Steve Webb

From SkepticalVoter
Jump to: navigation, search

Steve Webb was the Liberal Democrat MP for Northavon (1997–2010) and Thornbury and Yate (2010–2015). He was Minister of State for Pensions in the 2010–2015 coalition government.

Steve Webb was one of fifteen MPs appointed to the Ecclesiastical Committee,[1] which considers measures passed by the General Synod of the Church of England.

Healthcare

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Steve Webb voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 22 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks[2]. 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.

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Steve Webb voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to have genetically related children who would not inherit the disease[3]. 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[4]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[5]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Homeopathy

Webb was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[6].

When asked by journalist Tom Whipple what evidence the MP had used in deciding to support the motion, Webb responded:

"My reason for supporting the EDM is that there would appear to be good reason to keep an open mind about homeopathy. While some disparage it completely, others have found evidence that it has beneficial effects, even if the reasons for these is not always known. I appreciate that there are strong lobbies for and against homeopathy, both including people who are well informed and educated in the relevant sciences.
A number of papers were passed to me by constituents supporting homeopathy, and I have listed these references below for you to explore if you wish. If you cannot obtain any of these, do let me know."[7]

MMR Vaccine

Steve Webb signed the February 2009 Early Day Motion 754: MMR Vaccine and the Media supporting the use of the MMR vaccine. The motion expressed disappointment with the reporting of the vaccine by Jeni Barnett on her LBC radio show in January 2009, and expressed the hope that future reporting of the issue of MMR would be less sensationalist and more evidence-based.[8]

Christian Action, Research and Education (CARE)

Webb was one of a number of MPs who registered their employment of interns from the Christian charity group Christian Action, Research and Education (CARE). Described by the Independent as a 'right wing Christian group', CARE were investigated by the Charity Commission and the House of Commons standards watchdog for lobbying activities, specifically related to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

CARE also campaigned against the repeal of Section 28, which banned the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools, and helped defeat laws on assisted dying in the House of Lords. Its work has been condemned in the Lords as "propaganda". [9]

Libel Law Reform

In December 2009, Steve Webb signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law. 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".

Same-Sex Marriage

Steve Webb voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[10] and its third reading in May 2013[11].

References

  1. http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/ecclesiastical_committee/ecclesiastical_committee_members.cfm
  2. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  3. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Steve_Webb
  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://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1240
  7. http://statsdontlie.wordpress.com/2007/11/19/responses-from-signatories-to-homeopathy-motion/
  8. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2008-09/754
  9. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-rightwing-christian-group-pays-for-commons-researchers-802607.html
  10. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Steve_Webb
  11. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Steve_Webb

External Links


Why not help us expand this page with more details of this politician's positions on skeptical and other issues?

  • Contact them to ask for their opinions (and tell us about it by editing this page!)
  • Check their voting record and other details at the External Links listed above.
  • Search the media for mentions of them and their positions on issues.
  • Use your own brilliant ideas - but make sure you can back them up with a citation!