Tories and Labour face off in charity match for MND

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy battles with Graeme Rose, a Conservative party staffer. Picture: Neil Hanna
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy battles with Graeme Rose, a Conservative party staffer. Picture: Neil Hanna
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BOTH David Cameron and Ed Miliband have backed their teams for victory today as the battle for Number 10 takes to the football pitch in Edinburgh.

The Labour and the Conservatives teams will face each other in a penalty shoot-out to help Motor Neurone Disease campaigner Gordon Aikman in his fight against the terminal condition.

Gordon Aikman, centre, joined by Tory and Labour party members for a kick-about in Edinburgh. Picture: Neil Hanna

Gordon Aikman, centre, joined by Tory and Labour party members for a kick-about in Edinburgh. Picture: Neil Hanna

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, the party’s Health spokesperson Jenny Marra, Scottish Conservative Finance spokesperson Gavin Brown and Energy, Enterprise and Tourism spokesperson, Murdo Fraser, will be among the politicians taking part in the “Show MND the Red Card” event at Spartan’s Community Football Academy.

MND patient, campaigner and founder of GordonsFightback.com Gordon Aikman will referee the event. Aikman was diagnosed with the terminal condition less than a year ago and has raised over £250,000 for research into a cure through his campaign “Gordon’s Fightback”. People can donate to the campaign through GordonsFightback.com or texting “MNDS85 £5” to 70070.

Trade Union “Community” have also thrown their weight behind the shoot-out. As well as providing the team’s strips, Assistant General Secretary, John Park, will be in goals for Labour.

Conservative leader, David Cameron, got behind his party’s team saying: “I’m confident the Conservatives can pull off a win not only on the football pitch today but on polling day too.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy. Picture: Hemedia

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy. Picture: Hemedia

“Whichever team wins today all of us agree that we need to show MND the red card.

“Gordon Aikman is an inspiration. The impact of his incredible campaign will have a positive impact for generations to come.”

Labour leader, Ed Miliband, backed his party’s team to win saying: “Today’s shoot-out is not the first time that the Conservatives have been put on the spot at this election. Just like all the other times, I’m confident Labour will win.

“Whatever the result today we all want to show MND the red card.

Gavin Brown, MSP, Gordon Aikman and Jim Murphy. Picture: Neil Hanna

Gavin Brown, MSP, Gordon Aikman and Jim Murphy. Picture: Neil Hanna

“Gordon’s campaign is an inspiration to us all and we need to do all we can to make this disease a horrible part of history.”

MND patient, campaigner and founder of GordonsFightback.com, Gordon Aikman said: “To see politicians put aside their differences to help people with MND means a lot.

“Whatever the score and whoever ends up in Number 10 we need to guarantee that creating a world free from MND is a top priority.

“It’ll be too late for me, but we can and we must find a cure for future generations. Please donate what you can at GordonsFightback.com or by texting MNDS85 £5 to 70070.”

Murdo Fraser attempts a penalty, which he missed. Picture: Neil Hanna

Murdo Fraser attempts a penalty, which he missed. Picture: Neil Hanna

Assistant General Secretary of the trade union Community, John Park, said: “Community is a modern union for a changing world and we’re really pleased to be able to be part of and support this shoot-out today.

“Both teams on the pitch might disagree on the future direction of our country, but we all agree that we need to fight MND.”

Chief Executive of MND Scotland, Craig Stockton, said: “This event demonstrates that no matter who you want to see as Prime Minister after 7th May, the fight to find a cure for MND cuts across the political divide.

“Hopefully this event will inspire people to donate and help us to provide much needed support and fund research that will show MND the Red Card.”

Labour’s team:

• Scottish Labour leader, Jim Murphy

• Health spokesperson, Jenny Marra MSP

• Social Justice spokesperson, Ken Macintosh MSP

• Candidate for Edinburgh South, Ian Murray

• Assistant General Secretary of Community trade union, John Park

Conservative team:

• Finance spokesperson, Gavin Brown MSP

• Enterprise, Energy and Tourism spokesperson, Murdo Fraser MSP

• Candidate for Edinburgh North and Leith Iain McGill

• Graeme Rose

• Daniel Guild

• Ben Rose