Roger Gale

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Roger Gale is the Conservative MP for North Thanet.

Alternative medicine

In a 2005 debate over the Food Supplements Directive, Roger Gale stated that one might receive "excellent advice" on the subject of health and medicine from Holland and Barrett and other alternative health suppliers, and suggested that vitamins need no regulation by drawing a shaky analogy between vitamin A and drinking a cup of tea.[1]

Nomination of David Tredinnick for Health Committee Chair

In 2014 Roger Gale was one of 20 MPs to nominate David Tredinnick (an outspoken advocate of alternative medicine) for the position of Chair of the Health Select Committee[2][3]. It is not known if he subsequently voted for Mr Tredinnick, who only received nine votes in the anonymous ballot.

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. Roger Gale replied:

"1: Climate change is of great probably paramount -importance.
2: Whether the UK can make a significant change unilaterally is questionable but at a domestic level that is not an excuse for not trying. I want to promote the construction of environmentally sensitive properties so that all of the new homes that Mr. Prescott wants to smother the South East in (whether social or commercial) conform to new and much higher standards of energy and water conservation and waste disposal.
3: At home we are making a much greater effort to conserve energy, to re-use water (for the garden)and to re-cycle household waste."[4]

Freedom of use of parliamentary material

In July 2011 Roger Gale argued against allowing parliamentary material to be edited and used in a satirical context. This was in the context of an episode of the American satirical news/politics programme The Daily Show not being broadcast in the UK due to the current law. Gale argued that the role was important, not the personalities, and that the current law acted as a backstop in case use of the material went too far.[5]

Same-Sex Marriage

In April 2012 Roger Gale signed the Coalition for Marriage petition which stated:

"I support the legal definition of marriage which is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I oppose any attempt to redefine it."[6]

The Coalition for Marriage describes itself as "an umbrella group of individuals and organisations ... backed by politicians, lawyers, academics and religious leaders"[7]. They are supported by the Evangelical Alliance[8] and former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey[9], and have connections with other Christian groups[10].

The group claims it "draws upon a substantial body of evidence". However, science and evidence-based politics blogger Martin Robbins described their argument as "confused, irrational and ultimately self-defeating"[11].

Mr Gale subsequently voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its second reading in February 2013[12] and its third reading in May 2013[13].

Sex Education

In May 2011 Mr Gale voted in favour of Nadine Dorries' Sex Education (Required Content) "10 minute" Bill[14]. The Bill stated that "such education must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity"[15]. It was criticised for only applying to sex education for girls, not boys, with critics also pointing to evidence that abstinence-only sex education (which does not necessarily lead to abstinence itself) does not protect young people from unwanted pregnancies or STIs[16] (although this was not a bill advocating abstinence-only sex education, it would have meant that the only required elements of sex education would be basic information on reproduction[17], plus this new content on abstinence, with further content being up to the individual school)[18]. The Bill passed its first reading by 67 votes to 61, but had little chance of becoming law and was withdrawn in January 2012 shortly before its second reading[19].

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Roger Gale voted against allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease[20]. 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[21]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[22]. The majority of MPs voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation.


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