Stephen Metcalfe

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Stephen Metcalfe is the Conservative MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock. He entered Parliament at the 2010 general election, when the constituency was created.

Mr Metcalfe was a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee from 2010 until 2015

Science Funding

In October 2010, Stephen Metcalfe signed Early Day Motion 767: Science is Vital Campaign. The motion stated that the house "believes that continued investment in research is vital in order to meet the technological and social challenges of the 21st century, and to continue to attract high-tech industries to invest here; further believes that large cuts to science funding are a false economy, due to evidence that research investment fuels economic growth".[1]

Promoting Science

March 2013: http://stephenmetcalfemp.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/stephen-metcalfe-mp-welcomes-two.html

Abortion

In September 2011 Mr Metcalfe voted for Nadine Dorries's amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill. This amendment would have stopped the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) and Marie Stopes from providing counselling for women with unwanted pregnancies and allowed "independent" counselling including that provided by faith-based organisations.[2]

In February 2015 Mr Metcalfe voted against an amendment to the Serious Crimes Bill introduced by Fiona Bruce that explicitly stated that abortion on the basis of gender was illegal[3]. A briefing by BPAS stated that the amendment was unnecessary as abortion cannot be authorised on the basis of gender alone, and it could have the effect of restricting access to abortion[4].

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Stephen Metcalfe voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease[5]. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe[6]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[7]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Sex Education

In May 2011 Mr Metcalfe voted in favour of Nadine Dorries' Sex Education (Required Content) "10 minute" Bill[8]. The Bill stated that "such education must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity"[9]. 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[10] (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[11], plus this new content on abstinence, with further content being up to the individual school)[12]. 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[13].

Same-Sex Marriage

Stephen Metcalfe voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[14] and its third reading in May 2013[15].

References

  1. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/767
  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=2015-02-23&number=157&mpn=Stephen_Metcalfe
  4. http://www.bpas.org/js/filemanager/files/bpas_sexselective_abortion_briefing.pdf
  5. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Stephen_Metcalfe
  6. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  7. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  8. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110504/debtext/110504-0001.htm#stpa_o51
  9. http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-12/sexeducationrequiredcontent.html
  10. http://www.thetwentyfirstfloor.com/?p=2325
  11. http://www.drpetra.co.uk/blog/what-do-we-want-from-sex-and-relationships-education/
  12. http://educationforchoice.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/abstain-from-abstinence-please-dorries.html
  13. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/20/nadine-dorries-sexual-abstinence-bill-withdrawn
  14. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Stephen_Metcalfe
  15. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Stephen_Metcalfe

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