Robert Key

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Robert Key was the Conservative MP for Salisbury until standing down in 2010.

Robert Key was a member of the Ecclesiastical Committee,[1] which considers measures passed by the General Synod of the Church of England.

In December 2009 he announced that he would be standing down at the next general election for health reasons.[2]


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Robert Key voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus[3].

The same month he signed Early Day Motion 1598: 24-Week Abortion Time Limit[4]. The motion "notes the findings of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's recent report Scientific Developments relating to the Abortion Act 1967, and its conclusion that below 24 weeks they 'have seen no good evidence to suggest that the foetal viability has improved significantly since the abortion time-limit was last set, and seen some good evidence to suggest that it has not'".


Robert Key was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[5].

In February 2010, following the publication of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's report "Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy", Key signed Early Day Motion 908: Science and Technology Committee Report on Homeopathy, which was critical of the report[6].

Animals in Medical Research

In 2006, Robert Key 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".[7]

Libel Law Reform

In December 2009, Robert Key signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[8]. 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.

The motion was tabled following the recent formation of Libel Reform Coalition, which has the backing of Index on Censorship, English PEN and Sense about Science. Sense about Science have been campaigning in defense of a member of its board of trustees, author and journalist Simon Singh, who has been sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association. They issued a statement entitled "The law has no place in scientific disputes".



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