Liverpool West Derby MP Ian Byrne has won the Patchwork Foundation’s MP of the year award this evening in recognition of his tireless work with the Fans Supporting Foodbanks (FSF) ‘Right to Food’ campaign.
The diversity and inclusion charity honoured Byrne’s campaign to end food insecurity faced by 11 million people in the UK by making adequate nutrition a legally-recognised human right. A number of cities have already come on board, but so far the government has not acted on the obvious need.
Patchwork Foundation also acknowledged Byrne’s efforts to secure greater access to justice for working-class communities and his funding of a housing and benefits solicitor to work in his own office to fight cases for constituents – and Byrne’s continuous support for workers and their rights.
Receiving the award, Byrne said,
I am sincerely humbled and honoured to receive the Patchwork Foundation’s top award of “Overall MP of the Year Award for the year 2021” as nominated by the public and selected by an independent panel. As a newly elected MP for Liverpool West Derby in December 2019 I pledged to be a campaigning MP for the constituency and to “take my constituents with me” to Westminster every day I went into work.
I would like to think that receiving this award is an acknowledgment that I stuck to my word and that the efforts of my team and I have been well-received in the constituency and beyond. I am very fortunate to have a small but incredibly dedicated, committed and capable team working with me – and this honour is certainly a direct reflection of their efforts too. I would like to take this opportunity to send a heartfelt thanks to each member of the team. It is the strength of our collective endeavours which brings us here tonight.
But we cannot and we will not be sitting back. There is always work to be done in politics and what drove me to enter politics drives me still. We will not stop fighting for a more equal and just society. We will continue the fight for a legal Right To Food for everybody and to have education about the Real Truth of Hillsborough and the cover-up taught to schoolchildren up and down the country – these being just two of the campaigns we are currently running.
I will continue to represent the people of West Derby to the very best of my ability every single day and I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to everyone who has voted for me to receive this honour.
The highly-regarded Byrne, a Liverpool FC fan, started Fans Supporting Foodbanks long before he was an MP, along with Everton fans Dave Kelly and Robbie Daniels. The organisation has collected and distributed huge quantities of food to people facing hardship and its model has been picked up by fans of other clubs around the UK and in other countries. The MP also runs the Real Truth Legacy Project and Grow West Derby.
Other left MPs were also among the winners, with Bell Ribeiro-Addy taking home the Newcomer MP of the Year prize and Zarah Sultana recognised as Young People’s MP of the Year.
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