Update from Sir Mike Penning MP – December 2021

Another busy month and two campaigns I have been involved in have come to Parliament.

Also, having failed to secure a question at Prime Minister’s Questions via the weekly ballot for ten weeks in a row, I managed to ‘catch the Speaker’s eye’ and ask the PM a question last month. There are 650 MPs and the PM usually only answers about 20 questions in each PMQs per week. I asked the PM to back a new hospital for west Hertfordshire and in reply he offered me a meeting with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care – which I am following up.

The first campaign to come to Parliament this month was in support of my young 10-month-old constituent, Lexi, who has been diagnosed with the ultra-rare genetic condition, Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP).

FOP is caused by a random single gene mutation which makes soft tissue in the body to gradually turn into bone, slowly restricting mobility and eventually locking the body into a fixed, contorted position. There is currently no treatment, prevention or cure.

There are just 14 children in the UK with FOP and Lexi’s parents, Alex and David, have joined up with the charity FOP Friends to campaign for more funding for research. FOP Friends launched an e-petition to Parliament and, with Alex’s social media skills, secured the necessary 100,000 signatures in a record time of eight days.

I spoke in the debate, and we’ve secured a meeting with the Minister and her team in the new year.

The second campaign was also an e-petition, this time on ‘Reggie’s Law’ calling for regulation of all websites where animals are sold.  We presented a petition to 10 Downing Street and I spoke in a debate.

Justice for Reggie was founded by Richard Ackers who bought a 12-week-old puppy, Reggie, from a reputable website only for Reggie to sadly die just 4 days later after being very ill.

The campaign wants all websites to be required to verify the identity of all sellers, and, for puppies and kittens, for photos with their parents to be posted with all listings.

Let’s bring an end to the misery caused by puppy farming.




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