Few people would dispute that a politician who promotes homeopathy as a treatment paid for by the public purse is irresponsible and disregards the scientific evidence. Few people would dispute that such a person is not best-suited for the top job in politics.

THE GUARDIAN reported yesterday that Penny Mordaunt, a leading contender to win the Conservative party leadership contest and become the UK prime minister, has repeatedly advocated the use of homeopathy on the National Health Service (NHS).

Mordaunt, is currently the bookmakers’ favorite to replace Boris Johnson. In June 2010 she was one of 16 supporters of an early day motion in the House of Commons sharply criticizing the British Medical Association for voting to withdraw NHS support for homeopathy. The motion claimed there was “overwhelming anecdotal evidence that homeopathy is effective, frequently in cases when patients have not found relief through conventional medical treatments”. The statement signed by Mordaunt called on the government to allow health commissioners to refer patients to “homeopathic doctors and approved homeopaths”.

Four years later Mordaunt again intervened on behalf of homeopathy. She declared in a tweet that GPs “should have freedom to decide” if they wished to prescribe homeopathic treatments to NHS patients. In July 2014, Peter Stokes, a data director at the Office for National Statistics, wrote on Twitter that Mordaunt was a “supporter of homeopathy on NHS”, adding: “Hard to vote for people who don’t believe in evidence-based decisions.” In response, Mordaunt wrote: “Hi, I support drinking cranberry juice for UTIs & campaigned for better access to osteopathy. Do pl email me for more info.” Stokes wrote back: “Both reasonable, but you also signed [the 2010 early day motion]. “Homeopathy is the worst kind of bunkum medicine.” Mordaunt replied: “I don’t think GPs referring 2 homeopathy 2 cure cancer. Do think they should have freedom to decide. Pl email for more info.”

Her renewed support for homeopathy came five months after Dame Sally Davies, then the government’s chief medical officer, had dismissed homeopathy as a waste of time and money. “There is no evidence that homeopathy extends life for cancer patients – or indeed for patients with any other condition,” Davies said in February 2014.

Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrats’ health spokesperson, said: “It’s alarming that someone who could be appointed prime minister in a few weeks’ time has repeatedly supported homeopathy being provided by the NHS, despite concerns about the practice among health experts. “Penny Mordaunt should make clear that she will focus on fixing the real issues facing the NHS like soaring ambulance waiting times, not on imposing homeopathic treatments.”

Mordaunt has also voted against smoking bans, and consistently voted against restricting the provision of services to private patients by the NHS, according to the website TheyWorkForYou, which monitors the voting records of MPs.


To me, this looks as though Penny Mordaunt disregards scientific evidence at the cost of public health. Call me old-fashioned, but I do not think that such an attitude is an ideal qualification for becoming our next prime minister.



I was unable to find any evidence related to the other Tory contenders’ attitude towards so-called alternative medicine (SCAM). If any of my readers have such information, please let me know.

20 Responses to Penny Mordaunt, defender of homeopathy

  • She lives about a mile down the road from my practice and we had an exchange of emails about this matter a while ago. I’ll have to see if I can dig them out.

  • For a patient there is more than just to live longer. The village I live has a centre for anthroposophic medicine. I don’t write as a supporter for this kind of medicine but as somebody who knows why patients choose this hospital if options of classic medicine has come to an end. Of course, they have their remedies and maybe some people set their hope in them. However, the main reason to select this hospital is, that patients are welcome as human beings. And if it is the last way of their life, it is a way where they are supported in this way leading into a certain way of dying with music they selected before and a spiritual assisstance and so it is a much more human way of dying than the technical one.

    Life is more than the opposite of being dead. In some way alternative approaches of medicine have understood this aspect more deeply than the classic medicine has. This is something that has to be taken into consideration before calling people using and supporting these alternative approaches “fools”. Science is an important foundation for medicine. However, if there is nothing but science, medicine becomes cold and incompetent to play its role in making people healthy or helping them to carry burdens where there is no help form side of science.

    There may be classic hospitals or doctors where patients get more than just scientifically founded advice and remedies. Looking at the way medical business developed the last decade, these good doctors are hard to find (I am glad I have one!). On the field you call “SCAM”, open-hearded consultation is standard – and for some patients this aspect of medical support may be the more important one compared to the options professional remedies bring to them.

    • “options of classic medicine has come to an end”
      this is the key to an important misunderstanding: conventional medicine might not always cure the disease but it can always help reduce symptoms. we do not need woo for treating patients with compassion and empathy. proper medicine does not “come to an end” in the way you describe it.

      • Wow…sorry, but YOU are living in some type of fantasyland that has no grounding in reality. I think that we all know people for which conventional medicine has NOT helped and in fact has made their life much worse.

        Wake up and smell the coffee!

        • I cannot smell your coffee; it’s too diluted!

          • I see what you did there!


          • Ahhh…but THIS study shows specific effects that homeopathic doses of coffee have on EEG.

            However (!), one has to have a brain for this homeopathic medicine to have an effect. I can therefore understand why so many people at this website will not have an effect from homeopathic doses of coffee.

            And for the record, this below link is to a peer-review study as distinct from the assertions at this blog which tends to be unfiltered dribble.


          • Dana

            What impact has that piece of fantasist twaddle from Iris and her friends had in the ten years since it was published?


            Much like your petulant spoutings, it was recognised for the nonsense it is and has been ignored.

          • Hey Lenny…in case you haven’t noticed, Big Pharma is going heavy into nanopharmacology these days…but YOU should ignore this and continue to use your typewriter and home phone. You will stay a primate, while the rest of us evolve.

            And so, once again, I cite formal studies…and you go out of your way to ignore them without proving any of them as “wrong” or “inaccurate.” You might even try to get yourself published in a peer-review journal, though your lack of intellectual rigor won’t past mustard there.

          • Dana

            Indeed Big Pharma is going into nanotechnology.

            But homeopathy isn’t nanotechnology or nanomedicine.

            As has been explained to you patiently and often. By pharmacists and physicians.

            You refuse to listen or learn. This is because you are an idiot. A fool. An insignificant object of ridicule. You mention primates. There’s only one monkey dancing in this thread. And it’s not me.

            Dana. That study you posted wasn’t just ignored by me. It was ignored by everyone who recognises what science is. It is yet another inconsequential piece of fatuous bumwash churned out by your fellow zealots, desperate to validate their belief in the magic powers of shaken water. Obviously if you can demonstrate how it has changed science, please feel free to do so. We’ll wait.

            And my intellectual rigour “won’t past mustard”?

            I’m assuming you mean “won’t pass muster”?

            What an intellectual you are. If mustard is being invoked, you don’t cut it.

            Dana, you are a one-legged man trying to take part in an arse-kicking contest. If your brain was made of dynamite, you would struggle to blow your hat off.

        • @Dana Ullman

          I think that we all know people for which conventional medicine has NOT helped and in fact has made their life much worse.

          Sure. I know this person with accidentally discovered asymptomatic small-cell lung carcinoma, where subsequent lobectomy caused a stroke. As a result, he now has permanent weakness and coordination problems in his right arm and leg. And I know a women whose radiation treatment for breast cancer has caused permanent nerve damage in her upper body, resulting in recurring unpleasant sensations (tingling, burning, numbness). So yes, real medicine can certainly result in collateral damage.

          Then again, if these persons had not received those treatments but instead trusted e.g. homeopaths with their health, they would have been dead by now – and after much more suffering, at that. Because homeopathy is not a viable form of healthcare for any condition, and that includes palliative care.

          YOU are living in some type of fantasyland that has no grounding in reality.

          You mean a fantasy land where shaking plain water turns it into a medicine? And where diluting this magic water with even more water, contrary to all reason and observations, makes it a more potent medicine? This fantasy land where you ‘test’ ‘remedies’ not by administering them to sick people and observe if they work, but instead by giving them to healthy people and then record ‘symptoms’ such as ‘Excessive morbid sensibility, also when playing the piano’?

          I am afraid that YOU are the one who is living in some type of Dali-esque fantasy land, with natural laws that are the opposite of those in the world inhabited by the rest of us.

        • Wake up and smell the coffee!

          Is that the enema brewing??

    • “However, the main reason to select this hospital is, that patients are welcome as human beings.”

      “On the field you call “SCAM”, open-hearded consultation is standard – and for some patients this aspect of medical support may be the more important one compared to the options professional remedies bring to them.”

      I would like to address these points Holger

      I have used NHS services over the past few years and it is certainly true that some NHS staff, especially consultants, are pushed for time and do not offer a very “touchy feely” experience. One of my consultants may be, I suspect, on the autistic spectrum. His “bedside manners” are not great and he struggles with how to convey bad news in a caring manner. I have no doubt that he is an excellent consultant in every other way and I understand that some people who are exceptionally talented and highly competent in their chosen profession struggle with interpersonal skills.

      Of course the NHS is stretched for time and resources and this means that, in order to offer the best service to as many people as possible, consultants have limited time with patients and may not be able to be as friendly and conversational as patients would like.

      I think you are correct in your opinion that many people are attracted towards anthroposophical “medicine” (SCAM) becaue of the “open-hearted consultation” that is often lacking from strained NHS services, especially when conventional medicine cannot offer cures and magic bullets.

      What you seem unaware of, or possibly unconcerned about, is that crooks, grifters and charlatans the world over use “open-hearted” interactions as a way of forging intimate bonds with vulnerable people in order to exploit them financially and in other ways.

      Predators and scammers never, ever approach potential victims while showing their true intentions. They always disguise their intentions with a facade of “open-hearted” touchy feely bullshit.

      I think that we would probably agree that the world would be a better place if NHS consultants and other NHS staff had more time to interact in a concerned and supportive way with patients.

      However given that the NHS is stretched and that not all consultants have excellent interpersonal skills we have to make do with what we have. I am very grateful for receiving the services of a consultant who helped save my life, even if his interpersonal skills are not the best. I sought his help for a serious medical condition, not for a friendly chat, although both would have been lovely.

      If I needed brain surgery I would rather receive care from a highly skilled and qualified NHS neurosurgeon with poor interpersonal skills than some trepaning new age grifter with excellent skills of persuasion offering “open-hearted consultations”.

      The words “open-hearted” and proceedures claiming to “open the heart” are so common in new age grifer and SCAM networks that they should serve as red flags to indicate at best a useful idiot and at worst a fully fledged grifter.

      In my experience.

      • Dear Louise,
        thank you fro your reply.

        I think that your idea about “SCAMers” is to harsh in some cases.
        The hospital I am talking about has doctors who have an ordinary university education. They know same as any doctor in a classic hospital – however, they practice a certain philosophy containing additional medical methods.
        I don’t know how succuessful their additional remedies, mainly based on mistletoe products, are.
        However I know a little about their extra service regarding “the last way”. And I do belive that the patients are better prepared for this step than those patients being plugged in to most fancy medical machines and hospital stuff being trimmed on a most efficient way of looking after patients – with almost no time to talk or give them a feeling of being treated as humans in need of care.

        My impression is, that the medical service focusses more and more on modern machinery and medicine causing high costs and leaving only a minimum amount for personal care.

        And as personal care adds something to the process of healing, it can’t be replaced by machines. There has to be a balance between both needs – the needs for modern equipment and pills as well as the need for the human touch. And if the system is far out of balance, the costy modern tools may make things worse.

    • You are forgetting that we have excellent hospices, which have expertise in palliative care. They may have chapels for the religious, have beautiful gardens and treat patients as individuals. There is no need for bogus treatments and sugar pills.

  • @Dana

    I know a lot of people for whom homeopathy did not help and for whom not seeking proper medical help and putting their faith in nothing made their life worse. I also know a lot more people for whom medicine worked and made their life much better and even saved some lives.
    My anecdotes beat yours, always! 😉

    And if you thought homeopathy has no side effects, then think again.
    Playing doctor with nothing more than shaken water and sugar pills has very serious side effects. The side effects of homeopathy are called neglect. They can only be alleviated by applying proper medical aid in time.

  • Penny Mordant has demonstrated a lack of understanding of the basics of human biology so her appreciation for homeopathy is unsurprising.

    She likley already identifies as PM

    • According to the press reports I’ve read she backed gender self-identification. That’s gender, Louise, not biology; there is a difference.
      I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that your quip about “identifying as PM” is the result of ignorance rather than bigotry. But if it is the latter, it looks like your views will find a welcome home in the modern conservative party.

  • And for the record, this below link is to a peer-review study as distinct from the assertions at this blog which tends to be unfiltered dribble.

    This study clearly states the placebo was ‘unblinded to the staff’ but the homeopathic ‘treatment’ was fully blinded – what on earth is that about. As far as I can tell the placebo was given on night 8 and the homeopathic goo on night 22. If you know the placebo is on night 8 then not a bad guess the homeopathic goo is on 22. Seems a very odd study design to me unless i’m missing a valid reason for this. I fear the unfiltered dribble is coming from elsewhere. On a positive note Dana I give you credit for continuing to post despite the dribbleness of it.

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