Peter Atkinson

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Peter Atkinson was the Conservative MP for Hexham until standing down in 2010.


Peter Atkinson 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 March 2010, following the publication of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's report "Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy", Atkinson signed Early Day Motion 908: Science and Technology Committee Report on Homeopathy, which was critical of the report[2].

MMR Vaccine

Peter Atkinson 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.[3]


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Peter Atkinson voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 20 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks[4]. 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.

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. Peter Atkinson replied:

"1: Climate change is an important issue, not only for the future of the planet but to the wellbeing of its population. Climate change is having an increasingly important impact on the economy of many developing nations.
2: Britain can take a lead by reducing our own emissions and setting an example to others. We can introduce a Climate Change Bill to set real targets for the reduction in greenhouse gases.
3: My constituency is a large rural one and agriculture still plays an important role in the economy and in the shape of the landscape. Making consumers aware of the high quality local produce is something that I have been campaigning for. Not only does it help sustainable farming, but it reduces the impact of food miles. As for myself, my family is doing what it can to save energy in a number of ways."[5]

Blasphemy Law

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

Libel Law Reform

In January 2010, Peter Atkinson signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[7]. 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.



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