14 Jan

Political Pancake Dash

Action from 2013 race

Flour and eggs are usually to be avoided by politicians, but at least once a year they actively seek out the ingredients to take part in the Parliamentary Pancake Race. The annual pancake-flipping event takes place in aid of the Rehab charity and featured MPs, Lords and members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

The race takes place in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, on the morning of Shrove Tuesday, 4 March. Rehab provides life-changing services to over 40,000 people each year in the UK, including care, rehabilitation, training, labour market and employment services.

Now in its 17th year, the event sees teams compete in a relay for the chance to cross the finish line in a blaze of glory and hold the Magnificent Tin Cup aloft. MPs will be hoping to make it three-in-a-row following their successive wins over the past two years, while the Lords and media will be keen to ensure that they don't get too big for their boots.

The spectacle draws hundreds of spectators each year, with Londoners and visitors to the city alike captivated by the occasion and the opportunity to get to see their public representatives like they have never seen them before.

With memories of last year's keenly-fought contest still firmly etched on participants' minds, and the cutting of corners, tugging on apron strings, and nefarious double-dealing that abounded, organisers are warning that the rules will be strictly enforced in 2014.

Amongst the regulations are that participants act in a 'gentlemanly and gentlewomanly' way at all times, that frying pans cannot be used as weapons, and that pancakes must not be propelled at others.

Angela Kerins, chief executive of the Rehab Group, said: "The Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race has become as traditional as the State Opening for parliamentarians who each year put their rivalries to one side and, watched by TV audiences around the globe, go for gold in support of Rehab. Of course, everyone wants to be a winner, and it is perhaps not surprising that the MPs, Lords and media who participate, take the race so seriously.

"But the real winners of this race are the people with disabilities, people with brain injuries and people with mental health difficulties, whose services benefit from the funds raised. On behalf of Rehab, we thank the participants for being such good flippers and may the best team win!"

For more on the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race, visit the event website.