Wednesday 13 December 2017

Losing MPs flip in pancake palaver

Nick de Bois, David Burrowes and Andrew Rosindell work on their tossing skills ahead of the pancake race
Nick de Bois, David Burrowes and Andrew Rosindell work on their tossing skills ahead of the pancake race

Foul play and pushing from journalists were to blame for MPs' defeat in the annual parliamentary pancake race, a Conservative MP has claimed.

Andrew Rosindell also blamed the distraction of May's general election for MPs' defeat to the media team in the swift sprint around Victoria Tower Gardens outside Parliament.

But victorious journalist Sam Macrory pleaded the "Arsene Wenger defence", claiming he did not see anything untoward.

Meanwhile, Labour MP Stephen Pound could be heard quoting Churchill after the race, proclaiming: "In defeat, defiance."

Both teams were confident of victory before the annual pancake race got under way but Mr Rosindell admitted that MPs minds may have been elsewhere, even on Shrove Tuesday.

He said: "I think we are all gearing up for the general election, and that it is a victor that is probably more important than winning the pancake race.

"So we perhaps weren't geared up insofar as the press were today, they seemed to do slightly better, but then again one of the press did sort of push me aside, so I think there was a bit of foul play along the track."

BBC political producer Macrory admitted there may have been some "highly competitive " racing away from the TV cameras.

He said: "I plead the Arsene Wenger defence, I didn't see anything, I didn't see anything. There might of been a couple of highly competitive races round the back straight but the cameras aren't over there in that corner so who knows what went on."

The race was watched by around 100 members of the public but many did not recognise the backbench MPs competing - "I don't recognise any of them" was a common complaint from the watching crowd.

The event was organised by the Rehab organisation, an independent international group of charities and public benefit companies.

Rehab provides a range of employment, training, rehabilitation, health and social care services for people across the UK.

It works with people with brain injury, spinal injury, mental health difficulties and learning disabilities, as well as older people and those who are marginalised, to support them in living independently, in taking part in community activities or in gaining employment.

Press Association

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