Hywel Williams

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Hywel Williams is the Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon. From 2001 until the boundary changes of the 2010 general election, he was MP for Caernarfon.

Mr Williams studied Psychology at the University of Wales, Cardiff, and then trained at the University of Wales, Bangor, before becoming a mental health social worker.[1]

Science Policy

Mr Williams was a panellist in a March 2015 debate on Science and the General Election: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bmo3Qe0ndcI

Mr Williams was interviewed by British Science Association in April 2015 in his role as Plaid Cymru spokesperson for science: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUffGpwXZkQ

Science Funding

In October 2010, Hywel Williams 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".[2]


Hywel Williams was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[3].

Nomination of David Tredinnick for Health Committee Chair

In June 2015 Hywel Williams was one of 19 MPs to nominate David Tredinnick for the position of Chair of the Health Select Committee[4]. Mr Tredinnick's advocacy of alternative medicine is well known and only four months earlier his view that astrology could have a role in reducing pressure on doctors had been widely reported (e.g. here).


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Hywel Williams voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks[5].

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report of October 2007[6] had found no good evidence of change since the limit was set in 1990, and hence no new reason for a reduction. However, it acknowledged that this 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 Hywel Williams 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[7]. 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[8]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[9]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Libel Law Reform

In January 2010, Hywel Williams signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[10]. 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.

Same-Sex Marriage

Hywel Williams voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its second reading in February 2013[11] and did not vote at its third reading in May 2013[12].


  1. http://www.english.hywelwilliams.plaidcymru.org/about-hywel/
  2. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/767
  3. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1240
  4. http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-committee/chair-nominations1/
  5. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-05-20&number=203&mpn=Hywel_Williams
  6. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  7. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Hywel_Williams
  8. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  9. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  10. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423
  11. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Hywel_Williams
  12. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Hywel_Williams

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