Rights of disabled as B-words – Brexit and Boris – halt Theresa May’s legacy – The Yorkshire Post says

FIRST Brexit was allowed to cast a long shadow over policy progress. Now another two-syllable B-word is dominating the Tory leadership campaign as Boris Johnson’s conduct detracts from the serious challenges facing Britain.

Theresa May has made a new announcement on disability rights as part of her legacy.
Theresa May has made a new announcement on disability rights as part of her legacy.

Yet, while the former Foreign Secretary emerges from a period of solitude by trying to bluff his way out of awkward questions, his unpredictable behaviour risks becoming a greater embarrassment to his party and country.

After all, this sideshow overshadowed an announcement by Theresa May in which the outgoing PM pledged to build 300,000 new accessible and adaptive homes for the disabled each year while overhauling rules on sick pay. All very laudable – The Yorkshire Post has long argued that all new developments should be disabled-friendly from the outset – but what has Mrs May been doing for the past three years and will her successor, whether it be Mr Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, honour these new commitments?

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Not only are Mrs May’s flurry of legacy-building announcements further proof of the extent to which Brexit has crippled the Government, but it also reveals an absence of joined-up policy-making. For, as she set out her new pledges, Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield was on his feet in the House of Commons exposing the inadequate support for the growing number of pupils in Yorkshire schools with special educational needs as Government funding fails to keep pace with rising demand. “Local parents say that they are at breaking point,” he warned.

Boris Johnson undertook a radio interview with LBC yesterday in a bid to get his leadership campaign back on track.

And while the needs of many such pupils will be very different to people of all ages living and dealing with varying degrees of disability, the point is the same – Mrs May promised to tackle these injustices, and many more, and has left it so late that any sensible debate has to play second fiddle to both Brexit and the Boris Johnson soap opera.