Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Astrology-loving MP David Tredinnick 'convinced' practise can reduce strain on NHS

He is also a strong advocate of alternative and complementary medicine
  • @kashmiragander

While many people glance at their horoscope in the newspaper as a form of entertainment, a Conservative MP has suggested that astrology has a role in medicine.

MP for Bosworth, David Tredinnick, who is a member of the health committee and the science and technology committee, said he was not deterred by his critics whom he labelled “bullies”.

“There is no logic in attacking something that has a proven track record,” he told BBC News.

In an interview with the broadcaster, Mr Tredinnick said herbal remedies and healing were now becoming accepted in parts of the NHS, and he now wanted to promote astrology, which he claimed was not just about predicting the future, but gaining an understanding of personal problems.

On Tuesday, Mr Tredinnick told his fellow MPs in the House of Commons: “I am absolutely convinced that those who look at the map of the sky for the day that they were born and receive some professional guidance will find out a lot about themselves and it will make their lives easier."

Mr Tredinnick said he had studied astrology in connection with healthcare for two decades, including Iahiri, the Indian astrological system used by to aid the nation’s government.

A horoscope in a US newspaper

He continued that complementary and alternative medicines can “reduce pressures on the health service, increase patient satisfaction, and make everyone in this country happier.”

“Both the Health Committee and the Science and Technology Committee have reported that by using complementary medicine and by listening to the witnesses we can reduce that demand,” he added.

The MP for Bosworth is not the only UK politician to believe in the power of astrology. Lord Patten, Britain’s last governor of Hong Kong, hired an official astrologer, who Mr Tredinnick said he had consulted with.

His comments to the House of Commons came after he appeared at Glastonbury Festival in June, where he spoke on astrology alongside Daily Mail astrologer Jonathan Cainer.

He told MPs he believed he had been asked to speak because he has been regarded as having a “radical agenda” in promoting complementary medicine over the past 20 years.

MPs laughed when he spoke of the ridicule and “relentless attacks” he had faced, including a spoof Twitter account set up called “Inside the head of David Tredinnick. “The right honourable Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr Denham) once called me the honorable Member for Holland and Barrett,” he said, referring to the high street health food store.

Speaking to the broadcaster, he stopped short of suggesting astrology should be offered on the NHS, but said: “I think it's something that people should be aware of as an option they have if they are confused about themselves.”

He described how he had compiled astrological charts for his fellow MPs that "had certainly made their lives easier." He declined to give their names, however.