Stephen Williams MP - working hard for Bristol West

Stephen Williams MP gets cancer charity award

11.08.57am GMT Fri 1st Dec 2006

Stephen Williams MP receives the award from Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, Professor Alex Markham

Stephen Williams MP receives the award from Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, Professor Alex Markham

Stephen Williams, MP for Bristol West, has been given a 'Cancer Champion' award by the UK's leading cancer charity, Cancer Research UK.

Mr Williams accepted the award in recognition of his crucial help with the successful campaign to secure comprehensive smokefree legislation.

The Bristol West MP recently attended a reception at the House of Commons where he was thanked by Cancer Research UK's Chief Executive, Alex Markham, for his support. He also heard Prof Markham urge MPs to support the charity's 'Cancer 2020' campaign for an updated NHS Cancer Plan. The charity is delighted that the Government has just announced a new Cancer Reform Strategy in response to its campaign.

The current plan, which is central to further improvements to cancer services, is due to run out in 2010. The charity had been arguing that it is vital the Government starts planning now to take account of future challenges, including rising cancer incidence, improved survival rates, advances in treatment and the evolving structure of the NHS itself.

In a bid to keep up the pressure, Cancer Research UK amassed more than 250,000 signatures for a 'Cancer 2020' petition.

Stephen Williams MP said: "I was delighted to be given this award. So many of my constituents told me they wanted workplaces to be made smokefree, and from next July the new law will ensure that will happen. Now we've got to look ahead to the future challenges of cancer.

"I'd like to congratulate Cancer Research UK for involving so many people in its campaigning. The fact that their 'Cancer 2020' petition for an updated Cancer Plan has been signed by a quarter of a million people shows that this is obviously an important issue for an awful lot of people. I will be watching closely to see that the Government's proposed Cancer Reform Strategy is developed in a way that benefits the people of Bristol West."

Professor Alex Markham, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said: "Stephen Williams' support was crucial to our successful campaign for comprehensive smokefree legislation. The new law will protect workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke and save lives.

"Now with his help and the petition signatures of over a quarter a million people, we've also succeeded in persuading Ministers to start planning now for future cancer challenges. We're looking forward to working with them to ensure the proposed Cancer Reform Strategy addresses recent changes in cancer incidence, survival rates, treatment and the way the NHS works".

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