Disability and democracy in the UK.
Only 6 British MPs identify as disabled. In a world where 1 in 7 people have a disability, this lack of representation is a serious threat to the inclusion of disabled people in UK policy matters.
This year's election saw two new MPs who identify as disabled enter the House of Commons, including Marsha de Cordova who has since been appointed as the Shadow Minister for persons with disabilities. However, despite the number of disabled MPs being higher, disability stigma means many people still choose not to be identified as disabled.
DISABILITY AND DEMOCRACY IN THE UK.
The UK Parliament has been a vocal promoter of disability inclusion and the leave no one behind agenda. There are several All Party Parliamentary Groups focused on disability and of the 0.7% of GNI ringfenced for international development, disability is a priority issue. During the election, all parties gave some mention to disabled people in their manifestos - the Conservatives focused on creating employment to reduce the disability gap, whilst Labour committed to signing the UN Disability Convention (CRPD) into law.
However, huge cuts to disability benefits and continuing barriers surrounding disabled people's equitable participation in social and economic life, means promises are not resulting in action. The foundation of the global disability movement is “Nothing about us, without us”, as such the participation of persons with disabilities in decision making processes is crucial.