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Tory peer Bates brings latest leg of charity trek to Northern Ireland


Lord Michael Bates is on a 1,000km walk

Lord Michael Bates is on a 1,000km walk

Lord Michael Bates is on a 1,000km walk

A Conservative peer is visiting Northern Ireland as part of a 1,000km walk to raise money for the victims of recent terrorist attacks.

Lord Michael Bates was welcomed yesterday by DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson as he arrived in his Lagan Valley constituency.

Lord Bates has completed two-thirds of the 45-day trip around the UK which is to raise money for the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.

The Minister of State at the Department for International Development set off from the Houses of Parliament last month.

On his first leg, he walked from London to the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff.

He then walked back up again through England and travelled over to Northern Ireland.

He is journeying from Newry to Belfast.

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After that, he will take a ferry to Stranraer and walk from there to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

Lord Bates is raising money for the UK Solidarity Fund set up by the British Red Cross to help the victims of the terrorist attacks and their families.

His wife Xuelin, who is organising the logistics of the trip, is spending the summer with him on the road.

The couple have so far raised £10,000 of their intended £50,000 target.

Sir Jeffrey said: "I was delighted to welcome Michael to Lagan Valley and to walk a stretch of road with him.

"I have known him many years and admire that he is taking time out to raise money for the innocent victims of terrorism.

"Like many politicians he is genuinely concerned about the plight of the people we have the privilege to represent in Parliament."

Lord Bates said: "Five years ago Xuelin and I pledged to try and walk 10,000 miles and raise £1m for charity over the next 10 years.

"So far we have covered 7,427 miles in 23 countries and raised £468,080.

"By September this year, we hope to raise that to over £500,000 and 8,000 miles in 25 countries.

"More importantly we hope to draw attention through this walk to the remarkable bonds of history, culture, values and friendship."

In 201, Lord Bates walked the 518.8 miles from London to Londonderry in 35 days for Save the Children's work in Syria.

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