As Parliamentary Manager I’ve had my beady eye on Theresa May’s latest reshuffle of both Cabinet and junior ministers. Here’s what it might mean for Mencap.
Theresa May said she wanted to refresh her Government to make it "more like the country it serves". There are now a number of younger, female and minority ethnic MPs although no openly disabled MPs it seems.
Jeremy Hunt continues as the Secretary of State for Health. This is important for us as we are close to launching our campaign on improving healthcare and we hope he will play a role in encouraging those in the health sector to support it.
He also has responsibility for social care and we will be calling on him and all in Government, to take steps on our #stopsleepincrisis campaign.
Esther McVey returns to the Government as the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. She was Disability Minister a few years ago and so we’ll be picking up with her and the new Disability Minister Sarah Newton where we left off by encouraging them to get behind our calls to get more people into work.
We will also be talking to them about how they can get benefit assessments right so people get the support they need.
There is also a new Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds and by the looks of it a new Minister covering Special Educational Needs (likely to be Nadhim Zahawi). It also looks like Anne Milton will continue to be responsible for Apprenticeships.
This is really important for us as we continue to lobby for increasing access to Apprenticeships as well as promoting supported internships and traineeships all of which have shown can lead on to paid work for people with a learning disability.
It was unfortunate to see Chris Skidmore move from the Cabinet Office, he had started an important piece of work on improving access to voting for disabled people. We hope however, his successor Chloe Smith will push forward with this.
We will now be writing to and hopefully meeting soon with all the new Ministers to talk about what they can do to improve the lives of people with a learning disability and their families.