulation of herbal medicines. Following Kate Hoey's suggestion that "The pharmaceutical industry does not want to see it [doing things naturally] happening and would love to get rid of all health food shops", he said:

"Does the hon. Lady agree that as well as the vested interests that she alludes to, at times, in the medical establishment, there is almost a form of elitism that denigrates herbal medicine, suggesting that it only has a placebo effect and is not practically of benefit to people, even though many testify that it is?"[10]

Science Funding

In September and December 2010, Gregory Campbell signed, respectively, Early Day Motions 707: Government Funding for UK Science[11], and 767: Science is Vital Campaign[12]. Both motions supported investment in science in the face of cuts anticipated in the coalition government's October spending review. By the time Campbell signed EDM 767 the spending review's conclusions had been announced and cuts to science were significantly less than anticipated.

Religion

Freedom of Religion

Gregory Campbell signed the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1770 supporting freedom of religion and welcoming the launch of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain[13].

Atheist Bus Campaign

Following the adverts bought by the Atheist Bus Campaign on public transport in January 2009, Campbell proposed Early Day Motion 424 claiming that the rationale behind the adverts was that non-religious people can be less careful about their lifestyle choices and life's consequences[14], and seconded Early Day Motion 403 calling the adverts "religiously offensive and morally unhelpful"[15].

Faith based Adoption Agencies

In 2007, Gregory Campbell 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.[16]

Blasphemy Law

On 6th May 2008, Gregory Campbell voted with the four other DUP MPs present against a Lords amendment to abolish the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel[17]. The amendment was nonetheless passed by a vote of 378 to 57.

Same-Sex Marriage

In 2012 Mr Campbell, like all the other DUP MPs, signed the Coalition for Marriage petition which stated:

"I support the legal definition of marriage which is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I oppose any attempt to redefine it."[18]

The Coalition for Marriage describes itself as "an umbrella group of individuals and organisations ... backed by politicians, lawyers, academics and religious leaders"[19]. They are supported by the Evangelical Alliance[20] and former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey[21], and have connections with other Christian groups[22].

The group claims it "draws upon a substantial body of evidence". However, science and evidence-based politics blogger Martin Robbins described their argument as "confused, irrational and ultimately self-defeating"[23].

Mr Campbell subsequently voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its second reading in February 2013[24] and its third reading in May 2013[25].

References

  1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  2. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Gregory_Campbell
  3. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  5. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2008-09/754
  6. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/908
  7. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/285
  8. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/286
  9. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/287
  10. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130709/halltext/130709h0001.htm#column_12WH
  11. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/707
  12. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/767
  13. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1770
  14. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2008-09/424
  15. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2008-09/403
  16. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/742
  17. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-05-06&number=170&display=allvotes
  18. http://c4m.org.uk/signatures/
  19. http://c4m.org.uk/aboutus/
  20. http://www.eauk.org/articles/coalition-for-marriage-launched.cfm
  21. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17102352
  22. http://bengoldacre.posterous.com/thinking-out-loud-who-are-the-coalition-for-m
  23. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2012/feb/20/1
  24. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Gregory_Campbell
  25. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Gregory_Campbell

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