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Government suspected of second attempt to railroad human cloning vote

7 December 2000

Government suspected of second attempt to railroad human cloning vote Westminster, 7 December 2000--It has been revealed by various sources close to Parliament that a vote on the Government's proposals to allow human cloning is most likely to be held on Wednesday 20th December. This follows today's announcement by the Leader of the House of Commons that an adjournment debate will be held on embryology tomorrow-week (Friday 15th December). John Smeaton, national director of SPUC, responded to this revelation by saying: "The Government is clearly desperate to avoid debate on this controversial issue. It has deliberately tabled, at short notice, the token gesture of another adjournment debate, knowing full well that most MPs are not even in London on Fridays. It is most likely that MPs and peers will now have only have a few days' notice of the vote on the Government's statutory instrument, despite Government promises of a thorough, long-term debate on the issue." Mr Smeaton added: "What is even more reprehensible is that the proposals in the statutory instrument far exceed the recommendations of the Donaldson report, yet MPs will be given hardly any time to consider them. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act was enacted six years after the Warnock report, yet this government can't even allow six weeks to debate the destruction of countless human embryos. "We would also like to know why the government's promised legislation banning reproductive cloning was left out of the Queen's speech. Is this another broken promise on human cloning? This absence heightens the widely-held fear that reproductive cloning is still on the agenda."

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