Five members of Parliament have signed up to take part in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon. The quintet includes three front benchers, taking time off from the General Election race to run the streets of the capital on Sunday 26 April. Parliament dissolves on 30 March 2015, meaning all five will officially run as members of the public rather than MPs, before returning to the campaign trail to try to win back their seats in the General Election on 7 May.
As well as fighting for their seats in May, the five will also be keen to make sure that their marathon efforts are not in vain as they aim to be recorded in the London Marathon MPs Hall of Fame. In order to feature on this prestigious list, they must be re-elected in May.
Four Conservative MPs will line up with one Labour MP on the start line in the race to be the fastest politician in 2015. One MP will make his London Marathon debut, while the remaining four veteran London Marathon runners will be hoping to improve on the personal best times they all set in the 2014 race.
The five include Edward Timpson, the Conservative Party’s Minister for Children and Families, who will run for the sixth time at this year’s event. Timpson will be hoping to beat his personal best time of 3:42:24 from last year’s race.
Also in the line-up is Labour’s Shadow Justice Minister, Dan Jarvis, who will be aiming to run Timpson close for title of fastest MP in his fourth London Marathon after completing the 2014 race in a time of 3:45:08. Jarvis will be running to raise money for the 2015 charity of the year, Cancer Research UK.
Of the MPs running this year Alun Cairns of Vale of Glamorgan, who is also a junior Minister in the Wales office and a Government whip, clocked up the fastest time in 2014, finishing in 3:34:16. He will be hoping to dip under the 3:30 mark to become this year's fastest Conservative MP as he takes on the 26.2 mile course for the fourth time.
His Tory colleague Graham Evans, MP for Weaver Vale, will also be looking to complete his fourth London Marathon and is hoping to improve on his previous best of 4:43:56 from last year.
Completing the line up is Richard Drax, Conservative MP for South Dorset, who will make his debut at the London Marathon this year, while raising money for the charity ICA, Island Community Action.