Neil Gerrard

From SkepticalVoter
Jump to: navigation, search

Neil Gerrard was the Labour MP for Walthamstow until standing down in 2010.

Creationism

Gerrard signed Early Day Motion 2708 calling for schools to treat with caution creationist literature sent by the religious group 'Truth in Science'.[1]

Healthcare

MMR Vaccine

Neil Gerrard 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.[2]

Homeopathy

Neil Gerrard was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[3].

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Neil Gerrard voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus[4].

Policymaking On Drugs And Alcohol

Neil Gerrard 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, Neil Gerrard 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.

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".

Responding to an inquiry from a constituent Gerrard wrote that:

"I believe that it is important that, as the EDM says, it is possible for someone to protect their individual reputation against malicious or reckless smears, but that lawful free expression should not be suppressed and there should be an effective public interest defence for both scholarship and responsible journalism."[6]

References

  1. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2005-06/2708
  2. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2008-09/754
  3. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1240
  4. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  5. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423
  6. http://skepchick.org/blog/2010/01/libel-reform-which-mps-are-doing-their-jobs/

External Links