Graham Allen marks 25 years as Bulwell’s MP

KNOCKOUT REPRESENTATIVE -- Graham Allen gets to grips with a Bulwell youngster during a visit to a community centre in the tow
KNOCKOUT REPRESENTATIVE -- Graham Allen gets to grips with a Bulwell youngster during a visit to a community centre in the tow

BULWELL Labour MP Graham Allen is celebrating his 25th year of representing the Nottingham North constituency in Parliament.

He was first elected when he ousted Conservative MP Richard Ottaway in 1987 with a majority of 1.665 votes.

Mr Allen (59), who lives in Bulwell, said he was delighted to reach this special silver-jubilee milestone. He added with tongue in cheek that he hoped this would mark his halfway stage as an MP!

He is putting aside his old differences with Mr Ottaway, now the MP for Croydon South, on a Bill aimed at cracking down on scrap-metal thefts.

He said: “It has been an honour and privilege to represent Nottingham North for a quarter of a century — and it is a very welcome occurrence that I find myself working on such a pressing issue with the man I beat all those years ago.

“It is a great pleasure to be influencing this timely Bill that will combat a crime that does great damage to our local businesses.

“I think it is very important to do everything possible to protect war memorials, phone lines and church roofs from these thieves. We should look at all ways to combat the crime.”

Mr Allen had an adjournment debate scheduled in the Commons this week to highlight the need for a continued focus on metal thefts and to recommend potential preventative measures. Home Office Minister James Brokenshire was due to answer for the government in a closely-watched debate.

Mr Ottaway was recently drawn second in Parliament’s Private Members Bill ballot, meaning that his Bill has a good chance of getting Parliamentary time and making progress.

He is calling for reform of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act and he has the backing of government to bring in legislation during the present Parliamentary session.

Mr Allen said: “Richard spoke in favour of my adjournment debate.

“I have signed his Bill and would be happy to serve on his Bill Committee.”