On Friday 26 July, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, took part in an event in Leeds organised by the learning disability charity Mencap and the Houses of Parliament Outreach Service. As part of his visit to Leeds, Mr Speaker also addressed the 13th annual sitting of the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP).
People with a learning disability from across the north of England attended the Parliament Outreach & Mencap event. Mr Speaker talked about the role of Parliament and how people can become involved in influencing the decisions which affect them.
Mr Speaker also heard attendees speak about what Parliament needs to do to make itself more relevant and accessible. Attendees also had the chance to speak to Leeds councillors about the workings of local government and how they could have their say.
Mr Speaker took the opportunity to talk about Parliamentary Outreach’s package of learning resources to help adults with learning disabilities understand how Parliament works.
Speaking at the event, Mr Speaker said
"I'm here today because including people with learning disability in debate is critical. We need to reflect on how people with a learning disability can be drawn more in to the national conversation."
As part of his Outreach visit to Leeds, Mr Speaker also welcomed 250 Members of the UK Youth Parliament (MYPs) for the 13th annual sitting of the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP). The MYPs, aged between 11 and 18, debated a number of issues affecting young people and to prepare for the annual debate in the House of Commons in November. Delegates also took the opportunity to take part in workshops and skill sessions and to vote on topics to be incorporated in the UKYP Manifesto.
The Houses of Parliament's Outreach Service spreads awareness of the work, processes and relevance of the institution of Parliament, encouraging greater engagement between the public and the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Image: Tenfold - Angela Davies
Rt Hon John Bercow MP pictured with speakers and organisers, from left(front) Annabel Park, Susan Hanley, Adam Butcher, (back row) Thomas Chalk, Maggie Graham, Cllr Adam Ogilvie and Gavin Harding.