Young constituent has Tracy in stitches after reaching joke competition final

A talented young constituent had Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin in stitches after being picked from over 5,000 entrants to reach the final of a prestigious national joke competition in Parliament.

Cleckheaton’s Bailey Newsome, aged 10, was one of 25 gifted schoolchildren who made it through to the Voice Box final ahead of thousands of children from England, Scotland and Wales.

The William Henry Smith School pupil travelled down to London for the final of the competition which is run by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists for all mainstream and special educational needs schools.

The rib-tickling finalists provided a welcome respite from their parliamentary duties for the MPs who attended the event in Speaker’s House.

Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “It’s always a treat when a young constituent visits Parliament and when they come with an hilarious joke at the ready then it’s even better!

“It is a fantastic achievement to reach the final of such a brilliant competition and after hearing talented Bailey’s entry, it was very well deserved.

“More than 10% of children and young people have long term speech, language and communication needs so it’s important to have a competition that’s all about boosting confidence and celebrating all the immensely valuable speech and language work being done in schools.”

The competition, which is run in partnership with the National Association of Head Teachers, was designed to highlight the importance of building communication skills and confidence.

Royal College of Speech and Language Chief Executive Officer Kamini Gadhok MBE, who was a judge on the day, added: “In every classroom there will be between two and three children with communication difficulties.

“The Voice Box competition helps teachers, children and parents to focus on the impact effective communication can have on a child’s social and emotional well-being.”

Bailey’s joke: “Which hand would you use to grab a poisonous snake? Someone else’s!”

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