Nigel Evans

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Nigel Evans is the Conservative MP for Ribble Valley. He entered Parliament in 1992.

Abortion

In May 2008, in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Nigel Evans voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 12 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks[1]. 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 Nigel Evans voted against allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease[2]. If allowed, mitochondrial donation would be regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) meaning that there would be ongoing assessment of the safety and efficacy of such procedures. An October 2014 briefing report by the 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]. The majority of MPs voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation.

Alternative Medicine

In November 2006, in a House of Commons debate on Health and Education, David Tredinnick was talking of the benefits of various forms of alternative medicine. Mr Evans intervened:

"I agree with much of what my hon. Friend is saying about complementary medicines. I was treated with acupuncture for a problem that I had when I was younger, and I believe that it helped. However, does he agree that the problem is that most people have to pay for such treatments, as they are not offered on the NHS? That can be quite expensive, especially for poorer families."[5]

Mr Evans was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[6].

Religion

Freedom of Religion

Nigel Evans signed the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1770 supporting freedom of religion and welcoming the launch of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain[7].

Blasphemy Law

On 6th May 2008, Nigel Evans voted against a Lords amendment to abolish the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel[8]. The amendment was nonetheless passed by a vote of 378 to 57.

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. Nigel Evans replied:

"Climate Change is simply the biggest concern that we as a planet face. There are no quick fixes to the problem, and the solutions will affect the way that we live our lives, do business, and get from A to B. The changes we will have to make are nothing to the consequences of unchecked global warming. If we want to continue living on this fantastic planet, if we want our children to have a future, and their children to experience the wonders of this world we must act now, and act quickly."[9]

On the 5th March 2008, during a debate in the House of Commons, Evans raised the idea that climate change may be being caused by an increase in the Sun's activity[10][11]. He stated that "We need to differentiate what could happen naturally and what is man-made. That is vital, and far more research needs to be done."

Later the same month, in the Q&A session following a presentation on the role of Channel 4, Evans described the television programme The Great Climate Change Swindle as "one of the best and most controversial programmes I've ever seen on television, particularly for those who don't like being spoonfed by Al Gore."[12]

More recently, Evans has signed Early Day Motions which suggest support for the scientific consensus on the causes of climate change. These include EDM 445: Rainforests And Climate Change[13] (signed January 2009) which "notes that deforestation already accounts for 20 per cent. of global carbon dioxide emissions each year and that curbing deforestation is one of the single most effective ways of halting catastrophic climate change", EDM 2052: Climate Change[14] (signed October 2009) which stated that "climate change poses a serious threat to all" and "that industrialised countries are most responsible for causing climate change", and EDM 592: Sustainable Energy (Local Action) Bill[15] (signed February 2010) which talked about "implementing sustainable energy plans whose objectives would be to help combat climate change, protect energy security and alleviate fuel poverty".

Classification of Cannabis

In June 2005, Nigel Evans proposed Early Day Motion 367: Reclassification of Cannabis[16]. The motion stated:

That this House calls on the Government to reclassify cannabis to a Class B drug following the BBC Panorama programme, 'Cannabis: what teenagers need to know'[17], which highlighted the growing evidence of links between cannabis and psychotic illness in young people and that British youngsters are using cannabis earlier and smoking more of it than any previous generation.

In February 2008, Evans proposed Early Day Motion 876: Classification of Cannabis[18]. The motion stated:

That this House notes that it is over six months since the Lancet reported on 27th July 2007 that one joint of cannabis can raise the risk of schizophrenia by more than 40 per cent. and that the drug carries a huge risk with regards to future mental illness; recognises the rising prevalence of skunk varieties of the drug which can be much stronger than others, and poses a higher danger to mental health; and calls on the Government to reclassify cannabis to Category B without delay.

Science Funding

On 7th September 2009, in a blog entry titled "There's No Space For Cuts In Space Expenditure"[19], Evans wrote of his enthusiasm for space exploration. He observed that "Space for many Brits is seen as something of an extravagance that could be pruned from Government’s bloated budget and nobody would be any the poorer", however he noted that there were economic benefits, as well as spin-off benefits to health and science. He writes "The UK has been a nation of discoverers and space may not be the final frontier. We can only know by getting up there and being part of it, and we cannot abdicate centuries of exploring tradition wither on the vine due to myopic vision."

References

  1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  2. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Nigel_Evans
  3. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  5. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2006-11-16c.145.3#g203.4
  6. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1240
  7. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1770
  8. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-05-06&number=170&display=allvotes
  9. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/climate-change-what-mps-think---d-to-f-424395.html
  10. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2008-03-05b.449.0#g457.0
  11. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080305/halltext/80305h0006.htm#08030576000516
  12. http://www.channel4.com/about4/report_transcript.html
  13. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2008-09/445
  14. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2008-09/2052
  15. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/592
  16. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2005-06/367
  17. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/4082196.stm
  18. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2007-08/876
  19. http://nigelmp.com/?p=608

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