Ivan Lewis

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Ivan Lewis is the Labour MP for Bury South.


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Ivan Lewis voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 22 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.

Alleged Response to Lobbying by Merck

According to an article in The Guardian[2], in June 2008 Lewis promised to support the campaign for compensation from the pharmaceutical company Merck following the use of their pain-relief drug Vioxx. However, it is reported that following political lobbying from Merck, support for the campaigners was withdrawn.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

In a Commons debate with David Tredinnick on 19th February 2008, Ivan Lewis seemed noncommittal on the provision of CAM[3][4]. He spoke positively of "choice" and of further research. He seemed to have no problem with supporters of CAM being used as a source of official information for patients:

"...the Department of Health commissioned the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health to produce a patient guide on popular forms of CAM, which was published in 2005. It is encouraging to know that several thousand copies have been downloaded from the website and multiple copies have been ordered by intermediary organisations such as hospices."

And he tried to pass on responsibility for provision of CAM to GPs:

"Of course, doctors are accountable for any treatment that they give their patients, and have to satisfy themselves of the safety and clinical and cost-effectiveness of the treatment, as well as the availability of suitably qualified practitioners. They have a range of options for treating different conditions, and they must advise on which treatment or combination of treatments will be most suitable for individual patients. Many GPs now give access to some form of complementary or alternative medicine, but if a doctor decides not to recommend a complementary therapy, it is likely that he or she will have a good reason."

He made no comment about Tredinnick's support for the use of CAM in Africa as a treatment for HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.

Same-Sex Marriage

Ivan Lewis voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its second reading in February 2013[5] and did not vote at its third reading in May 2013[6].


  1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/may/04/merck-vioxx-campaign-parliament
  3. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080219/debtext/80219-0029.htm#column_323
  4. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2008-02-19d.323.0
  5. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Ivan_Lewis
  6. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Ivan_Lewis

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