Leeds North East Labour MP Fabian Hamilton has a new seat — on a self-made bicycle he has taken on a 600-mile charity ride to Berlin.
Mr Hamilton set off from the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff community centre last Friday to the cheers of supporters. The first stop was Hull for a ferry to Rotterdam.
The MP — whose ride is supporting Heart Research UK, Radio Jcom and a Leeds Islamic Centre youth sports project — started cycling some years ago for fitness and environmental reasons. After being diagnosed with diabetes in 2009, he took part in a cycle ride to Paris in aid of Diabetes UK. Last year, he cycled to Amsterdam with his son and daughter to raise money for the St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds.
His eight-day journey to Berlin is his most ambitious and he chose the destination “because I have never been there before and the distance seemed achievable in the time I set myself. But at 57 it’s a tough call.” Mr Hamilton’s wife Rosy has been travelling in the back-up vehicle.
He is a trustee of Heart Research UK, with which he has a particular affinity — a grandfather and both parents died of heart disease. He has dedicated the ride to the memory of his father Mario Uziell-Hamilton.
Mr Hamilton is a big fan of Radio Jcom, the local Jewish community station, being impressed by its “excellent production values and quality of material”. He has been trying to help Jcom achieve an FM presence.