It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Ghani; I appreciate the generosity of spirit you have shown in calling me to speak. I congratulate Christian Matheson on securing the debate.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has had a huge impact on people with learning disabilities. As was mentioned, the recent Public Health England report identified a much higher death rate among people with learning disabilities. Particularly worryingly, it found that the gap is even greater for young people. The death rate for people aged 18 to 34 with learning disabilities was 30 times higher than those in the same age group without disabilities. I expect some of that relates to the overlap with other physical health conditions that are present at a higher rate in this population, as the report alludes to, but I do not imagine it will be the entire answer to why people with learning disabilities have suffered as they have in the pandemic.
My speech will focus on an issue that has been brought to my attention as a local MP: the risk of economic consequences that the pandemic poses.
Sitting suspended for a Division in the House.