Liz Kendall

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Liz Kendall is the Labour MP for Leicester West. She entered Parliament at the 2010 general election, the previous MP, Patricia Hewitt (Labour), having stepped down.

Ms Kendall states that she has "always believed in the principle of evidence-based policy making".

Science Statement 2015

During the 2015 Labour leadership campaign, the group Scientists for Labour contacted all the candidates on the topic of their policy ideas regarding science, engineering and technology. Ms Kendall's reply can he read at http://www.scientistsforlabour.org.uk/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=138:liz-kendall-leadership-candidate&catid=53:labour-party&Itemid=141

Independent scientific advisers

"I think the job of scientists is to focus on providing the best possible scientific advice, rather than to worry about the political consequences or ramifications – that’s the job of politicians... I also believe that politicians – as the democratically elected representatives – are ultimately responsible for taking decisions and being held to account for these decisions by Parliament and the public. Politicians should be open about if and why their final decisions differ from the scientific advice they have received so the public is clear about the basis on which decisions have been taken." (in email 05/05/10)

Alternative medicine

"I have always supported the right of individuals to use alternative medicine. I don’t believe science has all the answers about what works in terms of human health and wellbeing, and I know that for many people, alternative medicines and treatments can have a hugely beneficial effect. The role of Government is to ensure any products, treatments and medicines are safe, and that there is sufficient information for users about their efficacy. In terms of funding, I think the NHS should continue to fund only those medicines and treatments for which there is clear evidence about their effectiveness, as determined by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Effectiveness)" (in email 05/05/10)

Science funding

"Labour has already significantly increased investment in research and development as a proportion of the national income and our manifesto commits us to a ring fenced science budget in the next spending review, if we’re re-elected on May 6th. We will also provide focused investment for Technology and Innovation Centres to develop technologies where the UK has world-leading expertise, and support university research through the Higher Education Innovation Fund." (in email 05/05/10)

Other issues

Regarding libel reform, Kendall states, "I absolutely support the principle of academic free speech so that rigorous academic analysis can be published and promoted without fear of legal action. Our current libel laws should be assessed according to this principle." Kendall supports parliamentary reform, favouring "a more proportionate system of voting, a fully elected second chamber...a written constitution...[and] a statutory code of conduct for loybbing companies and state funding for political parties" (in email 05/05/10)

Same-Sex Marriage

Liz Kendall voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[1] and its third reading in May 2013[2].

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Liz Kendall 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.

References

  1. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Liz_Kendall
  2. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Liz_Kendall
  3. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Liz_Kendall
  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

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