All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes (APPGD)

Statement of Purpose: The All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes (APPGD) is here to study the condition of diabetes and its clinical and legal complexities.

Diabetes UK provides the secretariat for the APPGD. However, as with all party parliamentary groups, it is independent of its secretariat.

Our commitment is to inquire into issues of current interest and importance to people with diabetes, their carers, healthcare professionals and the NHS. Meetings centre around these and we invite expert speakers to give us their opinion on relevant matters.

Attendees at these events include MPs and Peers, healthcare professionals, user representatives, people with diabetes, Primary Care Trusts, Strategic Health Authorities and representatives of voluntary organisations.

The issues we investigate are wide ranging: from access to retinal screening services, the early identification of people with Type 2 diabetes, to discrimination against people with diabetes in the workplace or at school.

What is an All Party Parliamentary Group?

An All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) is made up, primarily, of a number of backbench members from all the political parties in the House of Commons and also members of the House of Lords.

Ministers may also be members. Their purpose is to produce cross-party discussion and co-operation on specific issues in a more informal setting to Select Committees.

There are a number of such groups in Parliament and they are seen as a useful way of keeping the Government, opposition and Members of Parliament well informed on a specific subject area, such as diabetes, and of internal and external opinion on related issues.

APPGs must have exactly twenty qualifying members on its Register entry at all times - ten from the Government party, plus a total of ten Opposition or other members (of which at least six must be from the main Opposition party).

Officers must be elected annually. These and other standards are set down by the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards which recognises and regulates All-party Groups.

Often an All Party Group will receive administrative and executive support from an outside organisation with a specific interest in the subject area and issues the group wishes to examine. This organisation is often referred to as the Secretariat.

Diabetes Parliamentary Champion

In 2008, Diabetes UK launched its new award for MPs and Peers who have gone beyond the call of duty in the fight against diabetes. Nominees were announced throughout 2008 and the 2009 Diabetes UK Parliamentary Champion was announced at a Parliamentary reception in January 2009.

Nominations for the 2010 award

If you think you know someone who deserves to win the award who hasn't already been shortlisted, please contact us with the reasons for your nomination on and we will consider them for the 2010 award.

Nominees for the 2010 Diabetes Parliamentary Champion, so far, are:

Jim Cunningham MP
Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South, met his constituent, Alick Doggett, at the Diabetes UK children's lobby in November 2008 and, as well as tabling many questions on this issue and agreed to use his Private Members' Bill to ensure that all children with long-term conditions, like diabetes, are properly supported in school.

The Schools (Health Support) Bill was presented to the House on 21 January and Diabetes UK worked closely with Jim in the run up to its second reading on 8 May. Among other things, Jim organised for children with health conditions, including 11 year old Harrison, who has Type 1 diabetes, to meet the Prime Minister.

Bill Wiggin MP
Bill Wiggin, MP for Leominster, also met a constituent, Tilly Dunne, in November 2008 and has since undertaken a range of activities to try and improve the situation for children with diabetes. He wrote to 50 primary and secondary schools in his constituency, as well as contacting Herefordshire Council and Primary Care Trust, to investigate the level of support provided to children in his local area. On a national level, he has tabled a number of parliamentary questions and written to the Government about this issue.

Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP
The Rt Hon Kevin Barron, MP for Rother Valley, hosted Diabetes UK's 75th Anniversary Reception in January. He was a co-sponsor of the Schools (Health Support) Bill and backs Diabetes UK's campaign to improve support for children with health conditions in schools. Kevin also chairs the Health Select Committee and Diabetes UK has welcomed the committee's recent calls for traffic-light nutrition labelling on food. Diabetes UK strongly supports the use of traffic light labelling as it is clearer and easier for people to understand. This helps people to manage their diabetes and avoid obesity which is one of the main causes of Type 2 diabetes.

Lee Scott MP
Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North, first became involved with Diabetes UK's work when he met one of his constituents at the lobby of Parliament in November 2008. Mr Scott inspired his constituents to push forward in their campaign to improve the support that they received at school. Speaking at a training event in April, Lee encouraged Diabetes UK supporters to talk to their MPs about local diabetes service provision and other issues of concern to people with diabetes.

Who we are

Officers of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes

The officers for the All Party Parliamentary Group are elected every year at the Group's Annual General Meeting.

Our current officers are:


Mr Adrian Sanders MP, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Torbay

Adrian Sanders served on Torbay Council and worked in insurance, as a policy officer for a number of charities and voluntary organisations and as a political adviser to Paddy Ashdown, before being elected to Parliament in 1997. He is the Liberal Democrat Chief Whip.

Adrian has insulin dependent diabetes and has campaigned strongly on issues relating to diabetes and animal welfare for many years.

He has been the Chair of the APPGD since 1998 and is a member of Diabetes UK.

Vice chairs:

Anne McIntosh MP, Conservative, Vale of York

Anne McIntosh is a Shadow Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, a former MEP and was elected to Parliament in 1997.

Elected to the European Parliament in 1989, Ms McIntosh stepped down ten years later to serve in the Commons.

A former lawyer, she has undertaken a number of portfolios for the Conservative party, shadowing culture, media and sport, transport, foreign affairs, work and pensions and education.

Philip Dunne MP, Conservative, Ludlow

Philip Dunne returned the parliamentary seat of Ludlow to the Conservatives in 2005. Mr Dunne is a successful businessman turned politician. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he had a twenty-year business career before becoming actively involved in politics.

His business career saw him working as an investment banker in the City and abroad, before turning his attention to the creation of the bookshop business, Ottakar's. He remains non-executive Chairman.

Heavily involved in business, Mr Dunne is the director of a number of companies and charities, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

He is chairman of a quoted Venture Capital Trust, Baronsmead 4 VCT plc and has held responsibility for the family farm since 1987.

Lord Harrison, Labour

Lord Harrison was made a life peer by the Labour administration in 1999. He was a research officer for the UMIST Union, Manchester between 1975-78 and a Union manager for the North East Wales Institute in Clwyd between 1978-89.

Active in local politics Lord Harrison was Councillor for Cheshire County Council for 9 years between 1981-90 as well as Deputy Chairman of the North West Tourist Board 1986-89 and Vice-President of the Association of County Councils 1990-97


Helen Southworth MP, Labour, Warrington South

Helen Southworth is a backbench Labour MP and member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select committee since the 2005 general election.

She was first elected in the 1997 landslide and in her first term served on the Procedure and the Trade and Industry Select Committee. Between 2001 and 2005 she was the PPS to Paul Boateng, then the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, losing this role when he stepped down from Parliament.

Before her election she was a non executive director at Age Concern, and was a councillor. She is the sister of the well known science writer and broadcaster Gabrielle Walker.

These officers were elected at the Annual General Meeting on 23 October 2007.


Secretarial support is provided by Diabetes UK.

Qualifying members:
Helen Southworth MP
Lord Harrison
Dr Desmond Turner MP
Dr Howard Stoate MP
Dr Brian Iddon MP
Jim Dobbin MP
Des Browne MP
Betty Williams MP
Janet Dean MP
Bob Laxton MP
Tim Loughton MP
Desmond Swayne MP
Cheryl Gillan MP
Anne McIntosh MP
Angela Watkinson MP
Philip Dunne MP
Adrian Sanders MP
Lady Sylvia Hermon MP
Baroness Masham of Ilton
Dr Evan Harris MP

Contact us

The Group can be contacted via its Secretariat, Diabetes UK:

Tessa Murray
Public Affairs Officer
Diabetes UK
Macleod House
10 Parkway

Telephone: 0207 424 1000

Alternatively, the Chair of the group Adrian Sanders MP can be contacted directly on:

Adrian Sanders MP
House of Commons

For further information and to read the minutes the APPGD meetings, please visit our website.