Harrogate MP backs honour for Captain Tom's incredible fundraising for NHS

Harrogate's MP is backing an honour for Captain Tom as the veteran 99-year-old NHS fundraiser who has raised £26 million prepares to open the NHS Nightingale Hospital at Harrogate Convention Centre tomorrow, Tuesday.

Monday, 20th April 2020, 6:22 pm
Andrew Jones MP said it would be a "historic moment" for the town when Captain Tom Moore, fundraising hero for NHS charities, opened the NHS Nightingale Hospital at Harrogate Convention Centre tomorrow.

While MPs rarely give public advice to the Queen on nominations for honours, like the rest of the nation Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones said he would be "delighted to see recognition for Captain Tom and the many, many others who have gone to enormous lengths to support others throughout this crisis."

Mr Jones also said that it would be wrong of himself to break his self-isolation at home for Tuesday's Nightingale opening and, therefore, he would not be able to attend the ceremony.

But, keen not to presume to make suggestions to Her Majesty about the Honours List, Mr Jones said it would be a "historic moment" for the town when Captain Tom Moore, fundraising hero for NHS charities, opened the NHS Nightingale Hospital at Harrogate Convention Centre tomorrow.

The incredible Captain Tom has already raised more than £26 million for NHS charities by doing 100 circuits of his garden to celebrate his 100th birthday on April 30 in a phenomental initiative which has captured the imagination of the whole country and led to calls for the ex-military veteran to receive a knighthood.

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Mr Jones said: “It is a great honour for us to welcome a war hero and a fundraising hero to our town.

"And this amazing man will be opening a feat of invention, hard-work and initiative – the first Nightingale hospital outside a city-setting.

“I can’t wait though to join millions watching Captain Tom perform the opening. Like the whole country I will be there in spirit.

"It will be a historic moment for our town.

"The opening though should remind us to double-down on our commitment to staying home and only leaving our homes if it is essential do so.

"In that way we save lives and we protect our NHS locally and nationally.”

But Mr Jones said he would not be going to tomorrow's opening ceremony in person - even though he had been invited - as his main aim was to avoid in any way jeopardising the guidance on Covid-19 and remain at home in self-isolation.

Mr Jones said: “I have been invited to attend in person whilst observing social distancing rules.

"But I think it would be wrong for me to attend even though it is a short walk from my home.

"This is because I am observing the guidelines for staying at home and protecting the NHS as closely as I can.

"This does not though diminish my support and respect for Captain Tom, all those who have worked on the construction of this new hospital and all those who will work in it."

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