Laurence Robertson

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Laurence Robertson has been the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Tewkesbury (Gloucestershire, England) since May 1997.

Relationship with the Tobacco Industry

Accepted Tobacco Hospitality

In 2012 Robertson declared he had accepted two tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show from Japan Tobacco International (JTI), “including lunch for my partner and me” at a value of £1,188.[1]

In May 2011, he also accepted tickets from JTI to the Chelsea Flower Show worth £1,132.80.[2]

JTI spent £23,000 entertaining MPs in the UK in six months during 2011.[3] For more information, go to Tobacco Industry Hospitality for UK Politicians

Opposed Tobacco Control Measures in UK

Voted Against Amendments to Children and Families Bill 2014

In February 2014, Robertson was one of only 24 MPs who voted against tabled amendments to the Children and Families Bill which would enable the UK government to:[4]

1. Introduce regulations requiring plain packaging for tobacco products;
2. Introduce regulations making it an offence to sell e-cigarettes to children under 18;
3. Make it an offence for an adult to buy cigarettes for anyone under the age of 18 (proxy purchasing).[5][6]

The Bill was passed by 453 MPs voting in favour of the amendments.

Against Plain Packaging

Robertson was one of the 50 MPs who wrote to then Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in 2012 expressing serious concerns over plain packaging proposals.[7]

“There is no reliable evidence that plain packaging will have any public health benefit; no country in the world has yet to introduce it. However, such a measure could have extremely negative consequences elsewhere. The proposal will be a smuggler’s charter. … this policy threatens more than 5,500 jobs directly employed by the UK tobacco sector, and over 65,000 valued jobs in the associated supply chain. … Given the continued difficult economic climate, businesses should not be subjected to further red tape and regulation.”

Voted Against Bill Banning Smoking in Cars Carrying Children

In June 2011, Robertson voted against a Private Member’s Bill banning smoking in cars carrying children.[8] The bill was supported by the British Lung Foundation.[9]

Against Indoor Smoking Ban

In October 2010, he voted for the smoking ban to be overturned.[10]

TobaccoTactics Resources

Relevant Link

Profile of Laurence Robertson on TheyWorkForYou website.

Notes

  1. House of Commons Publications,Register of Members' Financial Interests – 8 July 2013 report, 8 July 2013, accessed February 2015
  2. House of Commons Publications,Register of Members' Financial Interests - 13th December 2011 report, 13 December 2011, accessed December 2011
  3. M. Goslett, K. Gladdis, ‘Tobacco firm gave thousands of pounds worth of hospitality to nine MPs who opposed smoking bill’, Daily Mail, 23 November 2011, accessed December 2011
  4. Hansard,Children and Families Bill (Programme No. 3), House of Commons Debates, 10 February 2014, accessed February 2015
  5. S. MacGuill. House of Enablers – Does anything now go for tobacco control in the UK? Euromonitor International, 11 February 2014
  6. Smokefree Action Coalition. SFAC welcomes Parliament’s support for a package of measures to reduce smoking and protect children. Smokefree Action Coalition News, 10 February 2014
  7. M. Barrett, 34 Conservative MPs write to Andrew Lansley to express “serious concerns” about plain tobacco packaging, Conservative Home, 2 July 2012, accessed February 2015
  8. Hansard, Smoking in Private Vehicles bill first reading in the House of Commons, 22 June 2011, accessed December 2011
  9. British Lung Foundation, Alex Cunningham MP successfully tabled a motion to stop smoking in cars with children, Press Release, 22 June 2011, accessed December 2011
  10. J. Isaby, David Nuttall's attempt to relax the smoking ban falls at the first hurdle - but 77 Tory MPs vote for his Bill (with 38 opposing it), ConservativeHome, 14 October 2010, accessed December 2011