Archive | September, 2014

Coffee Morning - Toby Perkins and Natascha Engel

Local MP’s support Macmillan’s coffee morning

Chesterfield’s MP, Toby Perkins, recently helped to raise funds for people affected by cancer by attending a World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Coffee Morning - Toby Perkins and Natascha EngelOn Friday 26 September, over 200,000 events were held around the UK to raise money for Macmillan. As part of the campaign, a coffee morning was held in the House of Commons where, besides raising funds for Macmillan, MPs had the opportunity to hear about the challenges facing people living with and beyond cancer and to learn more about some of the services that Macmillan provides.

Toby was also joined at the event by neighbouring MP, Natascha Engel from the North East Derbyshire, as pictured here.

Toby said, “Macmillan’s coffee morning is a fantastic annual fixture that I am always glad to have the opportunity to support. With the number of people living with cancer increasing, this event is an important opportunity to not only raise funds for a worthy cause, but to bring people together to talk about an issue that will become more urgent in the future.”

Having raised £20m in 2013 and over £113million to date, the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is the original and most successful charity fundraising event of its sort. The idea remains simple: get together with friends, colleagues or neighbours to hold a coffee morning and raise money for Macmillan, with every donation helping to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. For more information visit

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Brest cancer and FA

Toby keeps goal in annual charity match to support Breast Cancer Care

On Sunday 21st September, Chesterfield’s MP, Toby Perkins, played in The Football Association’s annual Labour vs Press Lobby football match at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

Etihad Game vs PressThe match was also an opportunity for Toby to show his support for Breast Cancer Care – the only UK-wide specialist support charity and The FA’s official charity partner for 2014-16.

Despite Toby’s goalkeeping skills, the Labour MPs lost on this occasion with the Lobby team scoring right at the end to make it 3-1 as the MPs pushed forward looking for an equaliser.

Perkins then had the opportunity to find out more about The FA and Breast Cancer Care’s new campaign ‘Pass it on’, which aims to reach thousands more people across the country with the charity’s vital breast awareness message, while raising £500,000 to support women facing breast cancer.

Toby said: “Through their new partnership, The FA and Breast Cancer Care will be working together to ensure everyone across the nation knows the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Friends, family members and partners can play a crucial role in passing on the breast awareness message to their loved one. We all have friends, sisters, mums and dads (men can get breast cancer too) who we need to reach with this life-saving information.”

Brest cancer and FASamia al Qadhi, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Care says:  “We are absolutely thrilled to have support for our new partnership with The Football Association. Over the next two years the ‘Pass it on’ campaign will help us to reach thousands more women and men across the country with our vital breast awareness message. The funds raised will also help us provide crucial information and support to anyone facing this brutal disease.”

The ‘Pass it on’ campaign will urge people across the country to pass on life-saving breast awareness messages to the women in their lives. The partnership will also fund a brand new Breast Awareness Roadshow in 2015 which will see vital breast health information and support services reaching out to communities with especially low awareness levels of breast health.

To support the partnership go to

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Serious in front of flag

“The most agonising decision …”

In this latest blog, Toby Perkins MP explains his vote on air strikes against Iraq last Friday.

There are many different challenges I face as a Member of Parliament.  But no decision is as agonising as whether to commit our brave armed forces to action abroad.  This is exactly the decision I faced when Parliament was recalled last week to discuss and vote on air strikes against ISIL in Iraq.

Serious in front of flagI was pleased to see in the debate on Friday that almost all of the MPs present understood the grave importance of what we were discussing.  I detected no jingoism or burning desire to rush to war from anyone in the Chamber.  At the end of the debate I, like the majority of MPs in all parties and the British public at large, made the decision that the best course of action was to approve the limited use of air strikes against ISIL within Iraq only, and I voted accordingly.

I am certainly not someone who backs military action in a knee-jerk manner.  Last year, as Chesterfield’s MP I voted against David Cameron’s plan to take military action in Syria.  However, in this case I believe the circumstances are very different, and I’d like to explain to everyone in Chesterfield why.

  1. This is not an invasion or Iraq, or an attack on Iraq.  The elected Prime Minister of Iraq, a key ally of Britain in the region, has formally requested that UK forces assist Iraqi forces in expelling ISIL from his country.  Due to this formal request there are no questions of illegality or invading a sovereign state as there were in 2003.
  2. Our forces will be engaged in support of an army which is already on the ground.    There is no question of putting British boots on the ground, because the fight-back in the field against ISIL is already being conducted by the Iraqi government’s forces.  But we need to support them through our air force and superior technology.
  3. There is broad international support for our mission, including from several key players in the region.  Already, the action the US has undertaken in conjunction with Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar has made an impact and turned the tide of this conflict against ISIL.  Unlike in 2003 there is a broad-based international alliance in place to support the mission.
  4. Whether we like it or not, we are fighting an enemy who has already openly declared war on us.  The scale of violence which ISIL have unleashed is staggering.  We have seen already that their tactics include beheadings, crucifixions, gouging out of eyes, use of rape as a weapon and genocide (which as a signature to the UN convention, we not only have a right, but a duty, to prevent).  These tactics have been used against mainstream Muslims, Christians, a smaller religious group called Yazidis, and of course the Kurds.  And they have threatened to send their recruits back to Britain to unleash similar tactics here.  ISIL is not simply another terrorist organisation.

Of course, I am not arguing that air strikes alone will stop ISIL.  As the Archbishop of Canterbury said in the simultaneous debate in the House of Lords: “The action proposed today is right. We must demonstrate that there is a positive vision far greater and more compelling than the evil of ISIL.” I agree.  We need to increase our humanitarian efforts in the region, we need to build bridges with other Arab countries including Iran, and we need to counter extremism at home.

However, it is clear that part of this problem requires a military solution.  ISIL have now conquered an area the size of Britain within the nation of Iraq.  Anyone trapped behind their lines who does not sign up wholeheartedly to their abhorrent ideology, based on an evil perversion of the peaceful religion of Islam, is subject to the kind of horrific violence I have outlined above.  So we know exactly what kind of government they would be if they were to succeed and conquer the territory they desire.

A safer Iraq will lead to a safer Britain.  At the end of the conflict which is already raging we will have either:

  1. an elected government in an Iraq, which whilst far from perfect will be on the road to democracy
  2. or we will have a confident and expansionist Islamist Stage, more bloodthirsty than even the Taliban were in Afghanistan, bordering our NATO ally in Turkey and touching the banks of the Mediterranean.

We cannot wish away this crucial issue.  Our national security is hugely affected by which outcome occurs which means Britain must play a role.  Likewise Britain can make contributions which none of our allies can, for example only we possess the Brimstone precision missile which does much to minimise the risk of civilian casualties.

So for these reasons I voted for the very specific and limited motion put before the House of Commons on Friday.  I also used the debate to urge politicians to make clear our intervention has nothing to do with attacking Islam.  ISIL have murdered far more Muslims than adherents to any other faith and the vast, vast majority of British Muslims reject completely the ISIL ideology which they believe to be an evil perversion of their peaceful faith.  As the Muslim Council of Britain has said; “The un-Islamic fanatics are not acting as Muslims … they are acting as monsters. They are perpetrating the worst crimes against humanity … it is a war against all humanity.”

It is important that we learn the lessons of our recent history, and one of those is that action and inaction both have consequences.  Whilst the future for Iraq remains uncertain my judgement was that this course of action has the best prospects of a successful outcome.

This is why I voted for the specific motion last Friday.  Like people across Chesterfield, tonight my thoughts and prayers are with our armed forces and those who live in fear of tyranny across the world.


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It’s Chilly in Chesterfield! Toby Perkins MP takes the Ice-Bucket Challenge to Raise Money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield and Shadow Minister for Small Business, has undertaken the ‘Ice-Bucket Challenge’ in aid of motor neurone disease. Toby was doused with icy water by his wife Suzie and two children, Chloe and Lewis, outside his constituency office.

A very cold Toby said afterwards, “Thank you to Peak FM and Jon Chubb for nominating me. It was absolutely freezing but all for a good cause. The ice-bucket craze has raised millions for Motor Neurone Disease in a short space of time, as well as increasing awareness about the condition. It’s going to make a real difference to people’s lives”.

Toby has nominated his two children to take the challenge next, as well as Huw Bowen, the Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council, and radio presenter Matt Forde.


Toby is appealing for people to make donations to MND by texting “ICED55 £5” to 70070 to donate £5.

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Toby Perkins MP and Chesterfield EE store manager Adam Osowski

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins Welcomes Launch of Superfast 4G Broadband

Toby Perkins MP and Chesterfield EE store manager Adam Osowski

Toby Perkins MP and Chesterfield EE store manager Adam Osowski

Toby Perkins, Chesterfield MP and Shadow Minister for Small Business, met with representatives from EE as part of the company’s launch of high-speed mobile broadband in Chesterfield.

EE is the first provider to switch on 4G mobile broadband in the town, having previously launched the service in other parts of Derbyshire. Residents can now download films and upload pictures quicker to their mobile phones.

Toby said, “I’m delighted that EE’s 4G mobile services will now be available in Chesterfield. Having access to the latest mobile connectivity is critically important for both local businesses and residents, and this infrastructure will make life easier for constituents and help our businesses to compete.”  

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

Contact Toby

Tel: 01246 386286
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF


I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email to make a booking.

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