David Tredinnick (politician)
|Member of Parliament
11 June 1987
|Preceded by||Adam Butler|
19 January 1950 |
Worthing, West Sussex, England
|Alma mater||Eton College
St John's College, Oxford
University of Cape Town
Tredinnick attended Eton College, St John's College, Oxford (gaining a MLitt) and the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town, where he gained an MBA. From 1968 to 1971, he was a 2nd Lieutenant with the Grenadier Guards, mainly in Northern Ireland and West Germany.
From 1972 to 1973, he was a trainee at EB Savory Milln & Co stockbrokers, then in 1974 he was an account executive at Quadrant Int. In 1976, he was a salesman at Kalle Infotech UK, and sales manager at Word Right Word Processing from 1977 to 1978. From 1978 to 1979, he was a consultant at Baird Communications NV, and marketing manager at QI Europe Ltd from 1979 to 1981. He was manager at Malden Mitcham Properties from 1981 to 1987. As of 2015, he remains a director.
Tredinnick contested the seat of Cardiff South and Penarth in 1983, coming second (with a 35.9% vote share) to James Callaghan. He won Bosworth in Leicestershire in 1987. He became a Parliamentary Private Secretary, but was forced to resign in July 1994 after it emerged that he had abused parliamentary privilege by agreeing to accept payment of £1,000 from an undercover reporter to ask questions in Parliament about a non-existent drug. Part of the cash-for-questions affair, the MP was caught in an investigation by The Sunday Times. In April 1995, he was suspended without salary from entering the House of Commons chamber for 20 sitting days.
Tredinnick was the Chair of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments from 1997 to 2005, which also made him a member of the Liaison Committee, and he became a Member of the Health Select Committee in 2010. In January 2013 he was co-opted into the Science and Technology Select Committee after Caroline Dinenage stepped down and there were no other nominations from the Conservative party.
Support for alternative medicine
Tredinnick supports alternative medicine including homeopathy and chiropractic. In October 2009, he told Parliament that blood does not clot under a full moon; a spokesperson for the Royal College of Surgeons of England warned his colleagues would "laugh their heads off" at the suggestion. In the same debate, Tredinnick characterised scientists as "racially prejudiced".
Health journalist Victoria Lambert has interpreted Health Minister Jeremy Hunt's call for traditional Chinese medicine to be available on the NHS as an endorsement of Tredinnick's call for integrated alternative healthcare. Tredinnick claims that "herbal medicine is not quackery", is cost-effective and, unlike Western medicine, has been used for thousands of years in China.
In July 2013, Tredinnick sponsored an Early Day Motion congratulating a farmer for his decision to use homeopathy. The motion was supported by one other MP; however, the British veterinary association said there is no evidence of any benefit of the treatment.
Although Sally Davies, the UK's Chief Medical Officer (CMO), had described homeopathy as "rubbish", it was reported in May 2014 that health secretary Jeremy Hunt, at Tredinnick's urging, had requested a review of three studies by the French company, Boiron. These were found not to demonstrate the effectiveness of homeopathy, and the quality of the research in them was later questioned by Edzard Ernst. Tredinnick told The Independent in June 2015 that homeopathy's common rejection was the result of "vested interests trying to protect their own turf".
Astrology in medicine
In November 2009, he spoke at a meeting organised by the Astrological Association of Great Britain, where he related his personal experience of astrology and illness, advocating that astrology be integrated into the National Health Service (NHS). In 2014 he told MPs: "I am absolutely convinced that those who look at the map of the sky for the day that they were born and receive some professional guidance will find out a lot about themselves and it will make their lives easier". "I do believe that astrology and complementary medicine would help take the huge pressure off doctors", he told Astrological Journal in February 2015. "People such as Professor Brian Cox, who called astrology 'rubbish' have simply not studied the subject. The BBC is quite dismissive of astrology and seeks to promote the science perspective and seems always keen to broadcast criticisms of astrology". Liberal Democrat Michael Mullaney, who stood against him at the 2015 general election, was concerned about his "utterly ridiculous obsession with astrology" asking: "Will Mr Tredinnick ever stop?"
Tredinnick's views have attracted criticism. During the 2010 United Kingdom general election, he was opposed by New Scientist journalist Dr. Michael Brooks who objected to "Tredinnick's outspoken promotion of alternative medicine." During a hustings debate called by Brooks to "highlight the scientific literacy of the UK's elected representatives", Brooks said that Tredinnick regarded homeopathy as a suitable treatment for malaria and HIV, which Tredinnick did not deny. In March 2013, Tredinnick's opinions were described as "nonsensical" by the government's outgoing chief scientist, Sir John Beddington, who said the MP had fallen for the "Galileo fallacy" ("Galileo was laughed at but was right; therefore since I am laughed at I must be right").
Tredinnick's appointment to the Health Committee in June 2010 was criticised in two science reports in The Guardian. Martin Robbins said the appointment was "an extremely disturbing development", even though "Tredinnick is a figure unlikely to be taken seriously by policymakers". Nature's Adam Rutherford described Tredinnick as "misinformed about a great many things" and said that "giving [him] influence on medical policy...is a bad move." The Telegraph's writer Ian Douglas described the appointment as "a problem".
Tredinnick's appointment to the Science and Technology Committee also drew criticism. Andy McSmith in The Independent cited Tredinnick's view that homeopathy could cure HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, urinary infections, diarrhoea, skin eruptions, diabetes, epilepsy, eye infections, intestinal parasites, cancer, and gangrene among other conditions, and quoted Imran Khan, former head of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, as saying that "someone with such incredibly odd views is not helpful." Tom Whipple in The Times said his appointment caused despair, whilst Elizabeth Gibney in the Times Higher Education quoted the Skeptical Voter website as saying that Tredinnick is "perhaps the worst example of scientific illiteracy in government." Lord Winston described his beliefs in homeopathy and astrology as "lunatic".
Freedom of Information and expenses
In May 2007, David Tredinnick was among 98 MPs who voted to exempt themselves from the Freedom of Information Act, ending the compulsory legal requirement for MPs to disclose their expenses. The move was later overturned by the House of Lords.
In 2006 Tredinnick claimed for astrology software and tuition, saying it was for a debate on alternative medicine, and had been cleared with the Commons fees office. In 2009, he claimed £125 for a course on "intimate relationships" on his Parliamentary office costs allowance, but this was rejected. The Telegraph also noted he was claiming up to £7000 a quarter for a mortgage on a £2m house near Parliament. In early 2010, during the United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal, it emerged that Tredinnick had chosen to return £755.33 as he had decided that his expenditure on astrology software was supplementary to his parliamentary duties, although the parliamentary commissioner for standards John Lyon had decided against requesting that he should do so.
Tredinnick is married and has a daughter (born February 1987) and a son (born July 1989). He lives in Sussex.
- "Tredinnick's Web site: About David". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "House of Commons - Register Of All-Party Groups as at 30 March 2015: Integrated Healthcare".
- "Conservative Party website". Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "David Tredinnick - Register history MP's page". theyworkforyou.com. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Patricia Wynn Davies (11 July 1994). "MPs face 'cash for questions' inquiry". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- MacIntyre, Donald (21 April 1995). "Cash-for-questions MPs suspended by Commons". The Independent. London. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "David Tredinnick". Parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- McSmith, Andy (31 January 2013). "David "the awesome power of the moon" Tredinnick joins the Commons Science Committee". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Whipple, Tom (31 January 2013). "Scientists despair as homeopathy Tory MP, David Tredinnick, gets key post". The Times. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Gibney, Elizabeth (1 February 2013). "Tory MP Tredinnick's committee nomination sparks concern". Times Higher Educational. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "House of Commons Debate 14 Oct 2009". Theyworkforyou.com. 6 June 2000. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- Douglas, Ian (11 October 2010). "MPs believe the funniest things". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Lambert, Victoria (2 April 2014). "Has the Minister for Magic Jeremy Hunt gone too far?". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- Holehouse, Matthew (9 July 2013). "The MP who wants homeopathy for sheep". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- Boseley, Sarah; Mason, Rowena (8 May 2014). "Jeremy Hunt sent homeopathy studies to chief medical officer". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
- Cooper, Charlie (15 June 2015). "David Tredinnick: Advocate of alternative medicines wants to chair House of Commons Health Select Committee". The Independent. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
- "Astrological Association of Great Britain".
- "Astrology-loving MP seeks health answers in the stars". BBC News. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- "I know what would solve crisis in the NHS, says Tory MP: astrology". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- Duckett, Adam (29 April 2010). "UK election: Round one to the Science Party". Newscientist.com. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Jump, Paul (12 March 2013). "MP triggers homeopathy dispute at science committee". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- Robbins, Martin (26 June 2010). "Conservatives put Dumb and Dumber on the health select committee". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Rutherford, Adam (25 June 2010). "Health select committee lunacy". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
- "Eminent scientist Lord Winston". 8 December 2014.
- ""How did my MP vote on the Maclean Bill?", Campaign For Freedom of Information, May 2007". Cfoi.org.uk. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- Hencke, David (19 May 2007). "MPs vote to exempt themselves from anti-secrecy law". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- ""The Lords destroy bid to keep MPs' expenses secret", Evening Standard, 14 June 2007". Thisislondon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- Ward, Simon (19 June 2009). "David Tredinnick: £6,000 in phone calls over a year". Leicester Mercury. Northcliffe Media. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
- Allen, Nick (20 June 2009). "MPs' expenses: David Tredinnick tried to claim for 'intimate relationships' course". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
- Swaine, Jon (14 January 2010). "MPs' expenses: David Tredinnick repays £750 in secret deal". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn’t and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
- "Mr B.G. Wylie and Miss S.J.E. Tredinnick". Telegraph announcements. March 2015. Archived from the original on 9 June 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- Official website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- BBC Democracy live
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by David Tredinnick
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Adam Courtauld Butler
|Member of Parliament for Bosworth