Press release: Business Disability Forum welcomes greater number of disabled MPs in Parliament after general election

13 June 2017

London, UK: Business Disability Forum has welcomed news of the election of three more disabled MPs with Thursday 8 June’s general election – increasing the total in the House of Commons to five – but stresses that there is still a long way to go to ensure good representation.

Five MPs identify themselves as having disabilities, two of whom, Labour MPs Marsha de Cordova and Jared O’Mara were newly elected on Thursday and one, Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Lloyd, was re-elected after losing his seat in 2015.

They joined two more MPs who had declared a disability and were re-elected, Robert Haflon and Paul Maynard, bringing the total to five.

The number amounts to less than 1% of the 650 MPs in the House of Commons, compared to 20% of people nationally – or 5 MPs compared to a figure of around 12 million people with disabilities in the UK.

Nils Kendall, Executive Director of Corporate Services and Company Secretary at Business Disability Forum, said:

“The election of three more disabled MPs to the House of Commons is very welcome news. All five disabled MPs in the Commons are in a perfect position to advance the disability-smart agenda, champion disability rights, and challenge misconceptions from a very public platform.

“However, the gap between representation of disabled people in Parliament and the general population remains large, just as it does in employment. One in five of us identifies ourselves as having a disability compared to only one per cent of MPs.

“Parliament continues to become more diverse in terms of gender, sexuality, social and ethnic backgrounds of MPs and it is great to see this progress reflected in greater representation of disabled people too.

“But more work needs to be done to increase this representation and ensure disabled people continue to have a strong voice in Parliament.”

 

Ends

 

Notes to Editors

1.     Business Disability Forum represents around 300 organisations that employ 15% of the UK workforce. We have more than twenty-five years’ experience of equipping people with the expertise to create confident organisations by improving the understanding of disability in business, removing barriers and making adjustments for individuals.

2.     For more information, contact Samuel Buckley, Press Officer, by phone on 020 7403 3020 or by emailing samuelb@businessdisabilityforum.org.uk.