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MP: new newspaper 'a huge breakthrough for community'

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Image by Politics Editor Matthew Dooley (@_matthewdooley)

Article republished with permission from the Hillingdon Herald, a new newspaper written by staff and students from Brunel University London’s journalism department. Launched on 13 October ‘for all Londoners,’ the first edition features columns from Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP Boris Johnson, and Hayes and Harlington MP and Brunel Alumnus John McDonnell, who spoke at the launch event.

Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell praised the launch of The Hillingdon Herald at a packed celebration event for the borough's new print paper.

Mr McDonnell, the MP for Hayes and Harlington, was one of the speakers at the party to mark the first edition of the monthly newspaper produced for the local community by Brunel University London students.

He and Hillingdon's Mayor, Cllr Roy Chamdal, were among several dignitaries present in a crowd of more than 100 guests.

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John McDonnell MP speaking at the Hillingdon Herald launch event on Wednesday, October 13 (Image by Hayes Town Partnership)

Mr McDonnell told the audience: “Newspapers like this are the foundation stones of local communities. They bring us together, they keep us informed of what's happening. They give the local community a voice. We used to have in this area five local newspapers, now we've got none. There is a huge vacuum there.” The event took place at Brunel University London’s Antonin Artaud building, and guests included senior university staff members Dr Peter Thomas and Dean Prof Tom Betteridge.

Prof Betteridge said: "I wanted to thank everyone for coming tonight. It's an incredible initiative, I'm really proud of it, and there has been incredible work from Peter and all the team. But particularly Rachel Sharp (the editor) and Steven Cohen (head of news).”

The paper will cover news from across the borough, as well as the wider London area. Mr McDonnell added: "At this stage therefore, this is a huge breakthrough for us as a local community and I thank you all, and the university for enabling this to happen and for all those who have put so much into it. I think it will go from strength to strength."

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