Ilford South MP Mike Gapes marks 20 years in Parliament with party

Mike Gapes has celebrated 20 years as Ilford South’s MP with live jazz music, food and signed West Ham football shirts.

The Labour MP reached his milestone of 20 years in Westminster in April but an event to mark the achievement was postponed until Saturday at Ilford Golf Club in Wanstead Park Road, Ilford.

He was joined by deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman, who made a speech, and local councillors including Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Muhammed Javed and Cllr Barbara White, who sang with a jazz band.

Mr Gapes, who lists meeting the Dalai Lama as one of the high points of his career, said: “It was absolutely packed.

“I was overwhelmed, it was a very nice and emotional evening.”

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The devout Hammers fan was presented with two shirts, one signed by the current squad and the 1965 European Cup Winners Cup winning team’s jersey which was signed by Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters.

Referring to the fact the two former West Ham players scored all England’s goals in the 1966 World Cup Final, he said: “We won the FA Cup in ‘64, the Cup Winners’ Cup in ‘65 and the World Cup in ‘66.”

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Cllr Bert Jones tweeted: “Reflecting on the great speech from Harriet Harman about Mike Gapes’ 20 years in Parliament.”

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