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It's a busy schedule working as the MP for Leicester South. We try to make sure we keep everyone up-to-date with important issues, topics that affect constituents. We do this with regular updates on the website, including this page, where we highlight news items.
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Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, leads hunt for charity champion

October 13 2017
As #givingtuesday – the world’s biggest day for charitable giving – draws closer, Jon is calling on people in Leicester to help choose the UK’s ultimate charity campion.

The campaign is searching for someone who has shown an extraordinary commitment to charity and who has the potential to be the UK’s face of the global #givingtuesday campaign.

#givingtuesday is led in the UK by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and will take place on Tuesday 28 November. It calls for people to ‘do good stuff’ for causes, and the #givingtuesday champion will serve as an ambassador for the campaign.

Jon said: “We all know people who go above and beyond the call of duty to support charity – this is a chance to celebrate those who make such an important contribution to our daily life in Leicester.”

“Let’s get behind #givingtuesday and find a champion who embodies our great commitment to charity.”

Previous winners of the campaign include Andrew Davies, who raised £150,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and Courtney Hughes who has launched her own charity to distribute Christmas presents to people in care homes in Oxfordshire.


jon ashworth giving tuesday

The winner of the champion search will be given a platform to share their story to inspire others, and to show why people should come together on #givingtuesday to do good stuff.

Ben Russell, Director of Communications at CAF commented: “The next #givingtuesday champion will help to inspire millions of people across the country to do good stuff – help us find someone who stands out from the crowd and can represent the best of Britain on the global stage.”

Nominations can be made at
Jon speaking in the Commons
Jon speaking in the Commons
Click photo for enlargement
Entries will close on Friday 27 October and a shortlist will be announced on Monday 30 October.  The winner will be revealed on Tuesday 7 November. Entrants need to aged 16 or over and reside in the UK.

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, backs campaign for better post-transplant care

October 12 2017
Jon has backed a campaign by blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, calling for better care for people recovering from
a stem cell transplant.

Despite stem cell transplant patients often being known as “patients for life” due to the long-term side-effects of the treatment, many patients are not receiving adequate support for the physical, practical and psychological challenges they experience during recovery.

According to research by Anthony Nolan, one in five are not offered any specialist care to help with their recovery, which includes access to physiotherapists, counsellors, and fertility experts.

Anthony Nolan is calling on health commissioners across the UK to urgently review the care arrangements they have in place for transplant recipients once they leave hospital, to ensure that patients and their families can continue to access vital support and services.

National commissioners pay for any treatment needed by patients for the first 100 days after transplant. After this point, responsibility for funding services passes to local commissioners – in England, the patients’ local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). However, a Freedom of Information request by Anthony Nolan found that at present, fewer than one in ten (9%) CCGs have specific arrangements in place.

At an event in the House of Commons this week, Jon Ashworth MP heard from patient representatives about how difficult recovery can be without appropriate support.


Jon said: “A number of my constituents have got in touch to bring this issue to my attention, so I know how important it is for people in Leicester that stem cell transplant patients and their families receive appropriate support. No patient’s recovery should be made more difficult by a lack of care and support, and that’s why I’m backing Anthony Nolan’s campaign, urging health commissioners to review the care arrangements they have in place once transplant patients leave hospital.”

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “It’s vital that health commissioners carry out an urgent review into the long-term care that stem cell transplant recipients need throughout their recovery, so we’re delighted to have the support of Jon Ashworth MP in raising awareness of this issue in Parliament and in their constituency.”

“Anthony Nolan is calling on health commissioners to work with us and the clinical community and make sure that post-transplant care works for every patient, to ensure they get the support they need to make a good recovery.”

To support the campaign, visit
Jon at the Anthony Nolan event in Parliament
Jon at the Anthony Nolan event in Parliament
Click photo for enlargement

About Anthony Nolan

Anthony Nolan saves the lives of people with blood cancer. The charity uses its register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer and blood disorder patients in need of stem cell transplants.

It also carries out pioneering research to increase stem cell transplant success, and supports patients through their transplant journeys. Every day Anthony Nolan gives three people a second chance at life. Find out more at

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, judges the
Great Highfields Bake Off

October 7 2017

Jon, along with Michelle Stratford and Anisa Karolia, was judging the cakes at the Great Highfields Bake Off

The Bake Off was organised by Hajra’s Kitchen and Cook with Anisa with the support of Wycliffe Community Ward Funding. The event took place at the Highfields Centre with 15 entries.

Jon said: “The Great Highfields Bake Off was a fantastic event and it was great that the Wycliffe Councillors supported such an engaging event. As well as meeting the contestants I met old friends at the event.”

The event was won by Safeera Gangat with Halima Bhikhv and Munthana Mussa second and third respectively.

Jon commented: “All 15 cakes were amazing and I congratulate Safeera on winning what I hope will be the first of many Highfields Bake Off.”

All participants received a medallion and there were trophies and prizes for the first, second, and third places.

Jon judging the cakes
Councillor Dawood from Wycliffe Ward, commented: “I think this is a wonderful event not only to show off your talent, but to bring different communities together. Hajra and Anisa did a great job organising this event, and I am sure that everybody had a great time.”

Jon with (left to right) His Worshipful The Lord Mayor, the husband of the winner, Safeera Gangat the winner, Anisa Karolia, Michelle Stratford, The Lady Mayoress and Councillor Aqbany
Photo left shows Jon judging the cakes, photo above, Jon with (left to right) His Worshipful The Lord Mayor, the husband of the winner, Safeera Gangat the winner, Anisa Karolia, Michelle Stratford, The Lady Mayoress and Councillor Aqbanye,
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Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, attends Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

September 29 2017

Jon attended the Coffee Morning at the Pork Pie Library, the biggest fundraising event for people facing cancer

The Coffee Morning has been organised by a local resident Christine Festorazzi.

People all over the UK host their own Coffee Mornings and donations on the day are made to Macmillan. The very first Coffee Morning was 27 years ago and since then, the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning has raised over £165.5 million for Macmillan. Last year alone the event raised £29.5 million across the UK.

Speaking before the visit, Jon said: “I went to Coffee Morning last year and I am looking forward to showing my support this year again. It is great to have such caring residents like Christine who volunteer their time for such an amazing cause. Campaigning for better cancer care is essential and invaluable.”

Macmillan provides medical, emotional, practical and financial support, not just to those facing cancer, but also for friends and family too.

The Coffee Morning at the Pork Pie Library started at 11am. As well as coffee and cake there were various stalls and activities for children.


Jon with volunteers at the Coffee Morning including Christine Festorazzi (left)
Christine Festorazzi said: “Our Coffee Morning is kindly supported by Tesco and Café Extra which are both on Saffron Lane, and Saffron Health Practice. It is my pleasure to organise this event. Anyone can pop in for a cup of hot drink and a slice of cake to support this great cause.”

Christine Festorazzi also organises a monthly Coffee Morning at the Pork Pie Library on the first Friday of every month from 10am to 12 Midday. Since November 2016 these monthly Coffee Mornings have raised over £100 for Macmillan.

Jon with Tracey Inchley from the City Council
Photo left shows Jon with volunteers at the Coffee Morning including Christine Festorazzi (left), photo above shows Jon with Tracey Inchley from the City Council
Click any photo for enlargement
For more information on the
World’s Biggest Coffee Morning
please go to

Jonathan Ashworth MP opened the St John The Baptist Primary School’s Autumn Festival today and got gunged into the bargain! 

September 23 2017
The school’s Parents, Teachers & Friends Association (PTFA) hold an annual Autumn Festival and it’s their main fund-raising event of the year.

Last year they raised over £6,000 and the money went on sports and play equipment for the infants and reading books for the juniors.

There was a full programme on the day with live music, bouncy castles, teacher gunging, loads of stalls, free children’s activities, the fabulous tombola, a brilliant barbecue, a bar, and, of course, loads of tea and lovely cakes.  


Jon opened the Autumn Festival at 11 am and then was gunged by the main stage. Speaking before the event Jon said: “I’m looking forward to opening the school’s Autumn Festival. It will be a fun day, although I’m not sure how fun it will be for me to be gunged - I had my arm twisted by one or two of the school’s pupils!”

Photo shows Jon getting gunged
Click photo for enlargement
Jon getting gunged

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, is encouraging all A-level students in Leicester to take part in the Political Studies Association’s Schools’ Video Competition, now in its seventh year.   

September 21 2017
The Schools’ Video Competition is a highlight in the PSA’s calendar of activities to engage young people in the
study of politics.

The annual film competition, sponsored by YouGov, is open to post-16 students who will be studying during the academic year 2017-18.

Jon said: “We cannot undervalue the importance of engaging young people in politics.  I’d encourage all local A-level students to take part in this competition and submit their ideas and videos. Good luck to all the Leicester students taking part.”

This year’s competition asks students to explore the question: “Fake News: Is this the end of facts?” Groups of students are invited to submit short videos on this subject, examining what fake news is, what effect it may be having on the political landscape and what it means for expert opinion and ‘factual’ knowledge. 

CEO of the Political Studies Association, Phil Sooben, said: “The high levels of political engagement displayed by young people during this year’s snap election demonstrates an increased interest in and awareness of current political issues.”


“This year’s Political Studies Association student video competition on ‘Fake News’ is a unique opportunity for A level students to add their voice to an important discussion which touches on the PSA’s mission to ensure political debate is conducted with the use of robust evidence and integrity.”

Shortlisted groups will be invited to Speaker’s House in the Palace of Westminster to discuss the ideas raised in their video with a panel of politicians, journalists and academics.  Previous jurors have included Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Victoria Derbyshire.

The winners of the Schools' Short Video Competition will receive their award at the PSA’s Annual Awards Ceremony in Westminster.  This year’s ceremony takes place on 5 December in London.  On top of this, the winning students get a week’s work experience with the YouGov political team during their school holidays.

Click website address below for full competition details for 2017 and how to enter
Jon with College students
Jon with College students
Click photo for enlargement
Jon commented “It was clear from this year’s General Election that young people should be listened to. This competition not only gives young people the opportunity to put their views forward, but is a great way to develop new skills, explore their creativity and get in touch with contemporary political issues. The added training that winning teams get from YouGov makes this initiative ever more worthwhile.”

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, warns police are at “breaking point” as emergency calls surge 

September 14 2017
Data obtained by Labour’s shadow police minister Louise Haigh MP reveals that 999 calls to Leicestershire Police
have surged this year.

Leicestershire Police, which covers a population of more than 1million, has seen an 18% rise in emergency 999 calls in just three years, taking over 144,000 calls in the year to June.

Other forces across the country are also dealing with unprecedented demand with an average 12.3% rise in emergency calls across the forces surveyed.

The head of the Police Superintendents of England and Wales warned on Monday of a “perfect storm in policing” with “fewer resources, reduced public services, new threats and a worrying increase in some types of traditional crime.”

Responding, Jon Ashworth MP said: “I am very concerned with the increase in 999 calls and especially the increase in calls relating to a person’s mental health. It is clear that underfunding of the NHS, specifically mental health services, is having an effect on the work of the police,”

“The police have a difficult job and they need the full backing of the Government. Increasing pay without funding to match will only lead to a cut in the number of officers.”


Pressure on officers has reached new highs with Ministers announcing that police officers would receive a 1% pay-rise in addition to a 1% one-off bonus to be funded out of police budgets.

Fears have been raised by the National Police Chiefs’ Council that without better funding the award would “inevitably” lead to a cut in the number of bobbies. Leicestershire Police have already lost a third of their officers since 2010.

Labour research released over the weekend revealed that the average police officer was now £6,000 per year worse in real terms as the pay cap left wages failing to keep pace with inflation.

Responding, Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister, Louise Haigh MP said: “These figures starkly demonstrate why the police have warned they are facing a perfect storm. Emergency calls have skyrocketed, the terror threat is unprecedented, and they are forced to step in to deal with mental health issues thanks to cutbacks elsewhere – all as officer numbers fall.

“It is no surprise that police morale is at rock bottom when the Tories have spent seven years asking them to do ever more while slashing their pay year after year.”

Jon speaking in parliament
Jon speaking in parliament
Click photo for enlargement
“Tory cuts have brought the police to breaking point. They must think again and give forces across the country the resources they need to tackle unprecedented demands on our police.”

“A Labour government would ease the pressure on overstretched forces by recruiting 10,000 extra police officers and lift the pay cap so our dedicated police officers are properly rewarded.”

Politicians wear it pink for breast cancer fundraiser

September 12 2017
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, poses in pink at Westminster to support Breast Cancer Now’s vital research

Jon dressed in pink to lend his support to Breast Cancer Now’s flagship fundraiser, wear it pink, which will see thousands of people across the UK adding a splash of pink to their outfits on Friday 20 October and raise vital funds for breast cancer research.

Jon is encouraging people in Leicester to join him and sign up to take part in the UK’s biggest pink fundraiser. The event, which takes place during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is in its 16th year and has raised over £30 million to date for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving research.

Jon was joined by fellow parliamentarians in Westminster this week to showed their support for the thousands of women and men affected by breast cancer each year, encouraging people across the UK to take part on wear it pink day.

Anyone can take part in wear it pink, which brings together schools, workplaces and communities. All you need to do is wear something pink, or hold a pink event at home, work or school, and make a donation to Breast Cancer Now. Whatever you do, you’re helping the charity achieve its aim that, if we all act now, by 2050 everyone who develops breast cancer will live.

Jon Ashworth said: “Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. One in eight women will face it in their lifetime, and every year around 11,500 women and 80 men lose their lives to the disease. This is why I’m urging everyone in [insert place] to take part in wear it pink on Friday 20 October. It’s such a fun and easy way to support Breast Cancer Now’s vital research, and help stop breast cancer taking the lives of those we love.”

Also in attendance was Sky News presenter and former Olympic gymnast Jacquie Beltrao. Jacquie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, is lending her support to wear it pink in the hope that thousands of people across the country will take part in the event.


Jacquie Beltrao said: “I’m very proud to support wear it pink; it’s a great excuse to dress up in pink and have some fun while raising money for a really important cause. I have had breast cancer myself and following my diagnosis and treatment have become incredibly passionate about raising awareness and funds for research.”

“Wear it pink has raised over £30 million to date for Breast Cancer Now, which is incredible. The event raises funds for the charity’s world-class research, which will hopefully one day put a stop to this dreadful disease. That is why I’m asking people across the country join me, and the MPs who took part in Westminster, by adding a splash of pink to their outfits on wear it pink day and donating to Breast Cancer Now. I hope lots of people across the UK take part!”

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said: “It is fantastic that so many MPs dressed up in pink at our Westminster wear it pink event and we are really grateful for all of the support and enthusiasm shown. We hope that by wearing pink, [insert name] will encourage his/her constituents in [insert constituency] to get involved in their local community and help us fund life-saving research this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

“Wear it pink is a wonderful opportunity for communities across the UK to come together and have fun, whilst showing their support for everyone affected by breast cancer. Simply by wearing something pink and donating, you’re raising funds for life-saving research and helping Breast Cancer Now reach our goal that, by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live.”

Jon supporting Wear it Pink
Jon supporting Wear it Pink
Click photo for enlargement
To take part in wear it pink this October, please visit www.wearitpink.org for further details, fundraising ideas and how to register for your free fundraising pack.
wear it pink

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, visited The Friends Hub and took part in some sparring

September 8 2017

Jon visited The Friends Hub on Friday 8 September to meet with staff and young people.

Jon with Ismail and the young people from Majerz Boxing Club
Jon sparring with Ismail Yusuf
Jon sparring with Ismail Yusuf

The Friends Hub was established in January 2016 by Mr Ismail Yusuf to provide after school opportunities for young people and to prevent anti-social behaviour in the area.

The Friends Hub is based on 83a Bartholomew Street and currently offers boxing and table tennis sessions for young people between the age of 11 and 21.

Speaking after the visit, Jon stated: “The Friends Hub is a great idea. It is important for young people to be involved and stay active. It was good meeting everyone and I enjoyed my time sparring with Ismail.”



The boxing club, Majerz Club, runs sessions twice a week on a Monday from 7.00 to 8.45pm and Saturdays from 12 Midday to 1.15pm. Each session is usually attended by 10 to 12 young people who train and practice light sparring.

Table tennis sessions run every Wednesday and Friday evening and everyone is welcome who would like to learn or simply enjoys playing table tennis.


Mr Ismail Yusuf, commented: “As somebody who grew up in Highfields, I know how difficult it is to find after school activities for young people in the area. I wanted to give back to my community and setting up The Friends Hub is a good way to do it. I am very pleased that Jon Ashworth will visit The Hub and meet our young people.”


Photos above show Jon with Ismail and the young people from Majerz Boxing Club and Jon sparring with Ismail Yusuf


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