New Chair elected to the APPG on HIV and AIDS
David Cairns MP has today become the new Chair of The All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS.
David has been MP for Inverclyde since 2001 and is a former a Labour Minister. He now hopes to devote his time to leading the UK response to the HIV both at home and internationally. In accepting the post, David said,
“I am delighted and honoured to be the new Chair. There is an enormous challenge ahead with ever-growing numbers of people living with the virus. I look forward to ensuring that the new Government takes this issue seriously and gives it the political priority it deserves.”
The Vice Chairs of the group, also elected today, are:
- Lord Fowler (Conservative), ex-Secretary of State for Health and long-term supporter of the APPG on HIV and AIDS.
- Russell Brown MP (Labour) – Russell was a Vice-Chair before the election and is the only MP to carry over his post at the APPG after the election.
- Simon Kirby MP (Conservative) – the newly elected MP for Brighton Kemptown.
- Pauline Latham MP (Conservative) – the newly elected MP for Mid-Derbyshire.
- Baroness Masham (Crossbench) – who has been a Vice Chair of the Group since it was founded in 1986.
David Cairns has lost no time in embracing his new role. He used his first speech in parliament after the election to speak out against “the wind of oppression” against sexual minorities in Africa and the “utterly disastrous effect” it is having on HIV and AIDS. The full speech can be found at http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate/?id=2010-05-26a.262.0
Adivser to the Group, Veronica Oakeshott, welcomed the new appointments saying
“Having so many new officers, combined with some our oldest supporters, is a wonderful opportunity to refresh the Group. I am particularly delighted to have David Cairns as our Chair – as he is clearly personally very committed. It is also excellent to have strong Conservative representation on the Group. Together, I believe they will be a formidable team in holding the new Government to account.”
In addition to the Officers, the Group has already attracted new members from across the House, with new Lib Dem MPs and the UK's only Green MP already signed up.
David Cairns paid tribute at today's AGM to the work of the former Officers of the Group - in particular former Chairs Neil Gerrard and David Borrow.
The AGM also formally adopted the new name of the Group – The All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS. You can find out more about the group on www.appghivaids.org.uk