Alan Mak MP chosen for Franco-British Young Leaders programme launched by Prince & Princess of Wales

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Alan Mak has been selected to join a prestigious programme for young leaders committed to strengthening links with France.

Ahead of the 80th anniversary of D-Day next June, the Havant MP is part of the 21-strong group of high achievers under the age of 40 for this year’s Franco-British Young Leaders programme. The programme was launched in 2017 by The Prince and Princess of Wales (then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) and is operated by the Franco-British Council and backed by both the UK and French governments.

As part of his activity with the programme and the Franco-British Council, Mr Mak – who celebrates his 40th birthday this November – met the British Ambassador to France, HE Dame Menna Rawlings, to discuss issues such as stopping small boats and illegal landings, defence co-operation and boosting trade between the UK and France.

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Mr Mak has also met Bertrand Bouyx, the member of the French National Assembly for the constituency which includes St. Aubin – Emsworth’s twin town in Normandy – and various D-Day landing beaches. His constituency also includes the town of Bayeux, the first place to be be liberated by British troops after D-Day.

Alan Mak MP with British Ambassador to France, HE Dame Menna RawlingsAlan Mak MP with British Ambassador to France, HE Dame Menna Rawlings
Alan Mak MP with British Ambassador to France, HE Dame Menna Rawlings

The Franco-British Young Leaders programme aims to deepen understanding and collaboration between France and the UK and create lasting bilateral dialogue at the highest level. Its objective is to build a generation of leaders who will keep the Franco-British relations at heart and shape its future across all sectors of our societies and economies.

The Havant constituency has long-standing connections to France. Emsworth is twinned with a town in the Calvados department of Normandy at the eastern end of Juno Beach, while Hayling Island is twinned with Gorron in the Pays de la Loire region. In addition, the annual Paris to Hayling Cycle Ride attracts hundreds of people who cycle from Versailles.

Mr Mak led a veterans’ delegation to the Normandy landing sites for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and is hoping to return next year.

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Mr Mak MP said: ‘Our area’s historic role in D-Day and the current twinning links enjoyed by Hayling and Emsworth with French towns mean keeping our links with France are key. I’m honoured to represent the UK as we head towards the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

‘The UK remains an outward-looking trading nation, and I look forward to helping to build stronger links with France in key areas such as defence and trade.’