Nicholas Soames

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Nicholas Soames is the Conservative MP for Mid Sussex.

Homeopathy

Nicholas Soames was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[1].

In July 2010, writing in response to a communication from a skeptical constituent about the use of homeopathy on the NHS and the recent EDMs 284, 285, 286 and 287, and their amendments, Soames wrote:

"Thank you for your email about homeopathy on the NHS
"I am aware that there are differing views on the provisions of homeopathic remedies, with some arguing that there is not enough evidence to support their availability via the NHS, while others argue that greater access to complementary therapies in the NHS might lead to widespread benefits.Homeopathic prescription is a tiny fraction (approx. 0.001%) of the overall drugs bill of £11,378m.
"Decisions regarding treatment are made locally and issues such as safety, clinical and cost effectiveness, and the availability of qualified and regulated practitioners are taken into account by the NHS when making decisions. The various issues regarding the use of homeopathy in the NHS were all raised by the Science and Technology Committee’s recent report Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy. The Government is currently considering the report, including the issues mentioned, and will respond in due course."[2]

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Nicholas Soames voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 20 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks[3]. 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.

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Nicholas Soames 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[4]. 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[5]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[6]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Faith based Adoption Agencies

In 2007, Nicholas Soames signed Early Day Motion 742 calling on the government to exclude "faith based" adoption agencies from the Equality Act to avoid such agencies being forced to consider gay couples.[7]

Same-Sex Marriage

Mr Soames was one of a number of Conservative Party MPs to sign a December 2012 letter to the Telegraph in support of same-sex marriage. It also noted:

"We feel strongly that religious freedom must be protected. This means that religious groups should be allowed to conduct same sex marriages if they choose, but equally none should be compelled to do so."[8][9]

Mr Soames voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its second reading in February 2013[10] and did not vote at its third reading in May 2013[11].

Libel Law Reform

In January 2010, Nicholas Soames signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[12]. 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.

Scientology

In November 2009 Soames, a grandson of Winston Churchill, objected to the use of images of Churchill and extracts from his speeches in publicity material for the Church of Scientology.[13]

References

  1. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1240
  2. http://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/2010/06/call-to-action-homeopathy-early-day-motions/#comment-3942
  3. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  4. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Nicholas_Soames
  5. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  6. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  7. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/742
  8. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/9730713/Statutory-regulation-of-the-press-will-end-up-as-state-control.html
  9. http://www.freedomtomarry.org.uk/content/marriage-should-available-all
  10. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Nicholas_Soames
  11. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Nicholas_Soames
  12. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423
  13. http://www.thisissussex.co.uk/MP-Soames-fights-use-grandfather-Scientology-recruitment-drive/story-12589749-detail/story.html

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