David Cameron’s new government will include a campaigning disabled MP and a former minister for disabled people from the last time the Tories had an absolute Commons majority, 18 years ago.The prime minister announced this week that Robert Halfon, the disabled MP for Harlow, had been appointed a vice-chairman of the Conservative party, but also a minister without portfolio and member of the Cabinet.Halfon (pictured) is known as a campaigning MP – with successful campaigns on cuts to fuel duty and to tax on bingo – and was previously parliamentary private secretary to the chancellor, George Osborne.The new minister for disabled people is the North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson.Tomlinson, who did not respond to a request from Disability News Service for an interview this week, does not appear to have a significant previous interest in disability issues.He was a member of 25 all-party parliamentary groups in the last parliament, including groups for heritage railway, Taiwan, speedway, the video games industry, beer, libraries, betting and gaming, and family businesses, but not the all-party disability group.His website points to his success in parliament on issues such as school sport, business, banking, libraries and housing development, but not disability.Tomlinson was previously owner of a marketing company and is also a former nightclub manager.But despite his lack of a track record on disability issues, Tomlinson’s constituency office in Swindon appears to be far more accessible than that of his predecessor as disabled people’s minister, Mark Harper, who has become the government’s chief whip.A member of staff in the office in Swindon that Tomlinson shares with Swindon South MP Robert Buckland – on the first floor of a building with a lift – said accessibility had been one of the “top priorities” when they chose the location.She said: “It was high on my agenda and their agenda. It had to be accessible to all.”Meanwhile, Cameron has appointed a veteran former minister for disabled people to lead the government’s health and care reforms.Alistair Burt was minister for disabled people between 1995 and 1997, and was a popular Foreign Office minister in the coalition, before being sacked in 2013 following parliament’s vote against military action in Syria.He said in a statement: “I am honoured to have been entrusted with an important portfolio spanning care and health services.“There are some huge tasks awaiting for the department and the wider system, not least the delivery of aspects of the Care Act, the better integration of health and care services, and the enhanced attention to be paid to the provision of mental health support.“The work done within the areas for which I am responsible touch on the lives of many people, and I believe it is an extraordinary sector full of remarkable individuals.“I am looking forward to listening to those involved and doing all I can to ensure the government plays its full part in the further development of vital services.”Cameron also appointed the former education secretary Michael Gove – who has previously spoken out in favour of reintroducing the death penalty – as his new justice secretary, with responsibility for scrapping the Human Rights Act and replacing it with a new bill of rights.And the new employment minister, replacing Esther McVey – who lost her seat last week – is a similarly divisive figure, the right-wing Witham MP Priti Patel, an economics graduate and former communications executive who served as exchequer secretary to the Treasury in the last government, and has also spoken out in support of the reintroduction of capital punishment.Patel said in a statement: “Employment and earning a salary gives families security and our long term economic plan will continue to reward work.“I look forward to working with Iain [Duncan Smith] and others to deliver our manifesto and help more people into employment.”Duncan Smith remains as work and pensions secretary, with responsibility for the government’s welfare reform programme and finding another £12 billion a year in cuts to social security spending.Lord [David] Freud remains as welfare reform minister.
JON Wilkin says Friday’s World Club Series date is not only big for the club but Super League as a whole.Saints will face Sydney Roosters in Game One of the 2016 series at Langtree Park.“It is a huge game for the club, Super League and the players here,” he explains. “The younger players in the squad look up to the NRL and the calibre of player here.“But these NRL players are just human and a good performance would be huge in terms of the development of our players.“I’m excited about the Series and I’m sure they will be keenly contested matches. The NRL respect what we do as they are scouring our comp for talent.“We want to show our younger players that our comp has merits and strengths and they can play here rather than over there.”Saints head into the match on the back of defeat at Salford – something they are keen to make amends for.“It wasn’t a great performance and to serve that up in the second round of the season with Friday’s game in mind wasn’t ideal preparation,” Wilkin continues. “We wanted to head into the game with confidence but these things happen in sport and it is part of the job to deal with it, move on and learn from the experience.“The analysis wasn’t pretty but we have a strong focus on this week. It is a chance to regroup.“The focus has to be squarely on ourselves. We won’t do any video or homework on the Roosters because we have to fix up what we do. That is our priority.“We have the ultimate respect for them but it is hard to do homework on a team before a ball has been kicked in their competition. We will look at individuals but the gameplan is pretty simple; we were physically terrible against Salford and that is where we have to be better.“We’re looking forward to continuing the tradition of us playing the Roosters in this fixture. One of the first Saints games I attended was the Challenge in 2003. We were poor that night and this game is one in which we could make some amends for that.”Tickets for Friday’s game, which kicks off at 8pm, remain on sale.Prices are: Hattons Solicitors West Terrace, East Terrace and Family Stands: Adult – £22.50, OAP and Young Adult – £15.50, Junior – £10Solarking South and Totally Wicked North Stands: Gold: Adult – £30, OAP and Young Adult – £22.50, Junior – £12 Silver: Adult – £28, OAP and Young Adult – £20.50, Junior – £12 Bronze: Adult – £25, OAP and Young Adult – £18.50, Junior – £10Are you a group of 20 or more and planning to come to our game? Then contact James Newman on 01744 455081 for great discounted rates.Tickets can be bought by popping into the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.A package for all three games (Leeds v North Queensland, Wigan v Brisbane) costs £60 and can be purchased by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or calling the Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113.
This Season’s Meetings:Warrington 14, St Helens 34 (SLS8-R6, 22/9/18) St Helens 14, Warrington 12 (SLR23, 26/7/18) Warrington 12, St Helens 30 (SLR5, 9/3/18)Last Ten Meetings:Warrington 14, St Helens 34 (SLS8-R6, 22/9/18) St Helens 14, Warrington 12 (SLR23, 26/7/18) Warrington 12, St Helens 30 (SLR5, 9/3/18) Warrington 40, St Helens 18 (SLR13, 5/5/17) St Helens 31, Warrington 6 (SLR6, 24/3/17) Warrington 18, St Helens 10 (SLSF, 29/9/16) Warrington 18, St Helens 20 (SLS8-R1, 4/8/16) St Helens 4, Warrington 26 (SLR17, 3/6/16) Warrington 22, St Helens 25 (SLR10, 8/4/16) St Helens 16, Warrington 32 (SLS8-R7, 24/9/15)Super League Summary:St Helens won 48 (includes wins in 2010 and 2012 play-offs) Warrington won 13 (includes wins in 2012 and 2016 play-offs) 2 drawsHighs and Lows:St Helens highest score: 72-2 (H, 2002) (also widest margin) Warrington highest score: 56-22 (H, 2001) (also widest margin)Super League Head to Head:SaintsWarrington Tries157 (1st)134 (2nd)Goals132 (1st)115 (3rd)Metres42,187 (1st)40,544 (2nd)Breaks243 (1st)190 (4th)Tackles9,912 (3rd)9,314 (8th)Factoids:Tommy Makinson is three tries away from 100 in Super League (97 for St Helens, 2011-2018)Danny Richardson has the longest scoring streak in the game, having registered points in our last 33 matches. His scoring streak began with seven goals in a 46-6 home win against Castleford on February 2.Squads:Saints: 1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 6. Theo Fages, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 18. Danny Richardson, 19. Regan Grace, 20. Matty Lees, 21. Jack Ashworth, 23. Ben Barba.Wolves: 1. Stefan Ratchford, 2. Tom Lineham, 3. Bryson Goodwin, 4. Ryan Atkins, 6. Kevin Brown, 7. Tyrone Roberts, 8. Chris Hill, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Mike Cooper, 12. Jack Hughes, 13. Ben Murdoch-Masaila, 15. Declan Patton, 17. Joe Philbin, 18. Toby King, 19. George King, 20. Harvey Livett, 27. Josh Charnley, 30. Bodene Thompson, 34. Ben Westwood.Betfred Super League Leading Scorers:Tries: 1 Ben Barba (St Helens) 28 2 Tom Johnstone (Wakefield Trinity) 24 3 Mark Percival (St Helens) 20 4 = Greg Eden (Castleford Tigers), Ben Jones-Bishop (Wakefield Trinity) 18 6 = Bureta Faraimo (Hull FC), Jonny Lomax (St Helens) 17 8 = Tom Lineham (Warrington Wolves), Liam Marshall (Wigan Warriors) 16 10 = David Mead (Catalans Dragons), Regan Grace (St Helens), Josh Charnley (Warrington Wolves), Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves) 15Goals: 1 Danny Richardson (St Helens) 132 2 Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors) 94 3 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 62 4 Ryan Hampshire (Wakefield Trinity) 61 5 Ryan Shaw (Hull Kingston Rovers) 56 6 Jamie Ellis (Castleford Tigers) 54 7 Josh Drinkwater (Catalans Dragons) 53 8 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 51 9 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 48 10 Jake Connor (Hull FC) 40Goals Percentage: 1 Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers) 90.90 (10/11) 2 Declan Patton (Warrington Wolves) 89.47 (17/19) 3 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 87.27 (48/55) 4 Jake Connor (Hull FC) 86.95 (40/46) 5 Ryan Shaw (Hull Kingston Rovers) 86.15 (56/65) 6 Tom Gilmore (Widnes Vikings) 84.61 (33/39) 7 Krisnan Inu (Widnes Vikings) 84.00 (21/25) 8 Tyrone Roberts (Warrington Wolves) 82.85 (29/35) 9 Ryan Hampshire (Wakefield Trinity) 82.43 (61/74) 10 James Batchelor (Wakefield Trinity) 81.25 (13/16)Points: 1 Danny Richardson (St Helens) 287 2 Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors) 232 3 Ryan Shaw (Hull Kingston Rovers) 156 4 Ryan Hampshire (Wakefield Trinity) 143 5 Josh Drinkwater (Catalans Dragons) 134 6 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 130 7 Jamie Ellis (Castleford Tigers) 117 8 Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves) 114 9 Ben Barba (St Helens) 112 10 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 111Betfred Super League Table:POSTeamPWLDPFPADIFFPTS1Saints302640895408487522Wigan Warriors302370740417323463Castleford Tigers302091767582185414Warrington Wolves3018111767561206375Wakefield Trinity301316174769651276Huddersfield Giants3013161539750-255277Catalans Dragons3012171596750-154258Hull FC3011190615787-17222Tickets:Tickets are on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.