MP backs company but not the winner

Placing a charity bet at Ladbrookes in Morpeth on the Grand National, Ian Lavery with shop manager Paul Cook for Hirst Welfare.
Placing a charity bet at Ladbrookes in Morpeth on the Grand National, Ian Lavery with shop manager Paul Cook for Hirst Welfare.
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HE may not have won his charity flutter, but Morpeth’s MP was pleased to hear about an apprenticeship scheme that will give young people a helping hand in the job race.

Ian Lavery came along to Ladbrokes in the town’s Sanderson Arcade on Friday as part of a national programme which gives MPs the chance to help a good cause in their constituency by placing a free bet on the Grand National.

His choice, Balthazar King, did finish the course at Aintree on Saturday, but the horse finished in 15th place.

During the visit, the MP for Wansbeck spoke with shop manager Paul Cook about Ladbrokes taking on up to 200 new apprentices across the country, including the North East, following a successful pilot on the south coast and Midlands areas.

He was also invited to Morpeth Fair Day in June by the Morpeth Chamber of Trade’s former chairman John Beynon. Mr Lavery has attended each staging of the event since he became an MP.

“I think Ladbrokes deserves a lot of credit for the part it plays in local communities,” he said.

“It employs hundreds of people across the region, may of them are young female workers, and now it is giving more people a chance to secure a job through its apprenticeship scheme.

“Getting people onto the employment ladder is crucial, even more so in today’s economic climate.

“The Morpeth Fair is one of the best days in the community’s calendar and I thoroughly enjoy it. The organising committee deserve great credit because thousands come along to the town centre every year to watch the parades and music and have a go at the stalls.”

Ladbrokes also gave a £25 each-way bet to the Emily Inspires! committee, which chose what turned out to be the favourite at the start of the race. But Seabass, ridden by Katie Walsh, placed 13th.

If the horse had been successful, the winnings would have gone towards the big programme to mark the 100th anniversary of Emily Wilding Davison’s death.

She attempted to attach the Suffragette colours to the King’s horse in the 1913 Epsom Derby, but was struck instantly and seriously injured. She died four days later.

Mr Cook said: “It was good to get the chance to speak to Mr Lavery about the apprenticeship scheme and we also chose Emily Inspires! because we wanted to do our bit to highlight its top programme of events and activities.”