MP's Column

Government must step in and fund brain tumour research! A brain tumour diagnosis is a devastating event in any family and, if you have experienced this, you will know how important it is to find a cure and to find the very best model of care. This can only be achieved by deliberate and diligent research and I have long supported the work of Brain Tumour Research and their centres of excellence including the research centre at Plymouth University. Many will remember that March is Brain Tumour Awareness Month culminating in Wear A Hat Day. Not long after is the London Marathon and these two events raise a significant proportion of the money needed to keep the research centres active. Both were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak but it’s critical that research is not interrupted. This is why I have written both to the Chancellor and the Health Minister calling for gap-funding to see us through this year. With coronavirus medical research is now top of the agenda. Finding a cure for brain tumours has long been at the top of the agenda for families who have lived through this.

I understand the continued anxiety felt by many who fear that our good work keeping coronavirus at bay in Cornwall will be undone by people travelling to their second homes here in West Cornwall. This is still not permitted and the police can now dish out repeated fines (the largest fine being £3,200). There are those who refuse to abide by the measures set out by Government and it is unacceptable that they risk the health of those who have done all we ask of them.

As the MP one of my favoured activities is to host ‘drop-in’ events allowing for people to raise any issue they wish to. I’m missing this and have held several Facebook Live events which allow people on Facebook to ask any question or comment for me to respond live. It’s a useful tool but is very one-sided! I’d rather have a ‘face-to-face’ dialogue so next Thursday (28th May) I’m hosting a Zoom meeting from 5.15pm. Obviously Zoom works best with a limited number of people attending the meeting so please email me with your name and address to derek.thomas.mp@parliament.uk by Wednesday 27th. The first 30 to respond will be invited to join the Zoom ‘drop-in’ to raise any question or concern! If this works I’ll be glad to repeat the exercise until we can get back to regular drop-ins!

The following Thursday will be another Facebook Live event and this is available to anyone in the constituency who uses this form of social media. You will need to like my Facebook page! One popular subject at previous Facebook Live events is the question of when public toilets will open. I’m advised that toilets will open in St Ives and Penzance this week and hopefully elsewhere.