Oliver's Debate Is Given the Go-Ahead; Westminster Date for Foundation Campaign Hearing

Article excerpt

Byline: MARC WADDINGTON Political Reporter @waddingtonpost

A WESTMINSTER debate on the Oliver King Foundation's calls for life-saving defibrillators in all UK public buildings has been granted.

Walton MP Steve Rotheram took the plea to the House of Commons Back Bench Committee on behalf of the Foundation, set up in memory of the tragic 12-year-old, who died in 2011 from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) while swimming in the pool at King David High School.

The committee's MPs granted a three-hour debate to be held in Westminster Hall, tabled for March 25, and indicated a full House of Commons debate could follow in May.

The Foundation, backed by the ECHO's Heartbeat campaign, was given another boost today when Liverpool FC's Steven Gerrard became the latest high-profile supporter of calls for the Government to help combat SADS, which claims up to 1,000 young lives every year in the UK.

The Reds and England midfielder signed up to a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron saying that "we are not asking the government to pay for these devices but for legislation that ensures automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) are available in all public buildings, in a manner similar to the current provision of fire extinguishers."

Mr Rotheram, who was allowed to request the debate after more than 110,000 people signed an e-petition calling on the government to take action, said the back bench committee had been receptive to the call. …