On the pull at Westminster

It was the 20th Anniversary Macmillan House of Lords vs House of Commons Tug of War contest last week, and in-between sides from the armed forces, corporate sponsors and Government battling it out, a team of press gallery journalists took on a team of broadcasters.

Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell took up the anchor position, with Joe Churcher (PA), Rob Hutton (Bloomberg), Jonathan Isaby (Daily Telegraph), Simon McGee (Yorkshire Post), Fraser Nelson (Spectator) and Bob Roberts (Mirror) joining him against a team of BBC journalists which included Robin Brant, Guto Harri, Julian Joyce, James Landale and Ed Stourton.

Observer editor Roger Alton acted as official cheerleader for the gallery, but his words of encouragement fell on deaf ears as the BBC team pulled their way to victory winning the laurels for the second year running.

Panorama presenter Jeremy Vine was in high spirits as he presented the event and was particularly taken by the ‘mesmerising’chants of the Signal Regiment. Meanwhile, Mariella Frostrup and Kay Burley ignored the threat of rain and took on the task of cheerleaders for the Lords and Commons.

The event raised more than £130,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support charity.

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