A disability charity could lose out on some of its fundraising, after it cancelled a race in Westminster over MPs’ harassment fears.
Rehab scrapped its annual event with politicians, blaming the “intense level of activity” near parliament in the run up to a vote on the Brexit deal next week.
It told hopeful competitors the pancake race scheduled for early March would “not be appropriate” to stage “against the background of this activity”.
Jonathan Smallman, a fundraiser for the charity, broke the news to MPs in a letter on Friday.
Police numbers outside parliament have been boosted after complaints of abuse and harassment by MPs; one was called a “Nazi” and encircled by protesters as she tried to enter parliament.
Rehab, which provides training and employability skills for people with disabilities, said the decision to cancel the 2019 race had “not been taken lightly”.
Labour MP Rupa Huq, who competed in last year’s competition, told Sky News the news “reflects the lamentable state that our country is in”.
“I took part enthusiastically though not successfully last year and remarked on how it proves that MPs are the biggest tossers around,” she said.
Speaker of the Commons John Bercow said in parliament that he was “very sorry” the race had been cancelled, and hoped organisers would change their minds.
A spokesperson for Rehab said: “Having considered the timing of the planned event amid the intense focus a unique debate such as Brexit demands of parliamentarians and media, Rehab’s management and events team decided it would be inappropriate to go ahead with our charity race at this time.
“We look forward to the return of our popular Parliamentary Pancake Race in 2020.”