Linlithgow and East Falkirk MP leads calls for more motor neurone research funding

MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk Martyn Day led a parliamentary debate to discuss a call for £50 million of Government funding into targeted motor neurone disease research.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 7:00 am
Stock photo of Martyn Day MP. Photo by Michael Gillen.

The debate was prompted by a 110,000 signature petition, spearheaded by Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir and backed by a coalition including people with MND leading neuroscientists, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, MND Scotland and My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

The petition was backed by 373 campaigners in the Linlithgow and East Falkirk constituency, many of whom have personal experience of the brutal disease and who want to see promising recent progress in research accelerated towards meaningful treatments in the near future.

On the same day as the issue was debated, the coalition, under the banner United To End MND, handed in a Spending Review bid to Government. This is asking for a £50 million investment over five years to be ring-fenced in the Spending Review, expected towards the end of the year from Chancellor Rishi Sunak, which sets out future spending on public services.

Mr Day (SNP) said: “It is not surprising that the petition calling for increased funding for MND research reached over 110,000 signatures - this is an illness that affects thousands of families across Scotland and the UK every year.

“There is no doubt that extra MND research funding from the UKG is needed to support effective patient treatment and medicines in the hope that a cure for MND can be found soon. I am urging UK Ministers to act on this petition to save lives.

“The petitioners and charities across Scotland and the UK are working tirelessly to tackle MND on a daily basis - and they are doing an amazing job and I would like to thank them - but if we are to find a cure for this condition we all must play our part.”

The funding would be focused on the search for new treatments for the terminal illness which kills six people every day and will affect more than 200,000 of the current population unless treatments are found. Along with further investment from MND charities and the pharmaceutical industry, the money would allow for the creation of a virtual MND Research Institute.