Jim McGovern

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James "Jim" McGovern was the Labour MP for Dundee West from 2005 until he stepped down at the 2015 general election.


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Jim McGovern 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.

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Jim McGovern 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.

Faith based Adoption Agencies

In 2007, Jim McGovern 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.[5]

Same-Sex Marriage

Mr McGovern voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its Second Reading in February 2013[6]. He did not vote at the Third Reading in May 2013[7].

Libel Law Reform

In January 2010, Jim McGovern signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[8]. 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.

Science Funding

In October 2010, Jim McGovern signed Early Day Motions 707: Government Funding for UK Science[9], and 767: Science is Vital Campaign[10]. Both motions supported investment in science in the face of cuts anticipated in the coalition government's forthcoming spending review.


  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=Jim_McGovern
  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/2006-07/742
  6. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Jim_McGovern
  7. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Jim_McGovern
  8. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423
  9. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/707
  10. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/767

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