The Bishop of Paisley, Bishop Philip Tartaglia has this week written to Prime Minister Gordon Brown urging him to allow Labour MP's a free vote on the forthcoming Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill in the House of Commons. In his letter Bishop Tartaglia says the Bill raises "deeply ethical and moral questions, (which) cannot be properly addressed by means of the party line" and he suggests that it would be a distortion of democracy if MP's were not able to vote according to their consciences. The full text of the letter follows. Dear Prime Minister, I am writing to you to ask you to allow a free vote among Labour Party Members of Parliament following the forthcoming debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill in the House of Commons. This Bill aims to introduce measures which bear directly on the nature and dignity of the human life. These measures raise deeply ethical and moral questions, and cannot be properly addressed by means of the party line. Democracy itself is surely distorted if MPs are forced to vote against their consciences. So for the sake of the dignity of human life and for the sake of the moral integrity of our democracy, I ask you to allow a free vote among Labour Party Members of Parliament. I hope you will make a decision on this matter soon. Yours sincerely, +Philip Tartaglia Bishop of Paisley The Diocese of Paisley has posted a number of resources on its website to assist individuals wishing to campaign against the Bill, including a link to an online petition: http://www.paisleydiocese.org.uk/ Online petition: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/HybridEmbryos/
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