Phyllis Starkey was the Labour MP for Milton Keynes South West from 1997 until 2010. Following boundary changes in the 2010 general election she stood as a candidate for Milton Keynes South but was defeated by Iain Stewart (Conservative).
She has a BA and a PhD in biochemistry, and worked in biomedical research 1974 to 1997.
In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Phyllis Starkey voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus.
In March 2006, Phyllis Starkey signed Early Day Motion 1850: Animals in Medical Research which noted that "animal research is only permitted where there is no better alternative and that pain and suffering are minimised and balanced against the potential benefit to humans and animals", supported "the building of the new state of the art biomedical research laboratory at Oxford University", condemned "unlawful animal rights extremism, including any violence, harassment or intimidation of those associated with lawful animal research", and supported "the well-regulated use of animals in medical research".
In December 2006, Dr Starkey proposed Early Day Motion 429: Animal Experiments and Systematic Reviews which stated:
- That this House recognises that there are difficult ethical issues in relation to the use of animals in scientific and medical research; believes research using animals should be well-regulated with full consideration given to benefits and harms; supports more efforts to apply the 3Rs (refinement, reduction and replacement) to improve animal welfare, minimise animal usage and adopt alternative methods where possible; calls for greater openness about animal experiments from the research community, which should itself be free from harassment and intimidation; wishes to see more systematic reviews to examine critically the scientific validity of animal research projects; calls on the Government to use its influence to seek international validation and acceptance of alternatives wherever possible; realises that such research has brought great benefits to human and veterinary health and well-being; and urges all involved to seek reasoned dialogue on this issue.
Phyllis Starkey 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.
In February 2010, Phyllis Starkey signed Early Day Motion 524: Recognising Climate Change which stated:
- That this House agrees that climate change is happening and is man-made; calls for hon. Members on all sides of the House to recognise this fact, which has the support of the overwhelming majority of the scientific community; and calls for cross-party support in tackling this problem that affects all of our constituents.
Libel Law Reform
Writing in response to an inquiry from a constituent on libel reform, Dr Starkey said she had added her signature to Early Day Motion 423. However, as of 18th February 2010, her name does not appear on the list of signatories.
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