On Thursday 21 December, I asked Andrea Leadsom to allow MPs time to debate how we can make the Houses of Parliament more accessible for everyone – and particularly the one in one hundred people who are on the autistic spectrum.
Parliament’s buildings are in need of repair and the government will shortly have to decide whether MPs and peers need to vacate the premises while work is carried out. This could, however, be an opportunity to make a refurbished Parliament more accessible to everyone – for the public, for staff and for politicians.
I’ve spoken before about how Parliament could take the lead in becoming a more autism-friendly institution. I hope that any debates about the restoration and renewal of Parliament take the opportunity to think about what wider changes that can be made to make the House of Commons a truly inclusive and modern centre for our democracy.
Will the Leader of the House please press for Government time, during the process of the restoration and renewal debate, in which we can debate how to make both Houses of Parliament truly accessible for people with disabilities, particularly for those one in 100 people on the autistic spectrum?
Andrea Leadsom (Leader of the House of Commons)
I thank the hon. Lady for her question, and I pay tribute to you, Mr Speaker, for all you have done for those with disabilities and to try to make Parliament more accessible. The hon. Lady is absolutely right to raise the possibility of the House debating easier access once we get into the R and R debate.
You can watch the exchange here: