Yesterday the Queen signed into law an Act of Parliament focussed on improving outcomes for people with Down syndrome and their families. The new ‘Down Syndrome Act 2022’ is understood to be the first of its kind in the world.
The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, a former NHS Doctor and GP, introduced the ‘Down Syndrome Bill’, as his choice of Private Members’ Bill after he successfully secured a Ballot Bill in the House of Commons this session. Dr Fox broke the news today on his social media accounts that the Queen had given her assent to his Bill, making it law.
It is rare for a Private Members’ Bill to become law. Dr Fox, an MP for some thirty years, secured both cross-party and Government support. As a result, the Down Syndrome Bill passed through both the House of Commons and the House of Lords without objection. Previous attempts by other members of Parliament to bring forward Bills with a broader remit around learning disability have failed.
An open letter was published last month by the National Down Syndrome Policy Group (NDSPG) who have championed the Bill. The open letter urging members of the House of Lords to ensure that the Bill completed its passage had the support of over a hundred organisations including Mencap.
The Down Syndrome Act will come into immediate force and there will now be a public consultation undertaken by the Government to inform development of the necessary guidance for public bodies.
Dr Liam Fox MP, the Down Syndrome Bill Sponsor said:
Tommy Jessop, actor from BBC’s Line of Duty crime drama and NDSPG Ambassador said:
Peter Brackett, Chair of the NDSPG said:
For media interviews with Dr Fox please contact David Goss firstname.lastname@example.org call 07972 790445
For interviews contact:
- Ken & Rachael Ross MBE on 07710 612 807 email@example.com
- Lynn Murray on 07840 966736 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Peter Brackett on 07515 121733 email@example.com
Down Syndrome Bill https://publications.
Successful Private Members’ Bills since 1983 https://
Down’s syndrome legislation ‘gives people a voice’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-
‘Historic’ moment as support for people with Down’s Syndrome written into law https://www.telegraph.co.uk/
People with Down syndrome who are trustees of the Down Syndrome Policy Group welcome the introduction of the Down Syndrome Bill: Launch of The Down Syndrome Bill – YouTube
‘It’s time for us to live our lives to the full’: Line of Duty’s Tommy Jessop on changing the world for people with Down’s syndrome https://www.theguardian.com/
NDSPG Open letter in support for the Down Syndrome Bill https://ndspg.org/media/