Two MPs were grilled in a Question Time-style panel event by 50 people with learning disabilities last week, in a bid to get them more engaged in politics.
The event, held in Leeds and chaired by support provider Dimensions and hosted by charity Connect in the North saw MPs Fabian Hamilton (Labour) and Greg Mulholland (Liberal Democrats) face questions on a range of topics that attendees had voted on beforehand.
The questions included:
• What will your party do to help people with learning difficulties get jobs?
• What will your party do to allow us to use our bus passes before 9.30?
• Want will your party do to keep us safe?
• Should wheelchair users have priority over prams on buses?
• What will your party do to get us more involved in sports?
• What will your party do to make the benefits system simpler and less scary?
Both MPs spoke frankly, were not afraid to say when they weren’t sure and both were clear on the importance of equal opportunities as well as just equal rights for people with learning disabilities.
The Leeds event was a partnership between Dimensions, Connect in the North and the Parliamentary Outreach Team and formed part of Dimensions’ wider national ‘Love Your Vote’ campaign aiming to raise voting levels amongst the learning disability community.
"This is why events like this are important; to hear about issues that we otherwise wouldn't know about," said Mulholland.