Martin Caton

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Martin Caton was the Labour MP for Gower from 1997 until he stood down at the 2015 general election.

Caton was placed at number 3 in political blogger Dizzy's March 2009 list of "EDM Signature Whores", for signing 705 Early Day Motions compared to fewer than 100 for a typical MP in the same period[1].



Caton was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[2].

Herbal Medicines

Martin Caton has signed a number of Early Day Motions that support the use of herbal medicines. These include EDM 1103: Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (2005)[3], EDM 2080: Herbal Remedies (2008)[4], and EDM 295: Statutory Registration of Herbalists (2009)[5].

MMR Vaccine

Martin Caton 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.[6]

Animals in Medical Research

In 2006, Martin Caton signed Early Day Motion 1850: Animals in Medical Research which noted that "animal research is only permitted where there is no better alternative and that pain and suffering are minimised and balanced against the potential benefit to humans and animals", supported "the building of the new state of the art biomedical research laboratory at Oxford University", condemned "unlawful animal rights extremism, including any violence, harassment or intimidation of those associated with lawful animal research", and supported "the well-regulated use of animals in medical research".[7]

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Martin Caton voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to have genetically related children who would not inherit the disease[8]. 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[9]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[10]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Science Education


Caton signed Early Day Motion 2708 calling for schools to treat with caution creationist literature sent by the religious group 'Truth in Science'.[11]

Charles Darwin

Martin Caton 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."

Science Funding

In October 2010, Martin Caton signed Early Day Motions 707: Government Funding for UK Science[12], and 767: Science is Vital Campaign[13]. Both motions supported investment in science in the face of cuts anticipated in the coalition government's forthcoming spending review.

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. Martin Caton replied:

"1: More and more evidence is coming forward to demonstrate that climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions is, by far, the biggest challenge that this planet faces. We have a limited amount of time to respond and must act now to minimise potential damaage.
2: We need to act to reduce the national greenhouse gas footprint, using incentives for "greener" lifestyles and technologies and disincentives to approaches that contribute disproportionately to the problem of global warming. We must work within the EU to strengthen the Emissions Trading Scheme and bring in to it problematic areas like aviation. This should be built upon to create a global E.T.S. on the basis of a " contract and converge" approach that will be fair to the developing world.
3: I support action by Councils, Business and Voluntary Groups within the Gower constituency that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enable individuals and families to reduce the negative impact of day to day living recycling, better public transport, provision of safe walking and cycling routes and the use of renewable energy. I based my Advice office on a good bus route to enable people to leave the car at home."[14]

In January 2010, Martin Caton 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"[15].

Policymaking On Drugs And Alcohol

Martin Caton signed Early Day Motion 2244 calling for Government policy on alcohol and drugs misuse and harm to be based on scientific evidence. The motion came shortly after the sacking of Government drug adviser David Nutt by Home Secretary Alan Johnson in 2009.

Libel Law Reform

In December 2009, Martin Caton signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[16]. 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.

The motion was tabled following the recent formation of Libel Reform Coalition, which has the backing of Index on Censorship, English PEN and Sense about Science. Sense about Science have been campaigning in defense of a member of its board of trustees, author and journalist Simon Singh, who has been sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association. They issued a statement entitled "The law has no place in scientific disputes".

Same-Sex Marriage

Martin Caton voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[17] and its third reading in May 2013[18].



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