John Whittingdale today took part in celebrations of the FA's 150th anniversary.

An Early Day Motion was tabled, with John's support which read:

That this House congratulates the Football Association (FA) on the occasion of its 150th anniversary on 26 October 2013; notes that the FA is the oldest governing body in football; commends the FA's not-for-profit commitment to supporting football since 1863; further commends the £100 million invested by the FA annually into football including facilities for grassroots football, coaching programmes for boys and girls, and development programmes for people with disabilities; welcomes the FA's valuable contribution to and support of the national game; and looks forward to hearing the progress of the newly-appointed FA Commission into English Football.

 


Last night John Whittingdale, Member of Parliament for Maldon, presented the Rural Fair Share Petition signed by residents of St Lawrence in Maldon. 25 other Members of Parliament representing rural constituencies presented petitions in similar terms.

The Rural Fair Share campaign is calling on the Government to address the ongoing disparity in funding between rural and urban areas.

The Petition is asking the Government to reduce the Rural Penalty – which sees urban areas receive 50% more support per head than rural areas – by at least 10% by 2020.

John Whittingdale said: “Overall rural residents earn less, on average, than those in cities, pay council tax which is £76 more per person but see urban areas receive Government grants worth 50% more per head than those in the countryside.

“Delivering services in sparsely populated rural areas like the Maldon District also tends to be more expensive, which can add to the burden.

“The Government is proposing to freeze this position until 2020. Freezing the system is indefensible, locking-in past unfairness and stopping changes the Government has itself agreed from actually being implemented.

”It is deeply unfair that, at a time when local authority budgets are under such pressure, that Maldon District Council and other rural authorities are penalised by a system which is so biased towards urban areas. I am very pleased that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, was in the Chamber to hear the presentations of the petitions and we have also written to the Prime Minister to urge the Government to put this right”.

Graham Stuart MP, Co-Founder of the Rural Fair Share campaign said: “The rural voice has been too quiet and too easily ignored for too long. We need a change so that the money councils get from the Government is based on need, not a political fix. We want to see the Rural Penalty reduced so it is no more than 40% by 2020. This will be fair to urban and rural people alike.”

It is with great sadness that I learnt of the death of Margaret Thatcher today. She will be remembered as one of Britain’s greatest prime ministers. Under her leadership, the prospects of this country were transformed and Britain’s reputation in the eyes of the world was restored. However, for those of us who worked closely with her, we will remember her as someone who inspired huge loyalty as a result of her personal kindness and compassion. I will always regard it as the greatest privilege to have worked for her and today mourn the passing of a great prime minister and a great lady.

 

This week John Whittingdale signed a Book of Commitment in the House of Commons, in doing so pledging his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who died during the Holocaust.

Sunday January 27th will mark the 68th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi concentration and extermination camp which is the site of the largest mass murder in history. In the weeks running up to the day, the Holocaust Educational Trust placed a Book of Commitment in the House of Commons, giving MPs the chance to honour those who were persecuted and killed during the Holocaust and encouraging constituents to work together to combat prejudice and racism today.

In signing the Book of Commitment, John Whittingdale paid tribute to those who perished during the Holocaust and honoured the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people about what they endured, through the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Outreach programme. In the weeks leading up to and after Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. This year, people will also be encouraged to honour those communities that have been destroyed by genocide and reflect on the importance of coming together to oppose prejudice and hatred.

John said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity to remember the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. I encourage all constituents to mark the day and to join members of community in the fight against prejudice and intolerance.” Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “We are proud that John Whittingdale is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day this year. It is vitally important that we both remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust – as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge all forms of hatred and bigotry.” 

 

Maldon MP. John Whittingdale, was asked by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to present flowers to 3 sets of medallists in the Olympic Stadium on Sunday, 2nd September.

John presented flowers to each of the three medal winners in the Women’s Shotput F54/55/56, the Men’s Javelin Throw F33/34 and the Women’s 200 metres T46

John, who is Chairman of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, said: “Having spent 7 years chairing the Committee monitoring preparations for the Games, it was a tremendous honour to be asked to present the flowers to the Paralympic medal winners in the Olympic Stadium. The atmosphere in the Stadium was tremendous and even though TeamGB did not win a medal in these particular categories, the warmth of the crowd’s reception was very moving. Coming after such a successful Olympic Games, the Paralympics have been truly inspiring, demonstrating the courage, determination and ability of so many remarkable athletes. I hope that they will also have helped to transform attitudes to disabled people and the challenges they face”.

John is pictured with the three medal winners in the Women’s Shot Put F54/55/56 category: Gold Medal: Liwan Yang (China) Silver Medal: Marianne Buggenhagen (Germany) Bronze Medal: Angela Madsen (USA)