Hexham MP Guy Opperman donates book profits to brain appeal

A NORTH MP is to donate profits from his first book to the doctors who ensured he survived to write it.

MP Guy Opperman

A NORTH MP is to donate profits from his first book to the doctors who ensured he survived to write it.

Hexham Conservative Guy Opperman underwent a major brain tumour operation in May 2011 after being suddenly taken ill in the House of Commons.

But the 47-year-old MP pulled through to return to mainstream politics – and become an author.

His debut book, Doing Time, was launched this month and examines the British prison system, recommending new training for prisoners ahead of release.

Now Mr Opperman has decided to pass on all profits from the book to the National Brain Appeal in recognition of the medics at London’s National Neurosurgical Hospital who saved his life 19 months ago.

He said: “My experience in hospital last year is partially what inspired me to write the book. For years I had been passionate about tackling reoffending and always said one day I would write a book on it.

“Being diagnosed with a brain tumour made me realise life was too short to put things off. I promised the wonderful NHS doctors and nurses who saved my life I would try and repay the favour.

“I never really can, but I hope raising some money for the hospital helps.”

Mr Opperman has already raised over £3,000 through a series of projects including marathon walks along Hadrian’s Wall and the Pennine Way.

Mr Opperman, a criminal barrister and journalist before becoming an MP in 2010, officially launched Doing Time in Hexham on December 8, following a London event organised by think tank Policy Exchange.

Aimed at tackling reoffending rates, the book examines the corrective treatment of UK prisoners – or lack of it.

Mr Opperman said: “Over decades, simply locking people up and then releasing them, illiterate, with no basic skills, still often addicted to drugs and with little work experience, we have created a recipe for disaster.

“We must change that. It is a disappointing fact of our prison system that, under the last government, released prisoners had a reoffending rate of approximately 70%.”

The MP is urging special literacy and drug rehabilitation courses behind bars to equip inmates for life on the outside, with early-release incentives for passing the courses.

 
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