Heidi Alexander

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Heidi Alexander is the Labour MP for Lewisham East. She entered Parliament at the 2010 general election, the previous MP, Bridget Prentice (Labour) having stepped down.

In September 2015 she was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Health.

Climate Change

On her campaign website, under the title "My Politics", Heidi Alexander lists a number of "I believe..." bullet points, including:

"I believe that we have an urgent responsibility to tackle climate change."[1]

Science Funding

In October 2010, Heidi Alexander signed Early Day Motion 767: Science is Vital Campaign. The motion stated that the house "believes that continued investment in research is vital in order to meet the technological and social challenges of the 21st century, and to continue to attract high-tech industries to invest here; further believes that large cuts to science funding are a false economy, due to evidence that research investment fuels economic growth". It made specific references to the work of the Science is Vital coalition and the Campaign for Science and Engineering.[2]

Choice at the End of Life

Ms Alexander was the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Choice at the End of Life around 2012[3]. "The APPG on Choice at the End of Life is interested in both our current rights at the end of life and also in extending those rights in certain situations and within safeguards. We believe that all people approaching the end of life should have access to good quality palliative care, and have access to clear information on their rights and choices around access to care and treatment decisions. We also believe that terminally ill mentally competent adults should have the option of an assisted death subject to strict safeguards."[4]

In the September 2015 House of Commons vote Ms Alexander had voted as a teller in support of allowing assisted dying[5].

In September 2015, in an interview following her appointment as Shadow Health Secretary, it was reported that Ms Alexander had stated her support for choice at the end of life[6].

Same-Sex Marriage

Heidi Alexander voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[7] and its third reading in May 2013[8].

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Heidi Alexander 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[9]. 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[10]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[11]. After clearing both Houses, mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.


Ms Alexander was appointed Shadow Health Secretary on 13th September 2015. The next day an article appeared in BuzzFeed News in which a reporter had asked her about the provision of homeopathy on the NHS. Perhaps the most relevant quotes from Ms Alexander were: "It's not something that I have given hours of consideration to" and "I must admit I’m not totally convinced at the moment but I'll have to look at it". Similar non-committal responses lead to the article being headlined, somewhat misleadingly, "Labour's New Shadow Health Minister Considers Backing Homeopathy"[12].

Ten days later it was reported that in a subsequent interview Ms Alexander said:

"I have done a little bit of reading on it. I actually feel that my comments have been somewhat misquoted.
"To be honest I am not someone who thinks that homeopathy should be funded on the NHS."[13]


  1. http://www.heidialexander.org.uk/?page_id=183
  2. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/767
  3. https://web.archive.org/web/20121018225016/http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/choice-at-the-end-of-life.htm
  4. http://www.appg-endoflifechoice.org.uk/our_aim
  5. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-09-11&number=69&mpn=Heidi_Alexander
  6. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/just-rich-right-die-shadow-6508936
  7. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Heidi_Alexander
  8. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Heidi_Alexander
  9. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Heidi_Alexander
  10. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  11. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  12. http://www.buzzfeed.com/jimwaterson/labours-new-shadow-health-minister-considers-backing-homeopa
  13. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/labours-heidi-alexander-hits-back-6509473

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