On Wednesday 1st November, Ranil Jayawardena—Member of Parliament for North East Hampshire—raced against service personnel on an exercise bike in support of The Royal British Legion’s Annual Poppy Appeal.


The 12 hour bike ride was held from 8am to 8pm in Portcullis House, Parliament and aimed to raise money for The Royal British Legion’s national Poppy Appeal. Participants were tasked with cycling as far as they could in 5 minutes, with the hope of topping the leaderboard and beating their fellow colleagues. Mr Jayawardena managed to cycle 1.92 miles in 5 minutes. Topping the leaderboard was Paul Williams MP who cycled 2.70 miles in 5 minutes.


MPs were encouraged to donate as they took part in the challenge, with all the money raised going to help The Royal British Legion provide lifelong support for the Armed Forces community.


The bike ride was organised by the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) and The Royal British Legion following on from the successful bike ride held in 2016 (where 77 MPs and Peers cycled a total of 128.8 miles in 12 hours). This year’s ride emphasised that The Royal British Legion will once again be asking the nation to ‘Rethink Remembrance’ and consider the meaning of the poppy as a symbol of Remembrance and hope. 


Ranil Jayawardena MP, said:  

“I would like to thank the Industry and Parliament Trust and The Royal British Legion for arranging this event. The Royal British Legion provides invaluable support to The Armed Forces community; I am pleased to have been able to support such a worthy cause.”


Mr Jayawardena continued:  

“I would encourage all of you to do your part, to donate to The Royal British Legion this November and to wear your poppy with pride.”


Nick Maher, CEO of the IPT, said: 

“The work of The Royal British Legion is essential to the lives of the whole Armed Forces community across the UK and I am delighted that MPs and Peers are supporting us in our efforts to raise money for such a worthwhile cause. The support and enthusiasm from parliamentarians and service men and women has been fantastic.”