How did your MP vote? - MPs back moves to legalise the creation of IVF babies with DNA from three people

George Freeman, Conservative MP, Mid Norfolk and life sciences minister voted in favour of the move

George Freeman, Conservative MP, Mid Norfolk and life sciences minister voted in favour of the move - Credit: Supplied

MPs have backed mitochondrial donation techniques aimed at preventing serious inherited diseases by a majority of 254 in an historic Commons vote to legalise the creation of IVF babies with DNA from three people.

Britain will become the first country in the world to allow the procedure in law and Health Minister Jane Ellison told MPs the techniques offered the 'only hope' for some women who carry the disease to have 'healthy, genetically-related children' who will not suffer from the 'devastating and often fatal consequences' of mitochondrial disease.

But the measure was bitterly opposed by some MPs who warned it was a 'red line' which Parliament should not cross.

North-West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said he was opposing the move on religious grounds, but also because he felt there should be more scientific research.

While Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: 'I do not believe that the necessary safety and efficacy standards have been met and the final judgement on these issues should be made by parliament and not the HFEA.'


You may also want to watch:


Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said she strongly believed PNT mitochondrial technique produced three parent children, and she was opposed.

But Brandon Lewis, Keith Simpson, Simon Wright, George Freeman, Norman Lamb and Chloe Smith all voted in favour of the move.

Most Read

Mr Freeman, the Life Sciences minister, said the use of mitochondrial donation could stop the suffering of children from a series of terrible diseases.

'Mitochondrial DNA is not the DNA which determines our character as people. If we were discussing allowing the DNA which shapes human characteristics to come from three parents this would have major ethical and moral step, but we are not.

'Donating healthy mitochondrial DNA is akin to a heart, lung or kidney donation - it simply replaces the broken batter of the cell. It is right that parliament debate it, but this is not the great step into playing God portrayed by some. Biomedical science now allows us to save thousands of families a life of cruel suffering. To refuse to do that we would need a very good reason. There isn't one.'

Norwich South MP Mr Wright said: 'I've been struck by the devastation caused to families by mitochondrial disease. Many children do not survive to adulthood, and those affected can suffer from seizures, strokes, blindness, deafness, and heart, lung and liver failures before death. For the first time, families have reason to be hopeful that such appalling suffering could be brought to an end.'

Broadland MP Keith Simpson said it was not about three parent babies, and that the move would provide a chance to people who otherwise would not have a full life.

He said that he had not had a lot of letters from his constituents about the issue.

Chloe Smith said: 'having tried hard to satisfy my judgement about what the decision actually does, I have seen no evidence to show mitochorndrial donation is unsafe. As the technique has move successful through a lot of reviews over a number of years, now is the time to allow further testing to take place, for which this vote was necessary.'

She said she had had a small number of constituents who had written with various views, including from a local man whose family who has been tragically affected recently.

'As with votes that are as complex and ethical as this, I know I can't satisfy every constituent, with every vote.'

Mr Lamb said the vote in favour was very good news. 'This will bring relief for many families in the future. It is very positive that parliament has followed the science.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter