Former Labour MP Frank Field has asked peers to back efforts to relax the law on assisted dying as Baroness Meacher read out a statement from him in the House of Lords.
Baroness Meacher read out the statement from Baron Field of Birkenhead as his illness meant he was unable to take part in the assisted dying bill.
In the statement, Baron Field of Birkenhead said, “I’ve just spent a short period in a hospice and I’m not well enough to participate in today’s debate. If I had been, I’d have spoken strongly in favour of the second reading.
“I changed my mind on assisted dying when an MP friend dying of cancer wanted to die early before the full horror effects set in, but was denied this opportunity.”
Baron Field has not confirmed what condition he suffering from, but Baroness Meacher said the 79-year-old was too ill to sit in the House of Lords for the debate.
Frank Field was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Birkenhead from 1979 to 2019, serving as a Labour MP until August 2018 and thereafter as an Independent. In 2019, he formed the Birkenhead Social Justice Party and stood unsuccessfully as its sole candidate in the 2019 election.
From 1997 to 1998, Field served as the Minister of Welfare Reform in Tony Blair’s government. Field resigned following differences with the Prime Minister, and as a backbencher soon became one of the Labour government’s most vocal critics.
Image credit: UK Parliament