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I'll miss the vote for game of bingo! NEW MP WILL NOT STAND ON CEREMONY.

Byline: WILLIAM GREEN

A NEW Tyneside MP has excused herself from her duties at Parliament - so she can play bingo with her constituents Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central, has made a point that she will not stand on ceremony in her battle to get the best for the region and keep in touch with voters.

And she had promised to join the Cruddas Park community association for a game of bingo next Tuesday.

But the only problem is that the House of Commons Speaker is due to be elected next week.

And while John Bercow should be re-elected, he could face a challenge - which means MPs have been told to be in Parliament.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Ms Onwurah explained she made the request during a welcome briefing in the House of Commons chamber. "We got to ask some questions and one of the things is that the election of Speaker was going to take place on Tuesday.

"And on Tuesday I had said to Cruddas Park community association that I would come and play a game of bingo with them.

"I had visited them during the campaign and I didn't have time to come and have a game with them," said the new MP.

She added: "I said I had this invitation which I really wanted to accept and given that the election of the Speaker was supposed to just be a formality to miss it.

"I don't want to be constrained by formality for formality's sake. There is a chance because John Bercow has been controversial that someone might question his election in which case MPs need to be there."

The Labour MP said bingo was a "great" way to spend a night and was not heard enough about.

"I am not in Parliament for formality or ceremony. Much as I respect this country's great ceremony and history, I want to be there to change things and make a difference.

"If the reason I am there as some ceremonial adjunct I would rather be in Newcastle. But when there are things to debate that really matter, I am going to be in Westminster," she said.

CAPTION(S):

EYES DOWN: Labour MP Chi Onwura, left, has said she will not stand on ceremony and wants to keep in touch with voters
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 14, 2010
Words:384
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