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City MPs Take Stand Against Newcastle United Selling ‘Wonga’ Shirts To Kids

8 years ago

Newcastle MPs have called for an end to children’s Newcastle United and other clubs’ replica shirts being sold with legal loan sharks such as Wonga displayed on the kit.

The Newcastle MPs Catherine McKinnell and Chi Onwurah have joined fellow politicians in calling for payday lenders to be categorised the same as those promoting alcohol.

The politicians say that the likes of Wonga should be brought in line with the alcoholic drinks and gambling industries, after a crackdown on lending practices by the financial regulator.

Wonga’s chairman Andy Haste, recently claimed that his company didn’t want to target the ‘vulnerable and the young’.

Catherine McKinnell (Shadow Treasury Monister),who is  the Labour MP for Newcastle North, said that seeing children advertise payday lending was ‘difficult to stomach’.

Catherine McKinnell;

“These shirts are expensive with people paying for the privilege of advertising a payday loan company which has been making astronomical profits off the backs of people they shouldn’t have been lending to in the first place.”

McKinnell’s comments follow recent revelations that Wonga are going to lose out on hundreds of millions of pounds after admitting serious faults in the running of their company, including lending to vulnerable people that they shouldn’t have,

Meanwhile Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah, whose constituency includes St James’ Park;

“My heart sinks every match day when I see kids proudly sporting their Wonga shirts, normalising and, indeed, celebrating 5,000% interest rates and debt as a way of life.

“Perhaps now that the new chairman Andy Haste has said he wants to avoid targeting the ‘vulnerable and the young’ they will finally keep the logo off children’s kits?”

Wonga chairman Andy Haste;

“When I arrived in July I committed to review all of our marketing, including any activities that inadvertently attract the very young or vulnerable.

“I have already taken our TV advertising off air in the UK and continue to assess other changes that need to be made. I remain absolutely determined to deliver on the priorities I have set out.”


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