MP whose dad died after single punch at Sheffield pub writes to Will Smith over Oscars slap
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Dehenna Davison is keen to use the drama at the Oscars, where Mr Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock after taking exception to a joke at his wife’s expense, to help raise awareness of the impact violence has on families like hers.
She has written to the King Richard star, who went on to win the best actor award, asking him to address the All Party Parliamentary Group on One Punch Assaults, which she set up.
Ms Davison was only 13 when her dad, Dominic, was punched at The Bassett pub in Foxhill in 2007 and died almost instantly, aged just 35. A man charged with manslaughter was found not guilty after a trial.
Now a Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland, she wrote to Mr Smith saying she was a ‘huge fan’ of his work but while she found Mr Rock’s joke ‘in the poorest taste’, she was ‘very disappointed to see you use your substantial platform not for good, but for the promotion of violence’.
She described how the heartbreak of losing her dad had inspired her to get into politics and launch the parliamentary group, which works closely with the charity One Punch UK, set up by a grieving mother.
“Each victim leaves behind a grieving family and loved ones struggling to come to terms with these horrible events,” she wrote.
“This is why I invite you to speak to the All Party Parliamentary Group on One Punch Assaults to discuss our campaign, and to hear the stories of those who have lost loved ones to a single punch.
“We cannot change our past actions, but we can shape our futures, and we can choose to use our platforms for good.
“Please join me to help raise awareness of one punch assaults, to help stop stop others experiencing the heartache faced by my family, and by far too many others.
“I greatly look forward to hearing from you, and hope that together we can do some good.”