Down Syndrome Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:36 pm on 4th February 2022.

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Photo of Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson Conservative, Wolverhampton South West 1:36 pm, 4th February 2022

I thank my right hon. Friend Dr Fox not just for bringing forward the Bill but for his work behind the scenes. All too often, we see the work that goes into a speech of three, four or five minutes in the Chamber, but my intake in particular could learn a lot from him and his experience in getting cross-party support for the Bill and having a reasoned debate on such a valuable topic.

It is delightful to see cross-party support in the House for levelling up outcomes for people with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome. As the Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West, I am committed to championing health and wellbeing for my constituents. We always see that as doing things such as eating your five a day or making sure that you have a walk, exercise or do different park runs. I took it to the extreme last year—my hon. Friends would not forgive me if I did not mention this—when I ran the world’s toughest mountain race in six days in Wales for two good causes: the Wolves Foundation for communities across all areas of Wolverhampton; and the campaign to prevent veterans’ suicides, which is a subject close to my heart. I ran that with a paralysed foot.

I have previously talked about when I was shot and how I went on to have a military career. I had a physical disability and was told that it would never be possible to do that. At the time, I did not think I would do it, but I did. However, in Wolverhampton and across the country, many groups, communities and people with Down syndrome face unique challenges every day of their lives and they need careful planning.