In a shocking development this week, the Metropolitan Police announced it is investigating the allegations at the heart of PartyGate. This is a damning reflection of the Prime Minister who has brought the country’s highest office into disrepute. But as shocking are the allegations of bullying and Islamophobia at the heart of government made by the former Conservative minister Nusrat Ghani MP. She was allegedly told she was “too Muslim” and that her “Muslim woman minister status was making colleagues feel uncomfortable”. There is no space in our politics for racism of any kind. This needs to be rooted out and swift action taken.
I was pleased to be on the bill committee scrutinising the Down Syndrome Bill, which is a ground-breaking piece of legislation that will enshrine in law the human rights of people with Down syndrome. There is currently no specific requirement for people with Down syndrome to receive adapted services so, by obliging the Secretary of State to provide guidance, this bill is a really important step. It also mandates the requirement of a named individual in each local area to implement the guidance. That guidance is needed in so many areas, including health, education, social care and, crucially, employment. Read more about the bill here.
At a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee, I was pleased the most senior civil servant at the Department for Education confirmed the publication of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities review by the end of March. See here to watch my questions on this in full. The review will have a number of questions, so if you have a child with a special educational need or disability please get in touch with your details. I will forward you a copy so you can participate and help shape government policy in this vital area.