Linda Riordan

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Linda Riordan was the Labour MP for Halifax from 2005 until she stood down at the 2015 general election.


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Linda Riordan voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus[1].

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Linda Riordan 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[2]. 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[3]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[4]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Protection of the title of Doctor

In June 2009, the MP signed Early Day Motion 1635, a call for the protection of the title of doctor to avoid confusion caused by the use of the term doctor by practitioners of complementary medicine.[5]

Food Supplements

In October 2007, Linda Riordan proposed Early Day Motion 2065: Food Supplements Directive (No. 2)[6]. The motion stated:

That this House notes that the forthcoming implementation of Article 5 of the Food Supplements Directive continues to pose a threat to many safe and popular higher potency vitamin and mineral supplements currently available on the United Kingdom market; welcomes the stated objectives of successive Ministers and Prime Ministers for the outcome of this process; is alarmed that to date there is little evidence of European member states or the European Commission being willing to adopt a sensible, pragmatic and proportionate approach to the setting of maximum permitted levels for nutrients in supplements; and calls upon the Government to redouble its efforts in Europe to achieve a satisfactory regime for the regulation of such products in the interests of the millions of consumers who choose to use them to help achieve and maintain good health and of the hundreds of specialist retailers who rely upon them for the success of their businesses.

MMR Vaccine

Linda Riordan 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.[7]

Charles Darwin

Linda Riordan 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 January 2010, Linda Riordan 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.

Climate Change

In February 2010, Linda Riordan signed Early Day Motion 524: Recognising Climate Change which states that "this House agrees that climate change is happening and is man-made" and calls this statement a "fact, which has the support of the overwhelming majority of the scientific community"[9].

Science Funding

In November 2010, Linda Riordan 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".[10]

Same-Sex Marriage

Linda Riordan voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[11] and its third reading in May 2013[12].



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