Paul Holmes

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Paul Holmes was the Liberal Democrat MP for Chesterfield from 2001 until 2010, when he lost the seat to Toby Perkins (Labour).

While an MP, Holmes was secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group[1], and is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society[2].

Healthcare

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Paul Holmes voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks[3].

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report of October 2007[4] had found no good evidence of change since the limit was set in 1990, and hence no new reason for a reduction. However, it acknowledged that this was only one of many factors to be taken into account when legislating, and did not make any recommendations as to how MPs should vote.

Miracle Cures

In June 2008, the MP signed Early Day Motion 1770, protesting the uncritical promotion by the media of Dore, a claimed miracle cure for dyslexia, in the absence of scientific proof of its value. [5]

MMR Vaccine

Paul Holmes 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]

Religion

Freedom of Religion

Paul Holmes 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].

Creationism

Holmes signed Early Day Motion 2708 calling for schools to treat with caution creationist literature sent by the religious group 'Truth in Science'.[8]

Policymaking On Drugs And Alcohol

Paul Holmes 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, Paul Holmes signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[9]. 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.

On 30th March 2010, in a House of Commons committee debate, Paul Holmes voted against The Conditional Fee Agreements (Amendment) Order 2010[10]. The order would have limited success fees paid to lawyers in libel cases to 10%[11] and was an initial stage in libel reform proposed by Jack Straw. The rejection by the committee will mean that the measure will now go to a full Parliamentary vote.

Climate Change

In January 2010, Paul Holmes 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"[12].

References

  1. http://www.humanism.org.uk/about/apphg
  2. http://www.secularism.org.uk/paulholmesmp.html
  3. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-05-20&number=203&mpn=Paul_Holmes
  4. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  5. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2007-08/1770
  6. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2008-09/754
  7. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1770
  8. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2005-06/2708
  9. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423
  10. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmgeneral/deleg1/100330/100330s01.htm
  11. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2010/draft/ukdsi_9780111496510_en_1
  12. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/524

External Links


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