Jeremy Browne

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Jeremy Browne was the Liberal Democrat MP for Taunton (2005–2010) and Taunton Deane (2010–2015).

Homeopathy

Mr Browne was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[1].

On 10th March 2010, following the publication of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's report "Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy", Browne signed Early Day Motion 908: Science and Technology Committee Report on Homeopathy, which was critical of the report[2]. However, by 18th March he had removed his signature from the Motion.

MMR Vaccine

Jeremy Browne 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.[3]

Climate Change

In 2006, MPs were asked three questions by the Rough Guide's Mark Ellingham on how seriously they took climate change as politicians and as responsible, active citizens. Jeremy Browne replied:

"1: Very important (which is why the Liberal Democrats have been taking it so seriously for many decades now).
"2: Adopt limits and targets for carbon emissions; increase recycling; switch the emphasis of taxation away from work and towards pollution; use the moral authority derived from showing leadership to push other nations to reduce their emissions.
"3: The normal things: I recycle; I went on holiday in Britain this summer (although I am not promising never to go abroad again); I live within walking distance of the centre of the town; I nearly always travel to London by train rather than by car; I turn off lights when I leave the room; I turn the heating down to a very low level when I am away."[4]

Charles Darwin

Jeremy Browne was one of 79 MPs who signed Early Day Motion 377 noting the achievements of Charles Darwin, and calling for Darwin's birthday to be designated a public holiday to honour "one of the fathers of modern science and one of Britain's greatest, if not the greatest, scientific minds."

Libel Law Reform

In February 2010, Jeremy Browne signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[5]. 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.

Forensic Science Committee Report

The 2013 Science and Technology Committee inquiry into Forensic Science took evidence from Mr Browne in his role as Minister of State for Crime Prevention. The July 2013 report stated:

The Minister, who took on responsibility for forensic science in September 2012, did not appear to have read our previous report nor the evidence we had taken for this inquiry. We are extremely concerned that the Minister currently responsible for forensic science appeared to have so little understanding of the subject and we are particularly disappointed that he had not read our 2011 report or the evidence provided to this inquiry. In his oral evidence to this inquiry he responded to most of our questions with inexact analogies, rhetorical questions and politically divisive or vague comments. Even with some allowance for the Minister's relative newness to the role, we do not have confidence that forensic science is receiving the attention it deserves at Ministerial level. The Minister does not appear to have given serious consideration to the particular requirements of forensic science.[6]

A transcript of Mr Browne's evidence can be read on pages Ev52–Ev64 of the report.[7]

Same-Sex Marriage

Jeremy Browne voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[8] and its third reading in May 2013[9].

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Jeremy Browne 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[10]. 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[11]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[12]. After clearing both Houses, mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Wearing Veils

September 2013: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10311469/Britain-needs-national-debate-about-banning-Muslim-girls-from-wearing-veils-in-public.html (note that Mr Browne is talking only about children).

References

  1. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1240
  2. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/908
  3. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2008-09/754
  4. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/climate-change-what-mps-think--a-to-c-424376.html
  5. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423
  6. PDF: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmsctech/610/610.pdf page 56
    HTML: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmsctech/610/61008.htm#a39
  7. PDF: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmsctech/610/610.pdf
    HTML: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmsctech/610/130313.htm
  8. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Jeremy_Browne
  9. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Jeremy_Browne
  10. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Jeremy_Browne
  11. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  12. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500

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