John Redwood

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John Redwood is the Conservative MP for Wokingham.

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), John Redwood voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 20 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.

Mr Redwood voted for Nadine Dorries’s amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill on 7 September 2011, which was ultimately defeated by 368 to 118 votes. This amendment would have stopped BPAS and Marie Stopes from providing counselling for women with unwanted pregnancies and allowed ‘independent’ counselling including that provided by faith-based organisations.[2]

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 John Redwood 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[3]. 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[4]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[5]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Sex Education

In May 2011 Mr Redwood voted in favour of Nadine Dorries' Sex Education (Required Content) "10 minute" Bill[6]. The Bill stated that "such education must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity"[7]. It was criticised for only applying to sex education for girls, not boys, with critics also pointing to evidence that abstinence-only sex education (which does not necessarily lead to abstinence itself) does not protect young people from unwanted pregnancies or STIs[8] (although this was not a bill advocating abstinence-only sex education, it would have meant that the only required elements of sex education would be basic information on reproduction[9], plus this new content on abstinence, with further content being up to the individual school)[10]. The Bill passed its first reading by 67 votes to 61, but had little chance of becoming law and was withdrawn in January 2012 shortly before its second reading[11].

Climate Change

John Redwood has written substantially on the subject of Climate Change.[12] Though he writes that he has corresponded with Christopher Monckton, a prominent figure who questions the scientific consensus on anthropogenic Global Warming, Redwood set out his own views on his blog:

"We should concentrate on tackling any adverse consequences of climate change, as it is not in the UK’s power to solve the global problem. I have long been an advocate of more reservoir capacity for water in the UK, to meet the demands of the rising population. I have wanted better flood defences. We need these things now."[13]

In 2007, Redwood published a blog post called "The global warming “swindle”" where he called for more "green technology", but also stated: "let’s stop pretending mankind is in control of the natural world, or understands everything that lies behind changes in average temperatures".[14]

In 2008, Redwood was critical of Al Gore and claimed the BBC were operating a Climate Change "Propaganda machine". Redwood wrote:

"Al Gore and The BBC climate change propoganda machine tell us the science of climate change is settled – all sensible scientists believe in global warming, and think the major cause is human produced CO2.
This reveals an ignorance of the way science works. Science is never settled. One generation produce a theory that seems to fit the facts, only for it to be challenged or replaced by a different or better one by a subsequent generation. Newton seemed to have summed up the heavens, and his predictive models were good, but Einstein revolutionised the way scientists look at it. So it will be with climate science – measurement will improve, modelling will improve, and perceptions will change. Nothing is settled."[15]

Redwood also repeated the claim that the world’s climatologists predicted an ice age in the 1970s, citing Readers Digest among other sources for the claim.[16] However, this position has been consistently rejected by science researchers on the basis that the ice-age predictions were predominantly media based. The claims were not reflected in the scientific journals of the time and the majority of scientific papers during the period actually predicted global warming. Redwood's assertion, popular among those who question the scientific consensus on climate change, has been described as a "myth". [17]

Cornerstone Group

John Redwood is a member of the Cornerstone Group, a group within the Conservative Party that describes itself as believing in "the spiritual values which have informed British institutions, our culture and our nation's sense of identity for centuries, underpinned by the belief in a strong nation state."[18]. Their website includes articles on Conservative and Christian political issues.

Same-Sex Marriage

John Redwood voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[19] and its third reading in May 2013[20].

References

  1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  2. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110907/debtext/110907-0002.htm#110907-0002.htm_div339
  3. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=John_Redwood
  4. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  6. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110504/debtext/110504-0001.htm#stpa_o51
  7. http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-12/sexeducationrequiredcontent.html
  8. http://www.thetwentyfirstfloor.com/?p=2325
  9. http://www.drpetra.co.uk/blog/what-do-we-want-from-sex-and-relationships-education/
  10. http://educationforchoice.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/abstain-from-abstinence-please-dorries.html
  11. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/20/nadine-dorries-sexual-abstinence-bill-withdrawn
  12. http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/?s=warming
  13. http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2009/12/05/why-are-there-so-many-climate-change-sceptics/
  14. http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2007/03/09/the-global-warming-swindle/
  15. http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/?s=warming
  16. http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2008/04/04/does-the-governemnt-really-believe-in-climate-change/
  17. http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2008/11/the_1970s_ice_age_myth.php
  18. http://cornerstonegroup.wordpress.com/about/
  19. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=John_Redwood
  20. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=John_Redwood

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