What does the new Government mean for Rugby League?

DAVID HINCHLIFFE, the former MP for Wakefield who played a pivotal role in forming the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group (APPRLG), is urging the RFL and clubs to secure strong relations with the new Labour Government elected with an overwhelming majority in Thursday’s general election, as well as with the new intake of MPs.
“The game needs to be very much aware of the potential opportunities arising from significant political change,’ Hinchliffe, Wakefield MP from 1987-2005 and pictured above, told League Express.
“My personal view is that the new ministers will be mowed under by demands initially and the most important thing within the game is for our clubs (both professional and community) to make contact with their new MPs and establish a relationship with them so the politicians understand the role of the game within often left-behind communities.
“Even just a letter from them congratulating their local MP on being elected flags up the sport in the minds of the politicians.”
Hinchliffe, a strong Wakefield Trinity supporter who is currently a member of the RFL’s Brain Health Committee, is also encouraging clubs to persuade their MPs to join the APPRLG.
“The clubs should be urging their local MPs to re-establish the APP Rugby League Group, which has been nowhere near as active as it should be on key issues facing the game,” added Hinchliffe.
“The good thing is that there are now several younger MPs with Rugby League connections.
“Keir Mather, who won Selby in the by-election, is a keen Hull KR supporter. Jade Botterill (Ossett and Denby Dale) used to work for Trinity and the sister of the new MP for Huddersfield, Harpreet Uppal, works for RL Cares, so she is very aware of the game.
“I am sure there will be others with an interest in Rugby League who could play a part in ensuring our sport has a renewed presence in Parliament.”

First published in League Express newspaper, Issue 3,438 (July 8, 2024)

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