Had I been a constituent in Oxford West and Abingdon I would have been in little doubt that I would have voted for Dr Evan Harris – rather than the Conservative candidate. Harris was defeated by Nicola Blackwood, Conservative, by just 176 votes.
Blackwood, despite her youth, represents the old-guard Christian-right within the Conservative Party. She is a member of the Conservative Christian Fellowship and is a veritable mascot for Christian Concern for Our Nation.
Harris, by contrast, is a strong advocate of free thought, advancement of science, and a humanist/secularist (in short, my kind of politician).
I was delighted to have attended the National Secular Society‘s Secularist of the Year Award in 2009 when Harris was recognised for his role in the abolition of the common law offence of blasphemous libel.
Free thinkers are limited in number in parliament. I hope Dr Harris returns to the House of Commons very soon.