Robert Walter was the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for North Dorset (1997 - 2015).
Walter was one of the 50 MPs who wrote to the then Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in 2012 expressing serious concerns over plain packaging proposals.
- “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”
However, in February 2014, Walter voted in favour of tabled amendments to the Children and Families Bill which would enable the UK government to:
- 1. Introduce regulations requiring plain packaging for tobacco products;
- 2. Introduce regulations making it an offence to sell e-cigarettes to children under 18;
In the whipped vote, 453 MPs voted in favour of the amendments and only 24 voted against.
In 2013 Walter accepted two tickets and associated hospitality for Glyndebourne at an approximate value of £1,533.32 from Japan Tobacco International (JTI).
For more details, see Tobacco Industry Hospitality for UK Politicians.
Profile of Robert Walter on TheyWorkForYou website.
- UK Parliment Website MPs, Lords and Offices, accessed May 2015
- 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
- Hansard,Children and Families Bill (Programme No. 3), House of Commons Debates, 10 February 2014, accessed February 2015
- S. MacGuill. House of Enablers – Does anything now go for tobacco control in the UK? Euromonitor International, 11 February 2014
- 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
- House of Commons Publications, Register of Members’ Financial Interests – 2 June 2014 report, 2 June 2014, accessed February 2015