Politics & Campaigns


The Prime Minister was questioned about advertising on football shirts, Andrea Leadsom spoke about fertility, and Rachael Maskell has a problem with addiction

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The SNP was kind enough to raise the question of Totally Wicked’s sponsorship of Blackburn Rovers FC once more, Andrea Leadsom address concerns about fertility (not hers, don’t panic), and Rachael Maskell wants more done about addiction and dependency. All in all, it was another quiet week in Parliament.

With MPs gaze now more on the forthcoming election than ever, whenever that may be, some of them are trotting out their ‘greatest hits’ for the benefit of public delectation. The SNP’s Kirsten Oswald delighted onlookers as she wibbled on about Totally Wicked’s sponsorship of Blackburn Rovers FC once again in a question to the Prime Minister.

In a rare moment of clarity for the ailing PM, Rishi Sunak replied saying decisions about sponsorship[ are up to the individual clubs.

But “it sends entirely the wrong message to young people”, Kirsten Oswald moaned, stating that vape names on the front of kits will encourage children to vape and smoke.

Yes, Kirsten. That is why I bought all of our carpets from Carpet Supacentre when they sponsored Northampton Town FC in the early 90s and because addicted to linoleum flooring – we are so feeble minded that way. What a load of Cobblers!

Greg Campbell, the DUP’s Shadow Spokesperson for International Development asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care whether the Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of vaping on fertility.

Andrea Leadsom, the minister everyone first recalls when thinking about fertility – and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care – told him: “The Government has not yet assessed in detail the potential impact of vaping on fertility. A recent study reported in the media analysed blood samples from more than 8,000 women but this was not published in a medical journal and no other details of the research have been shared.

“Our health advice will continue to advise all women planning to get pregnant, or who are pregnant, to stop smoking for their general health.”

Erm, what about the ones who can stop, Andrea/ What about the women who are being recommended to switch? You not going to take this opportunity to reinforce a message that vaping is far better for pregnant women?

No. No she didn’t.

Labour’s Rachael Maskell then asked Leadsom whether she has spoken to community pharmacists regarding supporting people with “smoking and vaping addiction”.

Leadsom repeated her obvious phrase that “quitting smoking is the best thing a smoker can do for their health”. Then she plugged stop smoking services (SSS) when compared to an unsupported quit attempt. 

Anything about vaping and it being at least 95% safer than smoking and that nicotine doesn’t cause cancer?


As announced in Stopping the start: our new plan to create a smokefree generation, published in October 2023,” Leadsom droned, “the Government is investing an additional £70 million per year for five years to support local authority-led SSS, around doubling current spend and supporting 360,000 people to set a quit date each year. Local authorities commission a variety of settings, including community pharmacy, to deliver SSS. In 2022/23, 12,165 of the 176,566 quit dates set through SSS were in a pharmacy setting. Since March 2022, hospitals have been referring patients to community pharmacy to continue the stop smoking journey they started in hospital as part of the NHS Smoking Cessation Service in community pharmacies agreed by the Department, NHS England and Community Pharmacy England. Across the country, 4841 community pharmacies have signed up to deliver the service.”


Did that answer the question? I’m not quite sure, I fell asleep.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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