On Tuesday, Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, raised a bill proposing compulsory cycle helmets for under 16s “on a public highway; and for connected purposes” (a somewhat enigmatic phrase). He was supported by fellow Conservative MPs David Amess, Jo Churchill and Chris Chope (with whom Bone has previously collaborated in apparently antagonistic legislative proposals) and Jim Shannon of the DUP.
This is not the first time Bone has made such a proposal—he did so in his first parliamentary term in 2007—and he has long been a prominent advocate of helmet compulsion.
Perhaps this is in part explained by his receipt of £4000 to fund his election candidacy from International Motors, which owns the UK distributors of Subaru, Daihatsu and Isuzu vehicles. It is part of the IM Group which also has extensive property dealings with the automotive industry and logistics. Its website also appears to advertise public space developments.
The owner of IM Group is Lord Edmiston, one of the richest men in the UK. He is a major donor to the Leave campaign and the Conservative party, the latter to the tune of seven figures, and also handsomely bankrolls his evangelical Christian Vision charity. He was made a life peer in 2010, having seen his 2005 nomination derailed by a “tax dispute” with HMRC.
He also chairs the Midlands Industrial Council, which gave £20,000 to the Conservative party in Bone’s Wellingborough constituency in 2005. It is a somewhat secretive group which has been making donations to the Conservative Party since 1946, and counts among its well-heeled members the billionaire boss of JCB, Anthony Bamford, and truck dealer Chris Kelly.
It is not immediately clear what other bills have been raised by Bone in the interests of child casualty prevention.