David Burrowes MP

3 Nov 2008 15:59:59

Early Day Motions

Petition

Update: Brian Binley's EDM had been tabled very shortly before this post was written, and has since attracted lots of signatures.

Early Day Motions are effectively petitions signed by MPs to draw attention to an issue; although they are motions for debate, few actually end up being debated. They can be serious, they can be lighthearted, they are often cross-party, they can be sometimes be unpleasant.

Herewith some recently tabled EDMs from Conservative MPs. Click on the links provided to see who else has signed them.

David Burrowes tabled EDM 2388:

"EXTRADITION OF GARY MCKINNON
30.10.2008

Burrowes, David

That this House notes the accepted practice of the governments of Israel and the Netherlands of requiring assurances from the US Administration prior to their nationals being deported to face trial in the United States in cases involving defendants suffering from medical or mental health disabilities, that those nationals will be repatriated to serve any sentence imposed by the relevant United States court; and urges the Home Secretary not to permit the extradition to the United States of Mr Gary McKinnon of Palmers Green, London, an Asperger's syndrome sufferer charged with computer misuse in the United States, until such time as she receives express assurances from the US Administration that in the event of his being found guilty and sentenced to a term of imprisonment that administration agrees to the immediate repatriation of Mr McKinnon post trial to serve any such sentence in the United Kingdom."

At the time of writing, no-one else has signed Brian Binley's EDM (number 2391) on corporation tax for small businesses:

"SMALL COMPANIES RATE OF CORPORATION TAX
30.10.2008

Binley, Brian

That this House recognises that small businesses across the United Kingdom provide employment to 13 million workers and are facing difficult financial pressures due to the economic downturn; and asks the Government to reconsider its plans for a further 1 per cent. rise in the small companies rate of corporation tax announced in Budget 2007 to take effect from April 2009."

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18 Oct 2008 12:49:51

David Burrowes on umbilical cord blood donation

Davud_burrowesOn Friday David Burrowes MP had a Second Reading for his Private Members Bill, the Umbilical Cord Blood (Donation) Bill.

Much is written in the press about embryonic stem cell research and the attendant controversy. But less exposure is given to the possibility of employing stem cells from elsewhere. Mr Burrowes's Bill aims to promote the donation of umbilical cord blood. The Bill calls on the Government to:

encourage pregnant women to donate their umbilical cord blood;

raise awareness of the value of umbilical cord blood in treating disease and research;

promote the collection of cord blood samples from, among others, minority groups and mixed race families (where there may be a history of diseases that may be treatable by the use of cord blood;

issue guidance to doctors and midwives to inform pregnant women about umbilical cord blood and where it can be collected;

inform Parliament annually of the number of cord samples donated, the number of cord blood transplants and their therapeutic use.

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20 May 2008 12:28:20

Edward Leigh fails to persuade MPs that adult stem cell research should be preferred to embryonic research

Edward Leigh MP says that there is a better, ethically uncomplicated way of tackling disease: "Adult stem cell research has been much more successful than embryonic stem cell research: "Particularly in the public mind, the debate has been clouded by the sense that there are diseases out there waiting to be cured. Enormous advances have been made on stem cells—there have been 70 successful treatments with adult stem cells—but for the past 10 years, we have been told that useful developments on embryonic stem cells are just around the corner. I sat through most of the Second Reading debate, when the fact that 70 successful treatments have arisen from adult stem-cell research was mentioned several times. The hon. Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Dr. Harris) has mentioned the prospect—we have heard this again and again—of two early clinical trials in the United States. We have heard that for many years, but nothing has happened... I leave the last word to Professor Yamanaka, who was quoted by my hon. Friend the Member for Boston and Skegness (Mark Simmonds) in the debate on Second Reading? The professor has turned away from embryonic stem-cell research and is a leader in adult stem-cell research. He turned away because of what he saw through the microscope 10 years ago:

“When I saw the embryo, I suddenly realised there was such a small difference between it and my daughters.”

This measure is a step too far, and we should oppose it."

Bill Cash MP: "It seems quite clear that we ought to have a provision in the Bill, one way or another, that excludes embryonic cell research when adult stem-cell research has been proved viable. If adult stem-cell research becomes viable, it should then be the only kind of research available."

David Burrowes MP:
"In this country more than 80 therapeutic treatments have been made possible by adult stem-cell research, and there have been more than 350 clinical trials. We should concentrate on and invest in efficacy and the development of valuable research in this country and overseas, rather than allowing ourselves to be distracted from the results that are being produced."

Edward Leigh's amendment was defeated by 336 votes to 176.  More in Hansard.

14 Mar 2008 12:57:00

Pro and Anti embryo research MPs unite in support of free votes

Seventy MPs from all sides of the political divide on embryo issues have so far signed an Early Day Motion in favour of free votes on key parts of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill and for consideration by a committee of the whole House. Half of David Cameron's pre-budget PMQ questions were on this subject.

David Burrowes' EDM 1127 looks to the precedent set in 1990, when contentious issues of conscience within the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act were subject to thorough scrutiny by a Committee of the whole House, with all MPs allowed a free vote up to the final stage.

This procedure would be especially relevant to the issues of animal-human hybrids and the screening of embryos for inherited diseases or tissue compatibility. Burrowes, an opponent of embryo research, commented:

“Irrespective of differing opinions on the provisions of the Bill itself, there is a common understanding that its contents are of huge ethical and moral significance and will have significant implications on a UK approach to medical research. My motivation in tabling this EDM is to draw on previous precedent to allow all MPs to engage as fully and freely as possible in the Commons. The issue is as much one of the integrity of our Parliamentary system as it is of conscience.”

Even Dr Evan Harris MP, a prominent supporter of embryo research, is one of the signatories:

"Many of those on the progressive and liberal side of the House oppose the dragooning of MPs into the voting lobbies on the issue of embryo research, and we feel confident that Parliament will support carefully regulated medical research using embryos, after full and free debate just as it did in 1990 on the original Act and in 2001 when it overwhelmingly approved therapeutic cloning.”

10 Jan 2008 10:22:00

David Burrowes urges action to preserve Umbilical Cord Blood

On Tuesday David Burrowes MP presented a Ten Minute Rule Bill that encourages the donation of umbilical cord blood and for it to be stored for public use: "The purpose of the Bill is to increase the awareness of the value of umbilical cord blood for the treatment of diseases and for further research of new treatment methods using cord blood stem cells. The Bill will require doctors to inform all parents of the benefits of collection and storage of cord blood and to presume consent for collection from families with a history of cord blood treatable diseases."

His speech is reproduced below:

Burrowesdavidtmrb "Mr Speaker, I beg to move that leave be given to bring a Bill to promote the donation of cord blood from women after giving birth; and for connected purposes.

With 6 children I should be declaring an interest in the subject of this Bill- the donation of umbilical cord blood. Living in my constituency of Enfield Southgate adjacent to Barnet General Hospital, which is one of only 4 NHS Hospitals which collects umbilical cord blood, there would seem to be good reason for developing an interest. However we have not donated umbilical cord blood despite 6 opportunities and a nearby hospital to do so. Like most parents throughout the UK we were not informed about the value of umbilical cord blood and the possibility of collection. Until recently I did not consider the umbilical cord, once clamped after birth, as anything more than a waste product.

The first purpose of this Bill and the opportunity of speaking about donating umbilical cord blood is to encourage parents and the wider public to be more informed about the value and benefits of umbilical cord blood.

Hon Members may be ignorant like I was of the nature of cord blood. The baby’s blood in the cord contains different types of cells including stem cells. Cord blood has been used for the last 20 years for blood transplantation. It has treated patients with leukaemia, sickle cell diseases, immune deficiencies and other diseases with 85 different treatments to date. There are possible treatments in the pipeline outside of blood therapy. Trials for the use of cord blood in brain injury in children are underway and cord blood is being developed for many other therapies including Diabetes and Liver Therapy.

Treatment for leukaemia highlights the value of cord blood transplants which can be used as an alternative to bone marrow transplants. Such cord blood transplants are less complicated, with fewer delays and are more readily available, being able to be stored and frozen for years. Significantly it is easier to find a match from stem cells than from bone marrow. Umbilical cord blood leads to increased access to transplantation, particularly for patients from ethnic minorities.

The reality is that umbilical cord blood which is thrown away routinely after birth has a life saving value.

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