All Party Parliamentary Group on ME reforms in the new Parliament, and list of members
Update: Added since first published
1] Clarification regarding membership of the APPG for ME by Suzy Chapman
2] Register of All Party Parliamentary Groups at 30 July 2010
Open PDF here: APPG Register at July 2010 [< 2MB]
On 9 July, the ME Association published the membership list for the reformed APPG on ME:
09 July 2010
On Wednesday 7 July David Amess MP chaired the inaugural meeting in Westminster of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for M.E.
We are pleased to report that the decision was taken to re-register as an approved APPG and that the mandatory 20 qualifying names of Parliamentarians were obtained to enable this to happen.
For further information, including the names of the office holders, you can find the minutes of the meeting here:
Open Word doc here: APPG on ME Minutes 07.07.10
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT WHO HAVE JOINED THE APPG FOR ME
1. David Amess MP (Conservative, Southend West)
2. Graham Brady MP (Conservative, Altrincham and Sale West)
3. Laurence Robertson MP (Conservative, Tewkesbury)
4. Adrian Sanders MP (Liberal Democrat, Torbay)
5. Peter Bottomley MP (Conservatve, Worthing West)
6. John McDonnell MP (Labour, Hayes and Harlington)
7. Russell Brown MP (Labour, Dumfries and Galloway)
8. Nigel Evans MP (Conservative, Ribble Balley)
9. Iain Liddell-Grainger MP (Conservative, Bridgwater and West Somerset)
10. Annette Brooke MP (Liberal Democrat, Mid Dorset and North Poole)
11. Sharon Hodgson MP (Labour, Washington and Sunderland West)
12. John Leech MP (Liberal Democrat, Manchester Withington)
13. Kerry McCarthy MP (Labour, Bristol East)
14. Kelvin Hopkins MP (Labour, Luton North)
15. Jim Dowd MP (Labour, Lewisham West and Penge)
16. Mark Garnier MP (Conservative, Wyre Forest)
17. Dave Anderson MP (Labour, Blaydon)
18. Harriett Baldwin MP (Conservative, West Worcestershire)
19. Richard Burden MP (Labour, Birmingham Northfield)
20. Countess of Mar (Cross-bencher, House of Lords; chair of the ‘Forward ME’ Group)
21. Tony Baldry MP (Conservative, Banbury)
22. Sajid Javid MP (Conservative, Bromsgrove)
23. Hywel Williams MP (Plaid Cyrmu, Arfon)
24. Peter Aldous MP (Conservative, Waveney)
25. Nigel Dodds MP (Democratic Unionist, Belfast North)
26. Lord Puttnam (Labour, House of Lords)
27. Martin Vickers MP (Conservative, Cleethorpes)
All Party Parliamentary Group on M.E.
Minutes of a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on M.E.
Chair: David Amess
Vice-Chair: Annette Brooke MP
Secretary: John Leech MP
Treasurer: Martin Vickers MP
Minutes of a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on M.E.
held at 11am, Wednesday 7 July 2010
Room B, 1 Parliament Street London
David Amess MP – chair of this meeting
Annette Brook MP
John Leech MP
Martin Vickers MP
Parliamentary office representatives in attendance
Joanna Ashworth, office of David Amess MP
Richard Crossick, office of John Leech MP
Secretariat in attendance
Sir Peter Spencer (Action for M.E.)
Charles Shepherd (MEA)
Harriet Baldwin MP
Tony Baldry MP
David Amess welcomed his fellow MPs and explained that the meeting had been called to see if the APPG for M.E. should be formed again in the new Parliament and re-registered on the approved list. He had agreed to sponsor this inaugural meeting because he was the only remaining officer from the APPG on M.E. in the previous Parliament still able to participate.
2. Election of Officers
The meeting was quorate and elected the following officers:
Chair – David Amess MP
Vice-Chair – Annette Brooke MP
Secretary – John Leech MP
Treasurer – Martin Vickers MP
David Amess explained that he would act as chair on an interim basis only because of the volume of his other commitments. He had found a fellow MP who would be very suitable as chair and hoped that this member would come forward for election to the post before too long. Meanwhile he would hold the fort.
The meeting decided to apply for re-registration on the list of approved APPGs. The secretariat confirmed that the criteria for qualifying members had been met with a list of 20 parliamentarians of the required party mix. David Amess and John Leech signed the application form. This will now be delivered to The Office of the Parliamentary commissioner of Standards ahead of the 13 July deadline.
4. Date of Next meeting
It was decided that the next meeting of the APPG would be held in November 2010. This would be preceded by an informal planning meeting in September to discuss the future agenda and decide how the group will operate in this Parliament.
The secretariat distributed copies of the legacy paper which was produced by the previous APPG and of the “Turner” paper on the APPG inquiry into NHS Service Provision for M.E./CFS.
Clarification regarding membership of the APPG for ME
There have been misunderstandings on some forums that AfME (Action for M.E.), the MEA (The ME Association), AYME (Association of Young People with ME), TYMES Trust (The Young ME Sufferers Trust), The 25% ME Group, ME Research UK, BRAME (Blue Ribbon for Awareness of ME) and RiME (Campaigning for Research into ME) are all members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for ME.
None of the above are members of the APPG on ME.
In the case of Associate Parliamentary groups, applications for membership may be considered by the group’s officers from organisations, interest groups, commercial concerns and individuals other than MPs or Members of the House of Lords.
But the All-Party Parliamentary Group for ME is not constituted as an Associate Parliamentary Group and therefore only Members of the House of Commons or the House of Lords are permitted membership of the APPG for ME, and only Members of the House of Commons or Lords have voting rights at its meetings.
So the only members of the APPG for ME are parliamentarians.
From the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner:
“Groups are only required to register with us the names of their officers and of 20 ‘qualifying members’. The full membership list, including names over and above that, resides with the group and it is for them to ensure that it is comprehensive and up to date. […] Any MP (ie not just signed up members of the group) is entitled to turn up at any meeting of the group, and to speak and vote at the meeting – unless a subscription is charged in which case voting may be restricted to paid-up members of the group.”
The Nature of All-Party Groups
Purpose and Form of the ‘Register of All-Party Groups’
Purpose and Form of the ‘Approved List’ of Groups
Administration of the Register and Approved List
Under “BENEFITS RECEIVED BY GROUP FROM SOURCES OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT” Action for M.E. and the ME Association are listed as jointly providing the secretariat to the Group.
“Action for ME and The ME Association both provides secretarial support (addressing and stuffing envelopes, taking minutes, photocopying).”
In the past, AfME and the MEA have alternated the task of minute taking and the preparation and circulation of minutes and agendas for these meetings but they are not members of the APPG Group and their status as organisations and that of their representatives in relation to the Group is no different to that of any other organisation that sends a representative to attend these meetings.
Although APPG groups are not permitted to advertise their meetings as “Public Meetings”, meetings of the APPG on ME are held in House of Commons committee rooms and have been opened up to members of the public, that is, national ME patient organisations, representatives of the committees of “local” and regional ME support groups and other interested parties.
They are also open to members of the ME community and their carers, who can and do regularly attend and contribute to these meetings. This has not always been the case and the presence of members of the public is at the discretion of the APPG chair and committee.
So none of the following five national registered membership ME patient organisations are members of the APPG for ME but they attend APPG meetings, send their representives to meetings, and in the case of AfME and the MEA, have provide the secretariat function: AfME (Action for M.E.), the MEA (The ME Association), AYME (Association of Young People with ME), TYMES Trust (The Young ME Sufferers Trust), The 25% ME Group.
ME Research UK : a research organisation and registered charity (Scotland), represented at APPG on ME meetings by Mrs Sue Waddle, a former trustee of Invest in ME.
BRAME : unregistered, non membership, run by Christine Harrison and her daughter, Tanya. Both Christine and Tanya attend APPG on ME meetings.
RiME : unregistered, non membership, run by Paul Davies. Paul Davies attends APPG on ME meetings, sometimes supported by other individuals.
The names of ME patients and carers attending meetings are recorded in the minutes of meetings and their contributions to these meetings are minuted.
For the past couple of meetings, an official verbatim transcript has been prepared from an audio recording of the procedings and this has been published alongside briefer minutes. This parliamentary service has been funded by Action for M.E. and the ME Association.
It is not known whether transcripts will continue to be provided for the meetings of any new group that may be convened.
I hope this clarifies any misconceptions about policy and proceedings at these meetings and the status of the organisations and individuals who attend them.
A Guide to the Rules on All Party Groups can be downloaded here:
or opened here on ME agenda