Letter: No attack on childless couples

From Mr Julian Brazier

Sir: Your article "The right-wing plot to get Lord Mackay" (2 November) contained the allegation that I had "proposed a tax on childless couples" in a Bow Group pamphlet.

This statement is untrue. I never proposed any such tax although, when my pamphlet was published, the Independent carried a story asserting it at the time. Apparently the journalist who wrote it had not seen any of the advance copies which I had sent to your paper and based the story on a mistake on the tapes. (There was no reference to childless couples in the pamphlet.)

As it is a matter of public record that my wife and I have had infertility treatment (declared as an interest in the embryology debate the year before the pamphlet was published), I would find it even more offensive than most people to victimise childless couples in this way.

I am, incidentally, an (unpaid) parliamentary adviser to the principal group that represents infertile couples in this country, (NIAC).

Yours faithfully,

Julian Brazier

MP for Canterbury (Con)

House of Commons

London, SW1

8 November