Inside Lines: In the blue corner is Leslie, the MP who packs a punch

Those of us ancient enough to remember Dr Edith Summerskill will recall her as a feisty feminist MP who packed a punch – one that was aimed at delivering a KO for boxing, a sport she detested. In the Fifties and Sixties she waged a vigorous but unsuccessful campaign for it to be banned on medical grounds.

The good doctor, who died in 1980, must be turning in her proverbial now that boxing is not only still alive and punching but actively promoted in Parliament as a PC pursuit, lauded as a means of getting discipline back into schools and keeping kids off the streets – girls as well as boys. And boxing's new political champion is a young woman. Unlike Summerskill, 31-year-old Charlotte Leslie is a Tory, freshly elected as the MP for Bristol North-west and the new chair of the reformed All Party Parliamentary Boxing Group. She not only knows a left hook from a coat hook but has done a bit herself, teaching wayward teenage kids how to box in a local community centre. "She's really good news," says the sports minister Hugh Robertson of Leslie, who will fight boxing's corner. A welcome addition to the ladies-who-punch club, next week she hosts the official launch of boxing's parliamentary lobby group, for which 30 other MPs have already signed up. Robertson and the former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan will be among the speakers and the occasion will highlight the progress women's boxing is making in Britain. The British Amateur Boxing Association are assisting with the organisation of the event, which ironically takes place in the Atlee Suite: would-be abolitionist Summerskill was a minister in Clement Atlee's government.

Olympic role for Steele?

He may have been ruthlessly kicked into touch as rugby supremo, but John Steele is unlikely to be unemployed for long. The axed Rugby Football Union chief executive made many friends in his previous, and more successful, five-year tenure in the same capacity with UK Sport. Lord Coe is among his admirers, as is the sports minister, and it will be no surprise if Steele resurfaces within the Locog organisation in the run-up to 2012. It is doubtful that Sir Clive Woodward, whose decision to withdraw his application for the performance director's post at Twickenham probably cost Steele his job, will renew his interest. Locog's chairman Colin Moynihan has moved quickly to enhance Woodward's £300,000-a-year role with the British Olympic Association. I understand the former England rugby coach is delighted to be appointed chef de mission for Team GB at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in January and is now even keener to remain involved with preparations for 2012.



Not elite but special

They won't have any trouble getting tickets for their own summer Olympics, which start in Athens next weekend, but some 200 British athletes are having to pay their own way there. Unlike Paralympians, who received £50m in funding for 2012, Special Olympians, mainly youngsters with learning difficulties, have no financial support from either the Lottery or the Exchequer. So the British team have to pay their own way, at about £2,000 a head, to be among 7,000 athletes from 185 nations taking part in 22 Olympic-style sports.There is no cash because they aren't considered "elite" But shouldn't they be a special case?



Cashing in on Wembley

How curious that Wembley is to stage the Champions' League final in 2013, just a couple of years after the last one. Is the 150th anniversary of the Football Association the real reason, or is it that Uefa believe Wembley is now the biggest cash cow in football?



insidelines@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Resourcer

£18000 - £22000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Recruitment Resour...

HR Business Analyst, Bristol, £350-400pd

£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Account Manager (Junior)

Negotiable: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Account Manager (Junior) Account ...

Javascript Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried