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On Friday 24th March, local MP Phil Wilson embraced the spirit of Comic Relief by shedding his standard suit and instead sported a bright red one in aide of Red Nose Day. Mr Wilson hoped that by stepping out in a shining red suit, he could raise money and awareness for the cause. He asked MP’s, Labour Party members, and members of the public to sponsor him, and in return promised to spend his working day attending meetings and visits wearing a red suit.

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Red suit on, the first visit of the day was to Sugar Hill Primary School in Newton Aycliffe, where children participated in a disco at Breakfast Club, decorating cakes, making jam tarts as well as singing the Red Nose song to Mr Wilson, who spoke to children about the importance of events like Comic Relief during an assembly. With all the activities for both Comic relief, and Water Aid earlier in the week, Sugar Hill Primary raised a whopping £632.06.

From Sugar Hill, Mr Wilson popped into his constituency office where he met Newtonian Vince Crosby, before heading on to Sedgefield Hardwick Primary, where the school had a big treat in store for the red suited MP. Throughout the week, children at the school had been participating in a comedy competition, and on Friday the two winning performances from each year group performed for Mr Wilson. There were jokes galore from children of all ages, many of whom are destined for the stage!

The winning act from each year group then got to pick their favourite teacher, to give ‘treat’ to. The ‘treats’ ranged from a bucket of custard to a bucket of ice being poured over the teachers head, by very excited children. The school however, not wanting to leave Mr Wilson out, also had a surprise in store for him, in the shape of a lovely cream pie! Which student Kristen Lumsdon thoroughly enjoyed splatting in Mr Wilson’s face!

Whilst the red suit may not have escaped unscathed from the cream pie, lots of money was raised for Comic Relief at both schools and well as through Mr Wilson’s sponsorship.

Reflecting on the day, Phil Wilson said; ‘I had great fun, and I would like to extend a huge thank you to both Sedgefield Hardwick and Sugar Hill primary schools. It was great to see children so actively engaged with Comic Relief. I would also like to thank everyone who was kind enough to sponsor me by donating money to this cause. As for the red suit, I can’t promise it will make a reappearance, I’m not sure it quite survived the cream pie!’

Red Suit for Red Nose Day

On Friday 24th March, local MP Phil Wilson embraced the spirit of Comic Relief by shedding his standard suit and instead sported a bright red one in aide of Red...

On Wednesday Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield, attended an event in Parliament to show his support for World Cancer Day, on Saturday 4th February.

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The event, where Phil met with representatives from seven leading charities who have joined forces, comes as it is reported that one in two people born in the UK will develop cancer in their life time.

By joining forces, Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Care, Breast Cancer Now, CLIC Sargent, Anthony Nolan, Bowel Cancer UK and Marie Curie, hope to make a bigger impact in transforming the lives of millions who are affected by cancer.

Cancer is indiscriminate, and whilst 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years, it remains the single largest cause of death from disease amongst children and young people in the UK.

The charities are calling on people to show their support by wearing a unity band, or donating. The bands are available from each charity on their websites, shops and other retail outlets for a suggested donation of £2. All the money raised from the Unity Bands will go towards the charities individual work, and their work to prevent, diagnose, treat and support those affect by cancer.

Mr Wilson said “I am calling on the people in Sedgefield to join me by wearing a Unity Band, making a donation or spreading the word on social media in support of World Cancer Day which is Saturday 4th February.

“Whatever your motivation – to remember a loved one, celebrate people who have overcome the disease, or to rally in support of those going through treatment – World Cancer Day is a chance to get involved and transform the lives of millions of people who are affected by cancer.”

Phil Wilson gets behind World Cancer Day 2017

On Wednesday Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield, attended an event in Parliament to show his support for World Cancer Day, on Saturday 4th February.

On the 31st January, MP for Sedgefield Phil Wilson spoke in the Brexit debate in Parliament.

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I campaigned passionately during last year’s referendum for Britain to remain in the EU and still feel passionately about it. I remain deeply concerned about the outcome and what is to follow, but the British people voted to leave. As strongly as I hold my views, it is only right that the wishes of the majority of the British people should be respected, because the real decision to trigger article 50 is not taken tomorrow night—it was taken on 23 June 2016.

It is fair to say that although the referendum question asked voters whether they wanted to remain in or leave the EU, it did not detail what “leave” actually meant. That argument still needs to be thoroughly addressed. Simply to say that out means out is not a policy—the issue is far too complicated for that. The result of last year’s referendum did not point to the door through which we should exit. There are many doors and exit strategies to consider. If those who voted to leave did so to “take back control”, then surely it should be Parliament that decides through which door we should leave.

There are many questions to answer. What is to be the final article 50 deal? What will a future free trade agreement between the EU and the UK look like? What will be the consequences for jobs? Will the assurances given to Nissan also be given to other sectors of the economy? What will our relationship be with the customs union? There are questions around workers’ and consumer rights, as well as the environment and, of course, immigration. I would like to see an agreement that reforms free movement and allows tariff-free and unimpeded access to the single market, with a transitional arrangement, if necessary—as it probably will be—to prevent our economy from falling off a cliff edge. Even the International Trade Secretary has said that he wants

“at least as free a trading environment as we have today.”

The Prime Minister has said she wants to give companies

“maximum freedom to trade with and operate in the Single Market”.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has said that people did not vote “to become poorer”. I want this House to hold them to this.

If there is one thing that the result of the referendum proved, it is that we need a new settlement on free movement, but it must be balanced with what is best for the economy. To have a lasting settlement, there should be a Europe-wide agreement. Pulling down the shutters on the rest of Europe is not the answer. People did not vote to have fewer rights at work, yet I see that the Prime Minister has committed to those rights only while she is in power. I can understand that, but what happens next? I do not want to see a race to the bottom. I want the people I represent to be protected against future challenges, of which there will be many. There is a mandate for Britain’s exit from the EU, but there is no mandate on the manner in which we leave. That is why the Government must come to this House to inform Parliament of their progress throughout the negotiations, and we must be given a vote on the final deal. We should also be given an impact assessment of the effect of the deal on the economy, its sectors, and this country’s future.

As the Prime Minister searches for trade deals that we cannot start negotiating formally until we have left the EU, she should consider the manner in which she proceeds. The Prime Minister knows the dilemma this country is in, but she must consider her demeanour. She shows too much haste, especially in securing a state visit for the President of the United States seven days into his presidency when President Reagan waited 17 months to visit the UK. It was not even a state visit, and we all know how close President Reagan was to Margaret Thatcher. All this reveals that the Prime Minister’s haste is undue. Some say that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations would be a risky agreement between the US, representing 350 million consumers, and the EU of 28 countries, representing half a billion. Wait until we see what is on offer from President Trump, who puts “America first”, when he knows he is negotiating with one country of 65 million people that is desperate for a deal. I do not believe that this fact will have been lost on the arch-dealmaker himself. If the Prime Minister is prepared to walk away from the EU because

“no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain”, will she walk away from a trade deal with the US on the same basis? The Government want to see us as a great global trading nation, and I do as well. So to avoid us standing on the street corner, cap in hand, I would not walk away from the EU without a deal being struck. Without a deal, I would stay at the negotiating table until I got one—walking away is not an option.

I know that my voting to trigger article 50 may come as a disappointment to some of my constituents, while others may believe that leaving the EU is the correct course. The debate in the House of Commons over the next two weeks will be the start of the process, not the end. I reserve judgment as to my future voting intentions. We need to get what follows right. As much as I do not like the result of the EU referendum, neither can I ignore it. I will therefore continue to exercise my duty in good faith, with the wellbeing of my constituents and the country at the forefront of the decisions I make. I quote the Secretary of State for Brexit:

“If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.”

MP Speaks in Article 50 Debate

On the 31st January, MP for Sedgefield Phil Wilson spoke in the Brexit debate in Parliament.


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