NEW MPS AND THEIR LINKS TO CHARITIES

12 June 2017  

With the general election campaign now over and newly elected MPs about to enter a battle for office space in Westminster, charities will be wanting to know that they have strong allies to give them a voice in the political debate. We’ve taken a look at the new intake of MPs to work out who has existing ties to charities – here’s what we’ve learned:

CONSERVATIVE

Despite losing seats, the House of Commons will still be welcoming a number of new Conservative MPs. Positively for charities, many of these have worked at, volunteered for, or supported a number of charitable causes.

Eddie Hughes, the new MP for Walsall North, used to work as an assistant chief executive at YMCA Birmingham, whilst also serving as a trustee of Walsall Wood Allotment. Over in Mansfield, incoming Ben Bradley has a long history of volunteering, mostly in sporting roles. Bim Afolami, who takes over the Hitchin and Harpenden seat, told the local press of his commitment to work with the charity sector to support people locally.

Finally, Esther McVey – not new to Parliament, but now taking over George Osborne’s Tatton seat – used her time away from Westminster to set up the If Chloe Can charity, which gives young people access to careers advice and role models.

Want to let us know what you think about the leaked Labour manifesto? Get in touch with us at campaigns@cafonline.org, or on twitter @cafonline.
Want to let us know what you think about the leaked Labour manifesto? Get in touch with us at campaigns@cafonline.org, or on twitter @cafonline.

Will new MPs give charities a voice in the political debate?

LABOUR

For a Labour Party that gained a number of MPs at this election, many have strong links to the charity sector. Labour’s new intake includes Anneliese Dodds in Oxford (East), who previously worked for Oxfam and Third World First (now People and Planet).

In Durham North West, meanwhile, newly elected Laura Pidcock used to work in the charity sector as an education worker, and also previously served as Education Manager at Show Racism the Red Card. At the other end of England, Luke Pollard, now the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devenport, used to run campaigns for Cancer Research UK. Stephen Morgan, the new MP for Portsmouth South is currently chief executive of Basingstoke Voluntary Action.

In Sheffield Hallam, the defeat of Nick Clegg means the election of Jared O’Mara, who has worked in communications for a disability rights charity, as well as serving as a trustee of a Sheffield-based disability for twelve years. He also gives his time as a volunteer. Mr O’Mara is one of two new disabled MPs, alongside registered blind Marsha de Cordova who has been elected as MP for Battersea. Ms de Cordova is currently Director of Engagement & Advocacy at the sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington Trust. She is passionate about disability rights and has worked in the sector for over 10 years.

Up the road in Leeds, Alex Sobel (Leeds North West) comes from a background that includes working with social enterprises and co-operatives. In Scotland, Danielle Rowley has been elected as MP for Midlothian, who is currently campaigns and public affairs at Scotland Shelter.

Other Parties
An election that saw the largest combined vote for Labour and the Conservatives since 1970 meant that all other parties saw their vote being squeezed.  In Scotland, Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson returned to Parliament, after serving as chair of the Maternity Action charity.

Of course, this is just a snapshot. Elsewhere, we see newly elected MPs with a track record of volunteering, trusteeship and fundraising. Positively, many more candidates still have spoken of the valuable role and contribution that they believe charities can make, both in their constituencies but also to the wider political debate.

We’ll learn more about the new Government’s agenda when the Queen’s Speech is delivered next week. It is crucial that charities are given the opportunity to help shape the direction of the country; this new intake and their positive ties to charities offer a good starting point.

What are your thoughts? Let us know at campaigns@cafonline.org or on Twitter @cafonline

   

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