Blog News

Newsletter – August 2017

Thank you so much for your continued support over the years. We are pleased to announce Labour Humanists membership is growing steadily, and we have over 3,000 followers on Twitter. As we continue to expand our support base in influence within the party, we’re happy to launch the first of our new monthly newsletters covering Humanist and progressive issues at home, in the party, and abroad. As ever, we are always keen to hear from our members, so feel free to contact us with any suggestions you’d like to add.


At Home …

DfE research shows mixed schools perform better than segregated counterparts

A study conducted by the Department for Education into schooling in Oldham, one of the areas that saw race riots in 2001, has demonstrated that pupils at mixed schools perform better than their counterparts at schools that select pupils by their faith. According to the report, pupils in mixed schools have a better view of other races and religions, as well as a more positive outlook in general, that is beneficial to intergroup relations. Campaigning against faith schools has always been a key issue for Labour Humanists, and we believe that Tory plans to expand them pose a grave threat to social cohesion and tolerance as well as to the quality of education for pupils in these schools.


Labour Shadow Minister resigns over disputed article on “political correctness” in child sexual exploitation enquiry

Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham, resigned as Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities following an article she wrote for The Sun where she claimed “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls”, and that authorities are afraid of tackling child sexual exploitation rings through a fear of being called racist. Champion suggested that we should be questioning whether there are “cultural issues” around the sexual exploitation of women and girls, and “this isn’t racist, this is child protection”. However, she soon distanced herself from the published article by accusing the paper’s editors of altering the opening paragraphs thus losing the “nuance” of her argument. The Sun denied this. Nevertheless, fellow Labour MP Naz Shah and many other MPs called on Jeremy Corbyn to sack Champion. Instead Champion resigned, stating “I apologise for the offence caused by the extremely poor choice of words in The Sun … I am concerned that my continued position in the shadow cabinet would distract from the crucial issues around child protection which I have campaigned on my entire political career”.

Do you think Champion was right to resign? Let us know in the comments section!


Modern slavery “in every UK town and city”

The BBC reports the National Crime Agency has stated that modern slavery is “far more prevalent than previously thought”, and previous estimates of 10,000–13,000 cases are just “the tip of the iceberg”. The most common form of modern slavery is still sexual exploitation, but evidence of the practice is found across sectors, from food processing, to construction, to care workers. Indeed, the NCA estimates that “ordinary people unwittingly come into contact with victims every day”.


CCTV to become compulsory in English abattoirs

While welcoming this move, Labour Humanists urge the government to also look at the welfare of animals condemned to ritual slaughter. Humanists UK have shown that approximately 650,000 animals a week are slaughtered without being stunned beforehand. We believe that the right of animals to a humane as possible slaughter takes precedence over religious teachings. At the very least, meat packaging should clearly indicate whether the animal in question was killed without being pre-stunned.



Abroad …


Needless to say, we were all horrified by the far-right violence in Charlottesville and the death of anti-racist protester Heather Heyer on 19th August. The resurgence of morally and intellectually bankrupt notions such as scientific racism and anti-Semitism among a section of the American Right is of deep concern, especially given the easy transmission of such propaganda through social media. It is very disappointing, to say the least, that President Trump stopped short of explicitly condemning the far-right and their actions, and that Nigel Farage defended Trump’s weak Tweets and alarming statements.



The Independent reports on women in Afghanistan launching the #WhereIsMyName campaign in protest at the Afghan custom of erasing women’s names. According to this patriarchal custom, women’s forenames do not appear on their birth certificate, wedding invitations or even gravestones. Instead, they are written as the mother/sister/daughter of Mr X. A member of the campaign, Batool Mohammadi, recounts: “I went to a private bank office to fill up the form, when the manager asked my mother’s name, I paused for few seconds, because I had actually forgotten my mother’s name. Nobody in all these years asked or called her by her name.”


“Don’t mess with my outfit”

Turkish women took to the streets to protest against increasing physical and verbal threats and violence perpetrated against them for their choice of clothing. Bearing signs “don’t mess with my outfit” as well as carrying denim shorts on hangers, the women were railing against conservative attitudes towards dress codes, which they say have been reinforced by President Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted party and policies.


Party news …

CAC Elections

There is still time for members to vote in the Conference Arrangements Committee elections. Labour Humanists is not a factional grouping, and we welcome supporters from across the party in our efforts to increase the voice of humanism in Labour policy. As such, we are not backing a slate in the elections. However, we do ask supporters to consider voting for Michael Cashman, who is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) and an associate of the National Secular Society.


Chika Amadi

Labour Humanists are pleased to see the party has taken quick action in suspending Labour councillor Chika Amadi after her unacceptable comments on homosexuality. Amadi’s comments are deeply hurtful to LGBT people in and outside the party, and further comments from Amadi supporting FGM have since surfaced. We welcome the suspension, and urge the party to ensure stringent vetting of candidates whose views do not align with progressive values and could bring the party into disrepute.


Yours faithfully,

Samuel Fawcett

Social Media and Website Editor



An interview with our new Chair – Joan Smith

Earlier this year, Joan Smith became Chair of Labour Humanists. We interviewed her about her work, what Humanism means to her and how it relates to the Labour Party.


Tell us a little about your work, background and personal life

I was incredibly lucky to be born into a non-religious family. My father was an atheist, he didn’t stop me going to church – I went to Sunday school for all of two weeks – but he brought me up to question everything. I’ve never believed in a deity and I’ve always searched for rational explanations – I realised early on that you don’t have to understand everything about the universe to recognise a bad explanation for how it came about, eg any species of divine intervention. I withdrew myself from RE when I was a teenager because it certainly wasn’t my idea of education.

I’m a journalist and novelist, and I’ve been involved in human rights campaigns for almost two decades. I chaired the English PEN Writers in Prison Committee, campaigning for the release of imprisoned writers in many countries, and I’ve also advised the FCO on promoting freedom of expression. Since 2013, I’ve been Co-Chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Panel (now the VAWG Board), which draws up policy to reduce sexual and domestic violence for the whole of London.

I’m passionate about equality and universal rights, and I’ve always rejected the idea that people can’t behave well without religion. I even wrote a book (Moralities: How to end the abuse of money and power in the 21st century) about it.


What are the main achievements of Humanism in British public life so far?

I’m a big fan of the Enlightenment. Humanism has played a vital role in moving towards a more enlightened society where everyone has the same rights, regardless of whether they have a religion or not. For me, recognising the intrinsic value of the human spirit is the definition of being modern, especially at a time when there is so much evidence of what happens if the dark side of human nature is given free rein.

We are living in grim times and it’s easy to forget how much the UK has changed for the better in recent years, largely because of humanist and secular campaigns against religious privilege. It’s great that there are now humanist alternatives to religious weddings and funerals, and I loved the slogans on buses telling people there probably isn’t a god.


What drew you to Humanism?

It’s a natural home for someone with my beliefs. I’m delighted to be a patron of the BHA and many of its campaigns – exposing the disastrous and divisive effects of ‘faith’ schools, for example – are vital if we’re ever going to live together in a tolerant and diverse country. I know many people are religious but I think the right not to have a religion is as important as the right to manifest one.


In your mind, what makes Humanism and Labour natural bedfellows?

The Labour party is committed to a fairer, more equal society. Dismantling privilege, inherited and institutional, is a huge task but we wouldn’t have got as far as we have without a political party willing to take it on. Popular campaigns are important but change comes about through Parliament, and I see the job of Labour Humanists as trying to persuade as many MPs as possible to support humanist values and legislation. Humanist councillors are essential as well – local authorities need to be inclusive, and that means thinking about the needs of non-religious people as well as those put forward by ‘faith’ organisations.


What remains to be done to make British political life more secular?

A great deal, starting with the removal of automatic seats for Anglican bishops in the House of Lords. The upper chamber is in dire need of reform anyway, but the privileges enjoyed by the Church of England in the legislature are indefensible. There is a kind of default thinking that fails to see religious privileges for what they are – I could scream every time I hear ‘Thought For The Day’ starting on the Today programme.

I’ve already mentioned ’faith’ schools, which are a terrible idea – they take one small aspect of personal identity and privilege it above all others. We can see what that did in Northern Ireland. Children from different backgrounds – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, non-religious – need to grow up, play and learn together.

I’ve written about the way politicians talk about people being in their ‘thoughts and prayers’ after a disaster, without knowing anything about the victims. The automatic resort to religious language in public life, no matter how inappropriate, needs to be challenged – and we could start with getting rid of prayers at the beginning of each day’s proceedings in Parliament. If people want to pray, it’s a private matter. I certainly don’t think that priests, vicars, imams or rabbis should have a special place in public life.


You’ve written extensively on feminist topics, how do you think feminism and humanism are linked?

They’re both rooted in universal human rights. Traditionally, women and girls did particularly badly under many religious dispensations, forced to accept theories about being ‘different but equal’ which were nothing of the sort. I wrote about the persecution of ‘witches’ in my book Misogynies and in a more recent book (The Public Woman) I looked at how some of those pernicious ideas remain influential today. I’ve always thought I was incredibly fortunate, as a woman, to grow up in Europe at a time when Christian ideas about women were losing much of their influence. I’m almost speechless when I read about the enslavement of Yazidi women by Islamist extremists in Syria and Iraq.


What drew you to the Labour Party?

I grew up in a Labour family. It isn’t just tribal loyalty, although there’s a bit of that – my father took me to my first Labour rally when I was eleven. The party’s core values are closer to mine than those of any other party – single-issue campaigns eg tackling climate change have a place, but they belong inside a wide-ranging programme based on fairness and equality.


What do you think is the greatest achievement of the Labour Party to date?

There are so many, starting with the NHS. Everything from the minimum wage to introducing civil partnerships and a mass of equality legislation stretching back to the first Sex Discrimination Act under Harold Wilson in 1975. Some of these achievements are vast, daunting even, and others are on a smaller scale – but the net effect is moving towards a kinder, more tolerant society. That’s what humanism and secular values are all about. There is a great deal still to do but the humanist tradition in Labour has some distinguished supporters and I hope we can build on that.


Blog News

We write to Jeremy Corbyn on free speech


Labour Humanists’s Chair and Vice Chair have written to Jeremy Corbyn to raise the issue of freedom of speech. It is Labour Humanists’ position that freedom of thought and belief – including religious and non-religious beliefs – are human rights and the cornerstone of any free and democratic society and should be robustly defended. We’ve asked Jeremy to set out his and the party’s position in relation to free speech, freedom of belief and freedom of expression.

We know that there are many threats and pushbacks on freedom of expression, such as from religious groups and individuals opposing criticism of their beliefs. In addition to the growing voice from some religious groups to have their beliefs protected from critique, we worry about the effects of university ‘safe space’ policies in curtailing free speech when in such places that just should not happen.

Ahead of our annual meeting and AGM at Conference, we surveyed our members and supporters on the issues that they felt were most important. Faith schools and human rights, including freedom of expression, were the top responses. Certainly in looking at our programme of work for 2016, we will want to focus on freedom of expression and free speech, promoting those rights as vital for the Labour Party to defend.


Blog News

New report calls for an end to compulsory worship in schools

An important report has been published which recommends that the laws requiring compulsory worship in all state schools should be appealed. The report from the independent Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life also recommends that UK Governments should introduce a statutory entitlement for all schools within the state system for a subject dealing with religious and non-religious worldviews.

Labour Humanists welcomes many of the recommendations in this report, which seek to reflect the changed landscape of religion and belief in Britain today, which is increasingly diverse and with a fast-growing non-religious population.

We strongly oppose the current legal requirements for all schools to hold a daily act of worship and would like to see schools hold inclusive assemblies instead.

Read more on the British Humanist Association’s website.

Blog News

Support BHA’s faith schools & education campaigns

The British Humanist Association (BHA) employs the country’s only dedicated campaigner against the discriminatory and divisive faith schools system. The BHA is asking for donations so they can continue to have this post. In just the past year, the successes of the Faith Schools and Education Campaigner include:

  • Publishing a landmark report revealing that thousands of children may have been unlawfully denied a place at their chosen school as a result of a near-universal failure by ‘faith’ schools to comply with the School Admissions Code.
  • Exposing the widespread practice of state-funded ‘faith’ schools demanding financial contributions from parents or pressuring them into making payments that are supposed to be voluntary.
  • Seeing evolution taught as part of the primary national curriculum for the first time, following years of campaigning through our ‘Teach evolution, not creationism!’ campaign.
  • Welcoming the Welsh Government’s plans to transform Religious Education in Wales into a new ‘Religion, Philosophy, and Ethics’ syllabus, along very similar lines to those we recommended in our response to a consultation on the Welsh curriculum.
  • Seeing the Office of the Schools Adjudicator rule once again that the London Oratory School’s faith-based admissions criteria were unlawful and must be removed. This came over two years after we made our initial objection about the school’s discriminatory and divisive admissions arrangements. And it’s not over yet. The Oratory has already stated that it intends to appeal.
  • Securing recommendations in the UK Civil Society report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for the inclusion of non-religious worldviews in RE, compulsory sex education in all schools, and a reduction in the degree to which schools can religiously select. We were part of the education working group responsible for steering the report.
  • Successfully campaigning on a change to regulations requiring school inspectors to be independent not only from the school they’re inspecting, but also from any organisation representing the school. This led to the closure of the Bridge Schools Inspectorate, some of whose inspectors were revealed to have extensive links to the ‘faith’ schools they were inspecting, and also to hold very conservative religious views in relation to homosexuality and women.
  • Revealing that despite a ban introduced last year, taxpayers’ money is still going to creationist and potentially extremist private nurseries through the Government’s early years funding programme.
  • Exposing significant inconsistencies in the outcomes of Ofsted’s inspections of Charedi Jewish private schools, finding that the schools were far more likely to be rated favourably by a Charedi Jewish inspector than by a non-Charedi inspector. The two Charedi inspectors involved have since been dropped by Ofsted.
  • Working alongside the Humanist and Secularist Liberal Democrats to pass a policy motion at the Lib Dem Conference backing an end to collective worship and employment discrimination in faith schools.

Please do consider helping the BHA raise money to support this vital post.

Blog Events News

‘No Prayer’ Breakfast is our biggest ever!

We’ve held our ‘No Prayer’ Breakfast fringe event at Labour conference for several years and this was our most popular so far. Unfortunately for late arrivals (including some of our panel!) it wasn’t just a case of ‘no prayers’ but also ‘no breakfast’ as there were many more people than we had expected! Along with NPB regulars Polly Toynbee, Angela Eagle MP and Kelvin Hopkins MP, we were delighted that the new chair of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group, Clive Lewis MP, was able to join us. We also welcomed back Tom Copley AM and Labour Humanists’ Naomi Phillips. Andrew Copson, British Humanist Association chief executive, chaired the event.

The speakers made clear the importance of having humanists in Parliament and of taking a humanist approach to policy making. Clive Lewis said that the rational, evidence-based thinking that’s core to Humanism applies well to politics. Specific issues raised by the panel included assisted dying and the need to continue to campaign for a more ethical law, despite a recent loss in Parliament. Polly Toynbee criticised the religious lobby specifically for its opposition to progressive laws. Faith schools were a big concern for both panel and audience – isn’t it time for Labour to oppose religiously selective and discriminatory practices by so many state schools? Human rights and equalities, including gender equality and free speech were also discussed. As humanists we can make a particular contribution to the debates and we should be leading the way within Labour on those issues.

Please do join us and help us campaign for a more equal, ethical and secular Labour.

A huge thanks to the British Humanist Association (BHA) for supporting this joint event.

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Blog Events News

No Prayer Breakfast 2015 – line up announced!

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We have a fantastic panel of speakers for our ‘No Prayer’ Breakfast meeting at Labour conference in Brighton.

Polly Toynbee – journalist, author and former British Humanist Association (BHA) president

Angela Eagle MP – shadow business secretary and shadow first secretary of state

Clive Lewis MP – chair, all party parliamentary humanist group

Andrew Copson – chief executive, British Humanist Association (BHA)

Tom Copley AM – London Assembly member

Kelvin Hopkins MP – co-chair, all party parliamentary humanist group

Chaired by Naomi Phillips, Labour Humanists

Please note – this meeting is in the secure zone so is only open to conference pass-holders.

Blog News

Where do Labour leader & deputy candidates stand on secular issues?

We surveyed Labour leadership and deputy leadership candidates on the issues that our members care about, from the Human Rights Act to faith schools. See responses so far from deputy leadership candidates Caroline Flint and Ben Bradshaw.

1. Will you campaign to retain the Human Rights Act?

Ben Bradshaw
I was proud to be a member of parliament when we created the Human Rights Act. The act simply allows UK citizens to claim their rights through the British courts instead of having to go to Europe to do so. This has been incredibly important and valuable for British citizens, and people are right to be worried about the consequences of scrapping it.

I will vote and campaign to retain the act.

Caroline Flint
I will fight tooth and nail to protect the Human Rights Act, one of the achievements of the last Labour Government of which I’m most proud.
The Human Rights Act and the rights that it embeds into the British legal system are vital to protecting the interests of everyone. Freedom of thought, of expression, of belief and many other rights that are essential to fundamental human decency are contained within and I will of course do my upmost this Parliament to ensure that those rights are protected.

This Government has already taken a number of backward steps, not least on my own brief by a seeming weakening of our commitment to tackle climate change. But the threat to repeal or replace the Human Rights Act is one of the most serious threats that we now face. It would pose very serious questions about our role as international leaders, able to argue for rights for freedom of expression abroad – what moral authority would we have left if we ceased to be a member of the European Convention on Human Rights? It would also cause further difficulties with a Union already under strain. It is embedded in the Good Friday Agreement and into the devolution settlement for Scotland.

The Government are heading in a regressive and dangerous direction and as Deputy Leader, I want to be at the heart of Labour’s opposition to it.

2. Would you defend freedoms of thought, expression and belief at home and internationally, including through opposing blasphemy laws?

Ben Bradshaw
For me freedoms of thought, expression and belief at home and internationally goes beyond blasphemy laws. I believe that all people should be free to express themselves up to the point where it becomes hate or a danger to groups or individuals.

The last Labour government abolished blasphemy as an offence in the UK.

Internationally simply not working with countries with poor human rights records is likely to entrench their leaderships. We must remember that for many of the countries we are talking about here the reason why they have these laws is because they were introduced during the time of British colonial rule. As deputy I would advocate an ethical foreign policy where we are both clear and consistent in our opposition to the kinds of oppression these laws can be part of and where we work with countries to make improvements as partners.

Caroline Flint
Throughout the world, far too many still face persecution for their beliefs, their sexuality or their politics and it would be right for us to continue to play a constructive leadership role in pressing countries for this to end.

It is deeply concerning that so many people still face conviction for blasphemy abroad and I believe laws like this should be consigned to history. As Deputy Leader I would also press the Government to reverse their decision to stop campaigning for an end to the death penalty worldwide as one of their human rights aims.

We should also prioritise LGBT rights around the world in the face of increasingly restrictive discriminatory rules – for instance, the bulk of Commonwealth countries still haven’t legalised homosexuality. We should use our global influence to show leadership by consistently and publicly calling for an end to this.

I am pleased that our party has sought to introduce a Global Envoy for Religious Freedom and ensure that the need to promote religious freedom is felt across the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. But we should ensure this protects people of all faiths and those of none. Being a progressive voice for the recognition of different views should be a key part of our role on the international stage in the 21st century.

3. Do you oppose the ability of state-funded faith schools to discriminate on religious grounds against families and teachers?

Ben Bradshaw
I support parents having a choice in where their child or children learn including faith and secular schools. I have many very popular Church of England primary schools in Exeter that do a great job. As long as schools have to follow a good curriculum, teach tolerance and about other faiths, beliefs and philosophies, I do not think it should be the priority of the next Labour Government to stop state provision of education at faith schools that are popular with parents and where children are doing well.

Caroline Flint
Faith schools have a place within our education system, which makes it all the more vital to ensure that role is functioning correctly. It is important for there to be a broad and open discussion of the role of faith schools, which includes looking at admissions policies. The right of children anywhere in the UK to receive a world class education and for parents to be confident that this will happen should always be our priority.

Recent allegations about schools in Birmingham have rightly led to a close examination of these issues and further thinking is required. The problem with the current Government’s approach is that the increasing fragmentation of education stands in contrast to their desire to promote cohesion. I want to see a system that promotes and encourages greater collaboration between schools rather than an approach that sets them against each other.

4. Do you support the teaching of non-religious world views such as Humanism equally alongside religious perspectives in schools?

Ben Bradshaw
Gaining an understanding of the history, perspectives and practices of a broad range of faiths and philosophies including humanism should be part of a well-rounded education. This knowledge helps explain many of the things that have shaped the world and are still shaping it today. It can help pupils to understand why different groups of people may interprets things differently and can support pupils to be tolerant to people with view different to them and inclusive. I believe this should be part of the national curriculum.

Caroline Flint
Pupils should have access to a wide range of views and beliefs during their education and I support schools having to teach a range of views to their pupils. No pupil should go through school without having different views discussed, debated and challenged, as this is at the heart of a good education. As part of this, I believe that there should be compulsory SRE in schools, to ensure that all children, no matter what their religious background, are given the information they need to make informed choices when growing up.

5. Would you support legislation to ensure that humanists in England and Wales will be able to have a legal marriage ceremony, as they already can in Scotland?

Ben Bradshaw
I believe people should be able to choose to be married in a way that reflects their values, so would support this legislation.

Caroline Flint
Yes. It is very disappointing that despite a consultation on the matter, there appears to be a real lack of will from the Government to actually deliver on this. As Deputy Leader, I would certainly support the Labour party continuing to press the Government to make humanist ceremonies a possibility for all those who want to recognise and celebrate their love outside of a religious setting.

6. Do you support an end to having reserved seats for Church of England Bishops in the House of Lords?

Ben Bradshaw
I support an end to having the House of Lords. I support a fully elected Second Chamber. I would want that to be elected from the regions and nations on a proportional voting system with term limits and located outside of London

Caroline Flint
I have voted to abolish the House of Lords and clearly it is unsustainable in its current form. The House of Lords should be representative of modern Britain, which is why my preferred option is to elect a Senate of the Nations and Regions that would ensure views from across the Union are heard in its Second Chamber.

7. Do you think public services should be secular?

Ben Bradshaw
Organisations, faith based or otherwise, that are contracted to provide a statutory service using public money are rightly bound by rules around equality and non-discrimination in provision of that service in almost all circumstances.
In my own constituency faith groups and charities do excellent work running our food banks, youth clubs and helping the homeless. I wouldn’t want to ban them from continuing this work.

Caroline Flint
Public service users should never be discriminated against because of their views, their religion, their sexuality, their race or anything else. I recognise the concern that some have regarding public services being delivered by religious organisations. Public services should be open, inclusive and non-discriminatory and as Deputy Leader I would be committed to protecting those principles.

8. Would you support a change in the law to permit assisted dying for people who are terminally ill or who are permanently and incurably suffering?

Ben Bradshaw
With regards to changing the law I will judge any proposals on their merits.

My starting point would be an outcome that maximised individual autonomy as long as I could be convinced that adequate safeguards could be put in place to ensure people, including the disabled, aren’t exploited or unduly pressured in any way.

Caroline Flint
I have not yet seen the published details of Rob Marris’ Bill, however in the last Parliament, a bill was brought forward by Lord Falconer, a former Lord Chancellor in the last Government. It was introduced in the House of Lords and did not reach the Commons before running out of time.

However, Rob Marris’ Bill is based on the same framework. The Bill’s objectives are to result in fewer dying adults – and their families – facing unnecessary suffering at the end of their lives, subject to strict upfront safeguards, as assessed by two doctors.
The Bill does not either legalise voluntary euthanasia, where a doctor directly administers life-ending medication, or act as a step towards this outcome. The Bill does not offer legal protection to anyone who doesn’t have a terminal illness, including elderly and disabled people, from committing a criminal offence by assisting in the ending of their lives.
You will know that the courts have asked that Parliament clarify the law; and the Government’s Attorney General has not seen it as in the public interest to prosecute relatives who escorted a dying relative to Switzerland to end their life in a clinic.
For the reasons above, I support changing the law to permit assisted dying for people who are terminally ill.

9. Do you believe the NHS should fund unproven alternative “treatments” such as homeopathy?

Ben Bradshaw
No. I don’t believe the NHS should fund any unproven treatments and that when testing new treatments whether their base is medically conventional or alternative there would be need to be significant evidence for testing on patients to happen.

Caroline Flint
No. Policy should be evidence based, and given the considerable resource constraints that the NHS operates under, it is clearly the case that money should only go on treatments that have a sound evidential basis through clinical trials supporting their efficacy. Complementary medicine can play a role, but not at the expense of proven treatments and drugs.

Blog News

Where do the leadership candidates stand on secular issues?

We’ve just written to all the deputy and the leadership candidates to ask them for their positions on education, human rights, constitutional reform and more. We’ll publish the results we get on our website. Watch this space…


Blog News

Labour leadership hustings – have you taken part yet?

Labour’s leadership and deputy leadership candidates are touring the country and taking part in hustings. There are still quite a few coming up in: Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, London, Brighton & Warrington.

You can also take part in the discussions on Twitter using hashtags #labourleadership and #labourhustings

What better opportunity to ask the candidates directly if they support a truly equal Labour and country, with no state support for religious privilege or discrimination against non-religious people.

Some questions you might want to ask are:

  • Do you oppose the ability of state-funded faith schools to discriminate on religious grounds against families and teachers?
  • Do you support the teaching of non-religious world views such as Humanism equally alongside religious perspectives in schools?
  • Would you support legislation to ensure that humanists in England and Wales will be able to have a legal marriage ceremony?
  • Do you support an end to having reserved seats for Church of England Bishops in the House of Lords?
    Would you defend freedoms of thought, expression and belief at home and internationally, including through opposing blasphemy laws?
  • Do you think public services should secular?
  • Would you support a change in the law to permit assisted dying for people who are terminally ill or who are permanently and incurably suffering?
  • Do you believe the NHS should fund unproven alternative “treatments” such as homeopathy?