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Mike Gapes MP (Labour, Ilford South) joined a group of his young constituents who are taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS), a nationwide youth programme which brings together 15 - 17 years olds to learn new skills during the school holidays. Young people participating in NCS take part in a variety of activities, including personal and team challenges, which benefit our local community.

About 8,000 young people in North London will take part in NCS this summer. During his visit, Mr Gapes met NCS participants in their third week of the programme and gave his support to their work that aims to:

· develop their confidence, leadership, communication and teamwork at Great Potheridge House in Devon

· learn skills for life and work, such as teamwork, budgeting and public speaking

· volunteer with and fundraise for local organisations and charities including Sense and GROW Community Garden

Mike saw first-hand how NCS is helping to develop participants’ public speaking skills and project planning, while boosting community engagement across the country. He was a panel member during the ‘Dragons Den’ section of the programme, where the young people pitch their social action projects to a small group of community leaders, who then decide how much funding each group will receive.

Mike Gapes MP said: “I’m proud to see so many young people from Redbridge spending their Summer giving back to their local community. The National Citizen Service programme does a fantastic job of connecting passionate, talented young people with a variety of local community groups and charities. Each of the NCS teams today set out a clear case for support and presented in a professional manner. I can’t wait to hear about how their projects come to life over the next few days”

To find out more about NCS, or to sign up to take part, please visit: www.ncsthechallenge.org

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Mike Gapes MP meets young people taking part in National Citizen Service in Ilford

Mike Gapes MP (Labour, Ilford South) joined a group of his young constituents who are taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS), a nationwide youth programme which brings together 15 -...

The ringleader of the London Bridge terrorists, Khuram Butt, taught Koranic classes at the private Eton Community School. But in April Ofsted inspectors said the school had improved and fulfilled all requirements, including the duty to prevent radicalisation in pupils. This raises serious questions about the quality and rigour of inspections and safeguarding of children at private schools.

Butt also worked as a trainer and met his terror cell at the Ummah Fitness Centre, Ilford Lane. He was a member of the banned Al-Muhajiroun group. The Birmingham "Three Musketeers " trial heard that two of them travelled to Ilford to see its founder Anjem Choudary last year, while he was on strict bail conditions awaiting his own trial. Choudhary operated in Ilford for over ten years. Local mosques often ban these extremists.

But on the streets outside and in various meeting places and homes, extremist activity continues. Local Muslims have been demanding action against people like Choudary for years.It is good news that he is now, at last, in a maximum security prison serving a five and a half year sentence.However, his poisonous legacy continues in this country, and in Syria and Iraq where hundreds of misguided or deluded followers of the Daesh caliphate cult have gone to die.

We cannot deal with this by changing our behaviour. Our modern society is engaged in an ideological struggle. We must take policing and security measures, but we must also win the battle of ideas.

Mike's Ilford Recorder column (10.08.2017)

The ringleader of the London Bridge terrorists, Khuram Butt, taught Koranic classes at the private Eton Community School. But in April Ofsted inspectors said the school had improved and fulfilled all requirements,...

Mike Gapes, Member of Parliament for Ilford South, has joined growing calls for tougher penalties for animal abuse and action to be taken to enforce bans on offenders from keeping animals.

Attending the League Against Cruel Sports’ Annual Reception in Westminster on Wednesday (19th July 2017), Mike heard how sentences are currently inadequate and outdated, remaining unchanged for over a hundred years and therefore failing to reflect the horrific cruelty inflicted on animals in the name of barbaric ‘sports’ such as dog fighting.

England and Wales are lagging behind when it comes to punishing people who abuse animals, and so the League is calling for maximum sentences to be increased from the current maximum of six months to the more appropriate ceiling of five years. This would bring the law in line with much of the rest of Europe and Northern Ireland, and would better reflect the seriousness of the abuse involved.

Mike Gapes MP said: “I’m delighted to be supporting the League’s campaign for tougher sentences for animal abuse. As League investigations have shown, dog fighting is a horrific crime involving immense cruelty, and this needs to be better reflected in the penalties handed to perpetrators. The recent election has demonstrated that the public care deeply about animal welfare and want to ensure that animals are properly protected. Sentences need to be increased so that they act as a genuine deterrent.”

Speakers at the event also highlighted the need for a national register of convicted animal abusers to help prevent people banned from keeping animals from flouting the law. No central record of such banning orders is currently kept, potentially leaving offenders free to continue to abuse animals.

Pressure for change has been building recently, both among MPs and the public, with the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee last year recommending that the maximum penalty for animal welfare offences be increased, MPs backing calls for action during backbench Parliamentary debates, and signatures to the League’s petition calling for stronger penalties for dog fighting offences reaching over 90,000 signatures to date.

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Mike Gapes MP joins calls for tougher penalties for animal abusers

Mike Gapes, Member of Parliament for Ilford South, has joined growing calls for tougher penalties for animal abuse and action to be taken to enforce bans on offenders from keeping...


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