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Post letters: Margaret Hodge MP, MS an epilepsy

PUBLISHED: 12:30 13 October 2019

Dame Margaret Hodge has been Barking MP for 25 years. Picture: PA

Dame Margaret Hodge has been Barking MP for 25 years. Picture: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Post readers this week.

Labour Party should review re-selection policy

Dr Leonard Restall B ED, M Ed (Hons), New Zealand, formerly from Barking, writes:

The devastating report of Dame Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking, failing to get support for re-selection for the Labour Party is an absolute travesty for a person who has given 25 years of loyal public service to Barking and Parliament.

To fail to get support after having 55 per cent of ward branches and 90 per cent of affiliated societies supporting her is difficult to accept and is unreasonable.

The requirement appears to be 66 per cent for automatic selection; so this is the reason requiring re-selection.

But is it the right reason for someone that has proved her worth for the last 25 years?

There are possibly other factors that may be working against her such as her strong opposition to antisemitism which is an anathema to many people.

Many times she has been recognised for the intense interest she has demonstrated concerning matters political and societal without necessarily focussing on her political party, for the benefit of Barking residents.

Irrespective of one's political views the sincerity and her devotion to the country appears to be at the heart of her work and justifies the automatic selection.

Let us hope that the re-selection policy of her party may be reviewed to accept such good reported service to the constituents, and residents of Barking will accept her for her value rather than for the statistical requirement of questionable numbers.

Stopping MS is possible

Scott Mills, MS Society ambassador and broadcaster, writes:

Multiple sclerosis (MS) has changed my life in many ways.

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Both my mum and my friend Beccy live with this relentless, painful, disabling condition. Mum was diagnosed in 2007 after years of unexplained symptoms. Then in 2012 Beccy, who was only 31 at the time, discovered she had it too.

More than 100,000 people live with MS in the UK and around 10,050 have it in the East of England. People have different types and right now there are treatments that work for Beccy, but none for my mum.

Amazingly, for the first time, scientists believe stopping MS is possible.

They can see a future where nobody needs to worry about MS getting worse - that means not living in fear you'll be reliant on a wheelchair, or one day lose your independence.

This has given me incredible hope and it's why I'm encouraging everyone in the East of England to support the MS Society's Stop MS Appeal.

They need to raise £100 million over ten years to find treatments for everyone with MS, and need all the support they can get. With your readers' help, we can stop MS.

- Readers can find out more at mssociety.org.uk/stop

Take a break for epilepsy

Natalie Warnock, chief baker, Epilepsy Action, writes:

Have your readers been inspired by the Great British Bake Off? Their time in the kitchen whipping up biscuits, puddings or cakes could make a real difference to people with epilepsy.

Epilepsy Action's Tea Break is on Friday, October 18. People up and down the nation will be popping the kettle on and rolling out their best bakes.

The tea parties will raise money to support people with epilepsy in the UK. One in 100 people live with the condition which can be life-altering.

Every cup of tea and sweet treat sold at an Epilepsy Action Tea Break will raise vital funds to support the charity's vital work.

Whether it's through our experts on the Epilepsy Action Helpline or our network of local support groups, we're here when people with epilepsy need us. More than that, we are the voice for people with epilepsy, speaking up to ensure people with epilepsy get the best health services and support possible.Holding your own Epilepsy Action Tea Break couldn't be simpler.

- Everyone who signs up by October 14 will get a handy toolkit, filled with baking inspiration and ways to make their event a success. For a free pack, visit epilepsy.org.uk/teabreak or call 0113 210 8851.

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