‘HOOLIGAN DEBATE IN PARLIAMENT’
MP raises concerns after derby trouble
MP Ruth Smeeth has called for a debate on the ‘rise of football hooliganism’ in parliament in the aftermath of trouble at Port Vale.
The club is assessing up to £100,000 in damage in the Hamil Road away stand after a toilet block was trashed, 150 seats were ripped up and a public address system was wrecked in the aftermath of their Checkatrade Trophy tie against Stoke City under21s.
Chairman Norman Smuthwaite has revealed that the vandalism has put Vale’s next home match, against Cheltenham, in jeopardy.
Staffordshire Police have released mobile phone footage of thugs breaking windows in the toilets, and details have been released about 11 men arrested.
And yesterday, senior officers warned those involved in the trouble ‘not to make plans for the weekend’ because police ‘were coming for them’ Ruth Smeeth, left, the Labour MP for Stoke-on-trent North, raised the issue during a Business of the House session at Westminster. She said: “On Tuesday night in my constituency there was significant violence at the away end of the Port Vale and Stoke City derby football match.
“I thank the police and emergency services for their work. Can we have a debate in Government time on the rise of football hooliganism in parts of our country?”
Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, encouraged Ruth to take up her concerns with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport next week.
She said: “Any rise in football hooliganism is absolutely unacceptable. It used to be a problem in the past, and we do not want it to come back again.
“Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport questions are next Thursday, and I encourage the honourable Lady to raise it with Ministers then.”
CRACKDOWN: Police out in force after the game.