Sammy Wilson

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Sammy Wilson is the DUP MP for East Antrim, and MLA for East Antrim assembly constituency.

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Sammy Wilson voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 12 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks[1]. 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. Also the Abortion Act 1967 does not currently apply to Northern Ireland.

In September 2011 Mr Wilson voted for Nadine Dorries’s amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill, which was ultimately defeated by 368 to 118 votes[2]. This amendment would have stopped BPAS and Marie Stopes from providing counselling for women with unwanted pregnancies and allowed ‘independent’ counselling including that provided by faith-based organisations.

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Sammy Wilson voted against allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease[3]. 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[4]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[5]. The majority of MPs voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation.

Same-Sex Marriage

In 2012 Mr Wilson, like all the other DUP MPs, 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 Wilson 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].

Libel Law Reform

In March 2010, Sammy Wilson signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[14].

However, following the passing of the 2013 Defamation Bill in England and Wales, Mr Wilson was reported have halted the extension of the legislation to Northern Ireland:

Animals in Medical Research

In 2006, Sammy Wilson 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".[15]

Science Funding

In October 2010, Sammy Wilson signed Early Day Motion 707: Government Funding for UK Science. The motion stated that the house "supports the view of the President of the Royal Society that short-term austerity risks undermining the UK's future science base", noted that other countries were investing in science to promote economic growth, and "believes that investment in basic scientific research throughout the UK is vital if the commercial benefits of developing new technology are to be broadly spread".[16]

Climate Change

In an October 2010 letter to constituents titled "One way we could reduce the severity of the cuts"[17], Wilson wrote in favour of reducing spending on "the climate change madness". He spoke positively about a recent lecture by Václav Klaus and his book "Blue Planet in Green Shackles":

"Much of what he said has already been published in his excellent book “Blue Planet in Green Shackles – What is endangered : Climate or freedom?” He gave an excellent exposition of the uncertainty of the science surrounding climate change speculation, the attempts to suppress any dissenting scientific voices by the climate change Gestapo, the enormous costs of the measures to reduce CO2 and the impositions on the freedom of us all as policy makers sought to regulate our lives in pursuit of their carbon reducing goal. He spoke passionately as one who had lived under dictatorial communist rule most of his life, about the new climate totalitarianism."

He also made several claims about policies advocated by the climate change lobby:

"On close examination the policies which the climate change zealots propose are frightening. Their demands about changing the way we eat would make wartime rationing look generous, their restrictions on air and car travel would take us back to the 1950s in terms of mobility and access to travel for ordinary people (though not of course for the climate experts who need to travel millions of miles to spread their new gospel) their demand that the population of the UK needs to be halved would make China’s one child birth control policy seem mild and one of the climate gurus James Lovelock has even suggested that we may need to suspend democracy to drive through climate changing measures. All of these crazy ideas may seem so far fetched that we disregard them but the cost of climate change policies are already being paid by us all every day."

Blasphemy Law

On 6th May 2008, Sammy Wilson voted with the four other DUP MPs present against a Lords amendment to abolish the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel[18]. The amendment was nonetheless passed by a vote of 378 to 57.

References

  1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  2. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110907/debtext/110907-0002.htm#110907-0002.htm_div339
  3. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Sammy_Wilson
  4. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  6. http://c4m.org.uk/signatures/
  7. http://c4m.org.uk/aboutus/
  8. http://www.eauk.org/articles/coalition-for-marriage-launched.cfm
  9. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17102352
  10. http://bengoldacre.posterous.com/thinking-out-loud-who-are-the-coalition-for-m
  11. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2012/feb/20/1
  12. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Sammy_Wilson
  13. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Sammy_Wilson
  14. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423
  15. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2005-06/1850
  16. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/707
  17. http://www.hearfromyourmp.com/view/message/1084
  18. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-05-06&number=170&display=allvotes

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