Stephen Pound

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Stephen Pound is the Labour MP for Ealing North. He entered Parliament at the 1997 general election.


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Stephen Pound voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 20 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.

In September 2011 Stephen Pound 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 Stephen Pound 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.

Religion and Politics

Stephen Pound is a Roman Catholic.

In a public debate in March 2010, Pound spoke against the motion "England should be a Catholic country again", and was reported as saying that he did not wish to see the Catholic Church wielding as much power as it had done in the past[6].

In September 2010 during Pope Benedict's visit to the UK, Pound appeared on Stephen Nolan's BBC Radio 5 phone-in programme where he took the role of mostly defending the Pope[7]. Pound said "There is a danger if secularism completely ignores the faith aspect of life, the spirituality of life". When it was put to him that the Pope was trying to influence policy, his defence was that Benedict hadn't actually been very successful in imposing his views on largely secular states, although he admitted that politicians in the Philippines had been influenced.

Of his own Catholicism, Pound said the he "quite happily, and with complete freedom, voted for equality legislation, voted for equalisation of the age of consent, voted for gay rights. With no trouble at all. And there's no dichotomy there, there's no split between myself being a Catholic and myself voting for those particular laws."

Same-Sex Marriage

Mr Pound voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in February 2013[8], and was one of only fourteen Labour MPs to vote against it in May 2013[9].


Stephen Pound was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[10].

Following the publication of the House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee's report "Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy" in February 2010, Pound seconded Early Day Motion 908: Science and Technology Committee Report on Homeopathy, which was critical of the report[11].

Libel Law Reform

In January 2010, Stephen Pound signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[12]. 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.


  7. from around 9m55s to 54m30s

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