Scientist to challenge Leicestershire MP at election over alternative medicines
A scientist with a PhD in quantum physics will challenge David Tredinnick at the General Election over his backing for homeopathy and astrology.
Journalist and author Dr Michael Brooks has lectured at some of the most prestigious universities in the world and is a consultant at New Scientist magazine.
Dr Brooks says he will stand as an independent candidate against Bosworth's 60-year-old Conservative MP because he objects to Mr Tredinnick's support for alternative medicines.
He said: "Mr Tredinnick is symptomatic of the problem facing the future of Britain, not just because he was involved in the expenses scandal, but because he is exactly the kind of MP who undermines science.
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"Tredinnick's expenses included a claim for astrology software. Do we want MPs to be making decisions about the future of our country based on where Saturn happens to be in the sky on the night before a vote in the House of Commons?"
He added: "He is a champion of pseudo-science and a hindrance to rational governance."
But Mr Tredinnick hit back at the claims, and criticised scientists who he said were unwilling to consider the evidence for alternative healthcare.
He said: "This seems focused on my support for complementary medicine. The attacks on homeopathic medicine have increased recently.
"There is a danger that so-called scientists are so set in their ways that they are unable to consider alternative viewpoints. Systems of healthcare in India and China have linked medicine and astronomy for centuries. Are we really just dismissing their views?"
Mr Tredinnick is a former pupil of Eton and studied at St John's College, Oxford. He entered Parliament in 1987 and has a majority of 5,319.
Dr Brooks, 39, is a married father-of-two and lives in East Sussex. He makes a living as a freelance science writer and has contributed to the Guardian, Independent and the Observer, lectured at New York and Cambridge universities, and regularly appears on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme.
He said: "Of course, some will see it as a publicity stunt, but it isn't that. It's a genuine attempt to get an important issue on to the agenda.
"Getting Tredinnick out of office will be a good start. Hopefully, we can populate the House of Commons with people who understand what really makes the world go round – literally and metaphorically."
Mr Tredinnick recently tabled an Early Day Motion suggesting that the House of Commons Select Committee's report into homeopathy, which recommended that the NHS no longer fund homeopathic treatments, was poorly researched.
Earlier this year, he repaid £755 of taxpayers' money he claimed on expenses for astrology computer software.