The Home Secretary has now responded to my letter. It is set out below, interwoven with my original letter, and accompanied by comments from me, after consultation with Professor Nutt and Richard Garside (of CCJS at King’s College)
Following the sacking of Professor David Nutt by the Home Secretary, Chris Huhne (Lib Dem Shadow Home Secretary) and I, who both opposed the sacking, tabled an urgent question in the House to the Home Secretary. Mysteriously (since he agrees with the Home Secretary) the urgent question was awarded to Chris Grayling the Tory Shadow minister. Nevertheless the resultant statement and Q & A is instructive as to the level of scientific and rational debate in Parliament.
I was amazed to hear what the Home Secretary said, under privilege, in parliament about a distinguished scientist and sent Alan Johnson the letter below demanding a retraction and apology.
I will post the reply I get when it comes in.
Very interested in the on-going libel case of the BCA suing Simon Singh for libel. Jack of Kent has been covering the case excellently.
I am an MP who campaigns for science, evidence-based policy and free speech, so this case is pulling all my levers. I met Simon earlier this week. It is vital that this case is not lost because it will chill scientists, journalists, writers and even comedians from criticising the work of others – which is a vital component of the scientific method.
It will embolden the non-evidence-based (so called “alterntive”) health care industry to threaten any critic of their apporoach, work or claims. It will also add credibility to the claims of these organisations. As Jack says, some of Simon’s friends and supporters will be organising a campaign around these issues. Please get involved.