Welcome to the official website of the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race.

2018 Parliamentary Pancake Race

2018 Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race

The 2018 Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race took place on Tuesday 13th February in Victoria Tower Gardens outside Houses of Parliament in London.

The funds raised through the 2018 Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race were designated towards our Acquired Brain Injury Services in the North East of England.

Based in Newcastle, Momentum Skills’ North East offers  rehabilitation services for people with an acquired brain injury and or neurological condition.

The service provides advice, support and practical assistance to individuals from the North East of England with an acquired brain injury and or neurological condition; focusing on their return to work, education, training or in some instances voluntary work.

Consequences of brain injury may include memory loss, lack of concentration, anxiety, anger management issues, impulsive and inappropriate behaviour and depression. These issues usually lead to a vicious circle of unemployment, disadvantage, family breakdown and social isolation. Momentum can support you in overcoming these issues through use of strategies and support via their multidisciplinary team approach.

We provide:

• Vocational Profiling
• Work Placements
• Employment Support and Access to Work
• Cognitive Retraining
• Life changes after brain injury
• Stress Management
• Group therapy Sessions
• Personal Development
• Social & Life Skills
• Work related skills training, including assistance with CV building, job applications and interview techniques
• Certified training/qualifications in employability skills


Pancakes, crêpes, drop scones, hotcakes – call them what you like, the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race sees them demolished in seconds. Not because of their irresistible taste but because they’re vigorously tossed in the air by members of the House of Commons, the House of Lords as well as political correspondents, as they batter around a race course, vying for the winners’ title.

Since the first Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race in 1998, the event has grown in popularity, with reportage by the BBC, ITN and CNN as well as being the subject matter of amused tourists’ holiday snaps.

MPs, Lords and members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery gather in Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Houses of Parliament, where they swap their warm coats and woolly caps for aprons and chefs’ hats. It really is a sight to behold.

Having sized up the competition, most turn to concentrate on practising their flipping skills and ensuring that their shoe laces are firmly tied. As the teams line up for the race, or what’s better described as a battle, one can witness a steely hunger to win.

Rumour has it that before the use of milk in pancake batter, brandy and wine had been common. Seeing the antics of some of the race participants, you would be forgiven for thinking that some Houses of Parliament whisky had been slipped into the pancakes!

Despite all the fun and frolics of the event over the last 20 years, the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race has served to raise awareness of the work that Rehab does in enhancing the life chances of people with disabilities and others who are socially-excluded in the UK.

I have done many things in my career to support charities and other good causes.

Uniquely, for ‘Rehab’, I have been jostled by peers, sledged by Parliamentary supporters, tripped by MPs and I have flirted with a coronary – all in a good cause.

But, to be frank, enough is enough.

I feel this was recognised by the brilliant people at ‘Rehab’, too, when they asked me, this year, to be the official starter of their annual Parliamentary Pan-cake Race.

I get pride of place, prestige, the power of high office and I won’t end up with aching lungs and sore feet.

I am one of those journalists who doesn’t subscribe to the nasty theory that us hacks should treat politicians as dogs do a lamp-post.

Across the parties, in the Commons and the Lords, I have many friends of all political persuasions – and none. (That is not a dig at indecision: it is a recognition of the impartiality of the Cross-Benchers in the Upper House!).

In the main, they are good people and, for ‘Rehab’ they are happy to give their energy and their time for a brilliant cause.

We’ll also get to see what physical condition they are in, too.

We have three teams: Members of the House of Commons; Members of the House of Lords; and members of the media – both those who write well in the newspapers and those who speak reasonably well on radio and television.

I shall be prompt and impartial; I will broach no cheating and will call out the bad whilst praising the good. At the end, I will award medals to the winners, a smile to the runners up and give wooden spoons to the losers.

In truth, none are losers. Its a bit of fun for ‘Rehab’.

Sweat will be broken, pan-cakes will be tossed and a splendid time will be had by all.

The race raises money for ‘Rehab’, a charity that works with disabled people and others who are marginalised. It helps in education, training, health and social care and with employment services.

It is a thoroughly good organisation and the madness we are about to indulge in, this Shrive Tuesday, is a thoroughly good thing, too.

So: on your marks, getting ready… come and support up!

Alastair Stewart OBE


Parliamentary Team

Tonia Antoniazzi

Dr. Rupa Huq

Mims Davies

Bambos Charalambous

Lord St John of Bletso

Paul Scully

Matt Warman

Media Team

Lucrezia Millarini – ITV News

Rachael Venables – LBC Radio

Laura Hughes – Financial Times

Chris Hope – The Telegraph

Tom Newton Dunn – The Sun

James Landale – BBC

Jo Coburn  – BBC Daily Politics

Liz Bates – DODS Parliamentary Communications

Georgie Prodromue – Bauer Media

Lewis Goodall – SKY News

Angus Walker – ITV News

Runners who have taken part in the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race over recent years:


Nick de Bois

David Burrowes

Stephen Pound

Andrew Rosindell

Sir David Amess

Tracey Crouch

Bob Russell

Sarah Wollaston

Victoria Atkins

Rob Flello

Seema Kennedy

Tim Loughton

Liz McInnes

Catherine McKinnell

Johnny Mercer

Clive Lewis

Sir Alan Duncan


Lord St John of Bletso

Lord Redesdale

Lord Addington

Lord Mitchell

Lord Bilimoria

Ford Freyberg

Baroness Parminter

Baroness Altmann

Lord Porter of Spalding

Baroness Bertin

Lord Kennedy

Baroness Kramer

Lord Mawson


Tom Bradby

Robbie Gibb

Gary Gibbon

Sam Macrory

Jane Merrick

George Parker

Nigel Nelson

Sophy Ridge

Patrick Wintour

Nick Robinson

Kirsty Buchannon

Ben Wright

Alastair Stewart

Caroline Wheeler

Mia Wormesley

Faisal Ahmed

Adam Boulton

Official Starters over the years have included:

Cathy Newman

Naga Munchetty

Claire Balding

Charlene White

Nina Hossain

Mary Nightingale

Julie Etchingham

Mark Austin

Connor Urwin

I had a bleed on the brain in January 2017.

I had just got my car and a job as a painter. But hopefully I will get back into that in the future. I was completely paralysed on my whole right side. I don’t exactly look blind to be honest, so nobody expects that when I tell them.

I was always depressed, I didn’t really get out of the house.

I couldn’t go anywhere by myself because I am blind in my right eye. I lost all that when I had my bleed. I always forget stuff, appointments and all that. It’s hard to get out now, I don’t really see my mates. It’s nice to be here. If it wasn’t for my mam, I wouldn’t be able to do the things that I do. I’d probably even forget to come here.

I come here every Tuesday, and I’m hopefully going to start coming more often. It gets me out of the house, meet new friends and gives you loads of opportunities for the future. If I wasn’t coming here I’d probably just moping around the house doing absolutely nothing, feeling sorry for myself. The staff are always here. Anything that you need, they are always here to ask. There is always somebody running around doing something for you.

We talk about the effects of the brain, how different things affect you. I am able to understand what is happening in my brain. I wouldn’t have known otherwise, nobody told me. There are different courses and items on different days, so I’m looking forward to doing other things. I have so much confidence from being here, I would have just been sitting around the house doing absolutely nothing.

Everyone is understanding, they all have a joke, but nobody takes the mick. There’s limited things I can do now. I would like to go back to a trade, because I’ve always been into that sort of stuff.

Connor attends Rehab Group’s brain injury services in Newcastle.

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