Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:35 am on 26th January 2023.
It is a little known fact that the famous Irish actor and Oscar nominee Barry Keoghan and I have something special in common: we are both care-experienced, and as care-experienced people, the odds of either of us making a success of our lives had all the cards stacked against us. I would like to take this opportunity to wish Barry the very best of luck. I will be rooting for him at the Oscars. I raise that as the Government’s response to the independent review of children’s social care is due imminently, and it is far too often that the voices of those who matter most are not listened to. As of last night, 11 councils across these islands have introduced protected characteristics for this, and more are set to follow. Would it not be fantastic if the UK was the first in the world to recognise care-experienced people in this way? Can the Leader of the House promise me and other care-experienced people, whether from my constituency, Dundee, Scotland or across these islands, that their voices will be heard when this response is published, with a debate in Government time to discuss the fundamental importance of this recommendation and of amending the Equality Act to implement it?