This thread is intended to be used to let people know about MPs and Lords who have demonstrated a commitment to secularism, or have argued in defence of secular principles (or just plain old common sense). Such people could well be religious.

Identifying these individuals will allow us to support them in future elections, especially in the light of the campaigns by religious groups to withdraw support for those parliamentarians who do not get behind their agenda.

I acknowledge that some of those who might be held up as 'secularist champions' may not perform adequately in other areas; it is, of course, up to individuals to decide for themselves to decide who to support or not support. This thread is merely meant to draw attention to those who support secularism.

There is a companion thread to for discussion of those who oppose secular interests in the name of religious dogma.

Tags: Lords, MP, UK, government, secularism

Views: 5

Replies to This Discussion

This is a useful thread - there is some support from recent letters in the NSS for the idea of identifying "secular" MP's.

My MP is Adam Holloway (Gravesham, Tory). I have written to him twice on religious matters and both times got a very disappointing reply. On the last occasion he went out of his way to praise catholic schools so I do not think we can add him to our list of goodies but I am pretty sure he would fit into a list of religious appeasers.
Well, then he may well belong on the other thread that I started!

I'll look into him......
Evan Harris, MP (Oxford West and Abingdon). Liberal Democrat.

Probably at the top of any list of active secularists in Parliament. Campaigns tirelessly for equal rights for homosexuals, issues of scientific progress, human rights, an end to establishment privileges: in short, most of the issues of concern to secularists. A major contributor to the recent and successful campaign to rid us of our ridiculous and archaic blasphemy law, and significantly involved in the progress and defence of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Most recently in parliament arguing for the removal of the panel of bishops from the House of Lords (a suggestion rejected by the Justice Ministry). Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society.
Agreed. Evan Harris is regularly praised by NSS and BHA.

Other MP that are Distinguished supporters of BHA are Graham Allen, John Austin, Nick Brown, Michael Clapham, Michael Connarty, Ashok Kumar, Mike Hall, Kelvin Hopkins, Julie Morgan.

For a list of Humanist MPs: http://www.netvibes.com/humanism#Political_DSs
I assisted in adding their blog feeds to this Netvibes page.

Also see BHA Distinguished Supporters list here: http://www.humanism.org.uk/site/cms/contentviewarticle.asp?article=...

Other MP or former MPs that are not on above Netvibes page are:
Bob Marshall-Andrews QC MP
Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan MP
Baron O'Neill of Clackmannan (Martin O'Neill, former MP)
Baron Bilston of Bilston ( Dennis Turner , former MP)
List of NSS Honary Associates: http://www.secularism.org.uk/honoraryassociates.html

apart from BHA MPs mentioned above also: Colin Challen MP, Angela Eagle MP, Ian Gibson MP, Paul Holmes MP, Joan Ruddock MP.
Lords from http://www.secularism.org.uk/honoraryassociates.html

Lord Raglan Lord Taverne QC Prof. Lord Wedderburn of Charlton QC Lord Desai Lord McIntosh of Haringey Lord O'Neill of Clackmannan Lord Peston

and from http://www.humanism.org.uk/site/cms/contentviewarticle.asp?article=...
BHA are :
The Viscount Falkland The Viscount Craigavon Baroness Flather Baroness Massey of Darwen Baroness Turner of Camden Baroness Whitaker Baroness Blackstone Lord Avebury Lord Dubs Lord Graham of Edmonton Lord HarrisonRt Hon The Lord Hattersley Lord Hughes of Woodside Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord McCarthy Lord McIntosh of Haringay Lord Monkswell Lord Peston Lord Dick Taverne QC Professor Lord Wedderburn of Charlton QC FBALord Jenkins of Putney (died 2004) Lord Dormand of Easington (died 2003) Lord Porter (died 2002)Lord Stratford (died 2005) Lord Stratford (died 2005)

More info: http://www.netvibes.com/humanism#Political_DSs

their is also a 'Parliamentary Humanist Group' - more info at BHA site - with over 100 members.
Just in case someone needs it there is a complete list of MPs at:

http://www.parliament.uk/directories/hciolists/alms.cfm

There are also biogs on related pages but most do not give any information on the members religious prejudices.
theyworkforyou.com is also a very useful site: you can find out who your MP is and how to contact them, as well as seeing a summary of their positions and voting record. You can also search transcripts of every debate in the Lords and Commons, and set up RSS feeds based on these searches.

This is a invaluable resource for finding out about the people you vote for.

I also should mention that, dull as it sounds, BBC Parliament can make for some very informative viewing.
Andrew

Are you compiling a list?

Nick Clegg is an atheist but, after a brief search, I cannot find anywhere where he as acted in favour of secularism.
I'm thinking it would be useful to gather information on the secular credentials of MPs and Lords, and get it all in one place. These threads are a way to start collecting it together. If we get enough contributions I could compile some sort of spreadsheet or something.

Yeah, it was in all the news media when Nick Clegg said he was not religious, but I also (as yet) have no idea what that might mean about his policies, compared to the openly religious Brown and Cameron. He is married to a catholic, and says his children are going to be 'raised as catholics', which does not bode well.
If we are still cataloging sympathetic MPs the following sites may reveal a few names:

http://www.labourhumanists.org.uk/

and

http://www.conservativehumanists.org.uk/
Yeah, I'd heard about the 'Conservative Humanists'.

Sounded like an oxymoron to me. Just don't say that to them, they're very tetchy about it!

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