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Rivals raise money to buy bike for Tory MP hit with driving ban

Newbury MP Richard Benyon lost his licence after being caught using mobile phone at wheel

The chairman of the Green Party in  West Berkshire has launched a fundraising page to buy a bicycle for a Tory MP who has been banned from driving after he was caught texting at the wheel.

Richard Benyon, who is MP for Newbury, has even donated £10 to the Go Fund Me page himself, reports  Newbury Today.

As an MP who has campaigned for road safety, highlighting a number of crashes on the busy A34 trunk route which runs through his constituency, he was accused of hypocrisy last month when he was banned from driving ifor six months under the totting-up procedure..

The fundraising page was set up by Steve Masters, who said:  "It is vital that Richard Benyon is able to carry on working and like his constituents he will clearly struggle after the cuts imposed in West Berkshire. 

To this end an eco-friendly bicycle seems to offer the best solution to this unfortunate situation."

He continued, " Losing one's license when it is central to your working life can be devastating for working people.

"Therefore any surplus monies raised above the cost of a secondhand bike from eBay will go to a local mental health charity here in Newbury.

"This will ensure people like Richard have the support they need when dealing with what must be a very stressful time."

To date, the campaign has raised £410 of its £1.000 target with any surplus going to local mental health charity Eight Bells.

Benyon, who lives in an Elizabethan country house on his family's Englefield Estate, described the fundraising campaign as "very funny" and that he had donated £10 given the charitable aspect.

The 67-year-old added that while he is serving his-month ban, he aims to use  “a combination of public transport, my wife, friends, my new bicycle and my feet” to get around his constituency.

Eight Bells for Mental Health is a charitable organisation which supports people affected by mental health issues in Berkshire. 

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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