Date of issue: Shrove Tuesday, February 9 2016
In an egg-citing finish to this year's Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race in London, the MPs' Team has flattened the opposition to scoop victory at the annual showdown of Westminster's finest. The race in support of the disability charity, Rehab, and sponsored by Hudgell Solicitors, took place this morning in the shadows of the Houses of Parliament in Victoria Tower Gardens.
The race saw teams of MPs, Lords and Media, watched on the sidelines by hundreds of spectators and media from around the globe, undertake a gruelling nine laps, to complete the race in a flash in the pan, or six minutes and eight seconds to be precise.
The result means the MPs' Team has broken its losing streak to regain its crown having last won in 2013. The Media Team has lost its winning form of 2015 and the Lords Team, winners in 2014, will now have to seriously review its race strategy and tactics. Funds raised from the event go towards Rehab's brain injury centres in Birmingham and Newcastle while members of the public can donate £5 by simply texting 'PANC16 £5' to 70070.
Steve Pound, Team Captain for the MPs' Team, was brimming with pride following the declaration of the result, with Pancake Race Gold in Rio now firmly in his sights: 'Today we brought our A game—no question. For weeks we have been walking on eggshells, but the hours of pancake race bootcamp finally paid off. To lift the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race Magnificent Tin Cup really is a wonderful feeling. Hats off to the opposition though, they really gave us a run for our pancakes and forced us to dig even deeper. For a while we thought we were fried, but we weren't going to let this one out of the pan. Our next challenge will be to fly the flag for Queen and country at the Olympic Games in Rio and win Pancake Race Gold for Britain—that will be a real feather in our cap. Of course, the race is all about supporting the work of the disability charity, Rehab, and the importance of supporting our disabled and marginalised communities. That's one race that we must never lose sight of. Rehab are the real winners here today.'
The Race's Official Starter, Cathy Newman, has seen lots of weird and wonderful things on the news, but never quite anything like the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race: 'I’d been warned about shenanigans and mayhem at the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race, but nothing prepared me for what I witnessed today. Sabotaging of pans, untying of shoe laces, tugging of apron strings, elbowing of opponents—it wasn't easy to sort out the good eggs from the flipping tossers. But thanks to action replay and following close consultation with race video officials, I’m glad to say that the best team won and I wish them well on their quest for Olympic glory. The real winners, of course, are Rehab, and I can't think of a more deserving cause. Rehab is quite simply a lifeline for those it helps to lead fulfilling lives and to achieve their dreams.'
Peter Brammall, the Chief Operations Officer for Rehab in England and Wales, congratulated the winning team and all of the participants for their support of the charity. 'The Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race really has become a wonderful, quirky and uniquely British tradition. In what other country will you see members of Parliament and the media line up, to be 'egged' on by spectators and to potentially fall flat as a pancake. I want to congratulate the MPs' Team on their stunning win and, equally as importantly, I want to thank all of the participants for making a real difference to the work that we do. This event is about highlighting with lawmakers and media commentators alike the importance of supporting the disabled and the most vulnerable in our society. It's a tribute to the participants that they put aside their pride and dignity to take part in an often hilarious and riotous spectacle—they really are good eggs!'
Neil Hudgell, managing director of personal injury and medical negligence specialists Hudgell Solicitors, sponsors of the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race 2016, adds: 'Our work is very much focussed around supporting people who have often suffered serious, life-changing injures, helping them get their lives back on track. We pride ourselves on putting rehabilitation at the heart of all of our work, focusing entirely on what our clients need to put them in a position where they feel they have control of their lives once again, regaining confidence and feeling able to lead independent, rewarding lives. There is a real synergy between our role in helping people, and the great work of Rehab. We are, therefore, delighted to be supporting this event, which brings great profile for Rehab and helps spread the word of its fantastic work for people across the UK.'
Through its divisions Momentum, TBG Learning, Haven Enterprises and the Chaseley Trust, Rehab enables disabled people and others who are marginalised to make the most of their skills and talents, to access new opportunities and to play more active roles in their communities.
For more information on the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race, visit www.parliamentarypancakerace.co.uk, follow on facebook.com/RehabParliamentaryPancakeRace and on twitter @flip4rehab using the hashtag #RehabPancakeRace
Team Line-ups MPs' Team Team captain: Steve Pound, MP for Ealing North Victoria Atkins, MP for Louth and Horncastle David Burrowes, MP for Enfield, Southgate Sir Alan Duncan, MP for Rutland and Melton Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham Liz McInnes, MP for Heywood and Middleton
Lords' Team Team captain: Lord Redesdale Lord Addington Lord Kennedy of Southwark The Rt Hon. the Baroness Kramer Baroness Parminter Lord Porter of Spalding CBE Lord St John of Bletso
Media Team Team captain: Caroline Wheeler, Sunday Express Political Editor Gary Gibbon, Channel 4 News Political Editor James Landale, Deputy Political Editor, BBC News Jane Merrick, Independent & Independent on Sunday Columnist Nigel Nelson, Sunday People Political Editor George Parker, Financial Times Political Editor Mia Reakes, Reuters TV reporter Sophy Ridge, Sky News Senior Political Correspondent Alastair Stewart OBE, ITV News presenter