Tory MP Tredinnink’s committee selection sparks concern

A Tory MP renowned for pro-homeopathy views has been has been provisionally appointed as a member of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

February 1, 2013

News of David Tredinnick’s selection was called “very worrying” by Liberal Democrat MP and former researcher at the University of Cambridge, Julian Huppert.

As well as his views on homeopathy, Mr Tredinnick has grabbed the headlines for spending £755.33 in MPs expenses on astrology software and related consultancy, a sum that he later paid back.

In 2009, during a Commons debate on complementary and alternative medicines, Mr Tredinnick also claimed there was evidence of the influence of the moon causing accidents.

At certain phases of the moon, “surgeons will not operate because clotting is not effective and the police have to put more people on the street”, he added in the debate in October 2009.

Mr Tredinnick is the only nominee for the position, which has been created because Caroline Dinenage, the Conservative MP for Gosport, is stepping down from the committee. Members are elected by party MPs only if more than one person is nominated.

The motion to approve Mr Tredinnick’s position on the committee will go before the Commons on Monday. If it is passed, which is the norm, he will immediately be able to attend committee meetings, the first opportunity being on 6 February.

The MP for Bosworth has not indicated that he will step down from his position on the Health Committee, where he has sat since 2010.

According to the website Skeptical Voter, which allows users to contribute to tracking their MPs on their level of commitment to evidence-based policy, David Tredinnick MP is “perhaps the worst example of scientific illiteracy in government”.

Meanwhile, Mr Huppert wrote on the social networking site Twitter: “Very worrying news that David Tredinnick is to take one of the Tory seats on the Science and Technology Select Committee.”

elizabeth.gibney@tsleducation.com

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