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Stephen Williams wants to be public health minister

Just finished recording an interview for Sunday Politics West (BBC1).

Main guest was local MP Stephen Williams, chairman of the All Party Group on Smoking and Health (run by ASH) and the politician who helped launch Plain Packs Protect.

Invited to comment on the forthcoming ministerial reshuffle and his own political ambitions, Williams declared:

"I'd like to be public health minister."

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Reader Comments (12)

LOL - that silly award's turned his head

Do we even have a Public Health Minister?

Friday, June 14, 2013 at 19:42 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Yes, Anna Soubry.

Friday, June 14, 2013 at 19:58 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

Stigmatizing and bullying a perfectly lawful minority of people is never acceptable, not even on the grounds of health.

Attacking peoples lifestyle choices is as offensive, as attacking someone for say their race or sexuality.

It is perfectly reasonable to explain the dangers of smoking but what the likes of Williams are endorsing together with the smoking ban and all the other measures; do they amount to anything more than a hate campaign, against those of us that smoke?

Im glad he's not my MP !

Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 0:08 | Unregistered Commentermark

Anna Soubry? We do not have a Public Health Minister.

Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 1:09 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Heck, Simon, I'm way behind - I hadn't realised that the job of Health Minister had morphed into Public Health Minister

Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 7:43 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce


Anna Soubry, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health (ie public health minister).

Not to be confused with her boss, the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt.

Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 9:56 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

Williams is not only one who panders to antismoking extremists, but is an antismoking extremist himself. As a Health Minister he would be a good little boy and do exactly as told by the WHO and EU.

Contrast this with Russia’s Chief health inspector. He?, like Health officials around the world (given that they’ve signed up to the WHO FCTC) is getting squeezed by the WHO to implement antismoking “reforms”. A critical one is extortionate taxes on tobacco.

“The World Health Organization has no right to dictate to Russia how to develop its tobacco pricing policies, Russia's chief health inspector said Thursday.

The head of the WHO office in Russia, Luigi Migliorini, had earlier expressed disappointment in lower than expected increase rates for tobacco excise in the country after 2016. Migliorini wrote a letter to Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova suggesting that tobacco excise tax in Russia should grow sevenfold by 2020 to 90 euros ($120) per 1,000 cigarettes, bringing the average cost of a pack of cigarettes to 238 rubles ($7.40) from the current 46 rubles ($1.50).

“I strongly disagree with this suggestion. The sevenfold increase is unacceptable and when the WHO tells us to do so it is a wrong approach,” Gennady Onishchenko said in an interview with Echo Moskvy radio. “We are not a country to be told what to do. We will raise the norms on our own,” he said.

Russia’s Health Ministry earlier said it would consider the WHO recommendations as well as suggestions by other experts in this area while working out its own approaches toward tobacco excise policies.”

A bit different to Williams and the other Health “yes men” in most other countries.

Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 13:24 | Unregistered CommenterBreeze

The Iilliberal Undemocrats will be soon be a thing of the past and it is because of the hateful zealous bullying by the likes of Stephen Williams.

If his party's stance on stigmatising adult tobacco consumers is so popular how come the party's ratings in the polls have plummeted to about 8% while the party that is fair to both sides - UKIP - has gained massively from 3% at the last election to it's current ranking at between 18 and 22%?

It's good that Stephen Williams keeps putting his foot in it showing how biased and nasty his party is. The race to the bottom appears to be it's ambition and it has my full support in that endeavour.

Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 17:18 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Here, here Pat.

The Lib Dem hierarchy has turned into nothing but a bunch of blatant career politicians. Yes Sir, no Sir, 3 bags full Sir! Let's just follow the unaccountable, filthy lucre and the idealogies it promotes.

Very, very silly in my opinion. People are starting to protest in a different way now and are realising that their votes do now mean something.

Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 23:53 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

@ Simon.

I think that we are at cross-purposes. I do not dispute her title. I dispute her relevance. She is a 'sock puppet' who knows nothing about real public health. REAL public health is about disease transmission. It is not about the free choice of adults to 'harm' themselves if they wish to.

Sunday, June 16, 2013 at 4:01 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

I'm unfortunate to have another il-libdem as my MP - Andrew George who also features on the All Party Group (for Action ) on Smoking and Health. He also only listens to his 'experts' friends and I'm sure would be keep close behind Stephen as he strives to attain a suitable position!

Sunday, June 16, 2013 at 15:40 | Unregistered CommenterXopher

"... the presenter asked me if I would continue campaigning if I visited the local cancer ward, or something like that."

Maybe you should tell them yes. It is absolutely imperative to keep on campaigning because of people lying on cancer wards - after all, as the BBC's Robert Peston notes, prejudice against smokers is killing non smokers and blocking research that could benefit both those who smoke and those who don't

Monday, June 17, 2013 at 13:45 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

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