Robert Walter

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Robert Walter was the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for North Dorset (England) from 1997 to 2015.1
He sat on the House of Commons Select Health Committee from July 1997 to July 1999.

Relationship with the Tobacco Industry

Accepted Tobacco Hospitality

In 2013 Walter accepted two tickets, and associated hospitality, for Glyndebourne Opera at an approximate value of £1,533.32 from Japan Tobacco International (JTI).2

For more information on the tobacco industry tactic to offer hospitality to those with influence over the passage of tobacco laws, go to Tobacco Industry Hospitality for UK Politicians.

Opposed Tobacco Control Measures in the UK

Against Plain Packaging in 2012

Walter was one of the 50 MPs who wrote to then Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in 2012 expressing serious concerns over plain packaging proposals.3

“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 For Plain Packaging in 2014

However, in February 2014, Walter voted in favour of 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).56

The bill passed with 453 MPs voting in favour of the amendments, and only 24 voted against.

TobaccoTactics Resources

Relevant Link

Profile of Robert Walter on TheyWorkForYou website.

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  1. UK Parliament Website MPs, Lords and Offices: Mr Robert Walter, undated, accessed April 2019
  2. House of Commons Publications, Register of Members’ Financial Interests – 2 June 2014 report, 2 June 2014, accessed April 2019
  3. M. Barrett, Conservative MPs write to Andrew Lansley to express “serious concerns” about plain tobacco packaging, Conservative Home, 2 July 2012, accessed April 2019
  4. Hansard, Children and Families Bill (Programme No. 3), House of Commons Debates, 10 February 2014, accessed April 2019
  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