Owen Thompson, SNP MP for Midlothian, recently sponsored the inaugural meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Boys’ Brigade, attended by cross-party parliamentarians from the House of Commons and House of Lords as well as officials from the Boys’ Brigade, including Brigade Secretary/CEO Bill Stevenson.
Mr. Thompson was elected Chair of the APPG, with John McInally MP (SNP, Falkirk) voted secretary and four parliamentarians sharing the elected position of Vice Chair: Steven Paterson MP (SNP, Stirling), Steve McCabe MP (Labour, Birmingham Selly Oak), David Burrowes (Conservative, Enfield Southgate) and Lord Griffiths of Burry Port (Labour). Nine other Parliamentarians – including Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing MP and Mr. Thompson’s SNP colleagues Dr. Eilidh Whiteford MP and Marion Fellows MP – have also joined the APPG.
The Boys’ Brigade – the largest Christian uniformed youth movement in the UK and Ireland – was founded in Glasgow by Sir William Alexander Smith in 1883, and continues in its mission to care for and challenge young people through informal education and weekly activities, in partnership with interdenominational houses of worship, to this day. The APPG has been formed to honour and call attention to the good work of the Boys’ Brigade, and to see how best it can offer continuing support to the Boys’ Brigade in taking its mission forward.
Commenting on the establishment of the new APPG, Owen Thompson MP said:
“It is both a pleasure and a privilege to work closely with the Boys’ Brigade on setting up and taking forward this APPG. I very much appreciate the mission they have carried forward for over a century, and the education, opportunities and friendship they offer to the young people in the Brigade. And it is great that so many of my colleagues in both the Commons and the Lords feel the same and have joined me in setting up this APPG. I look forward to the next meeting and investigating further how best we can support the Brigade’s work in our own constituencies and beyond.”
Bill Stevenson, Boys’ Brigade Secretary/CEO, added:
“We were delighted that we have been able to establish the APPG at Westminster. We were really excited to see how many parliamentarians were keen to support our work. The Boys’ Brigade continues to be a great force for good across the land and is still as relevant today as when it was founded in 1883. We were particularly pleased that many ex-members of the BB who are now MPs and members of the Lords have signed to be members of the group. I am sure this will really help us raise our profile and develop our work further.”