On Thursday 19th October Sir David Amess MP attended Business of the House questions where he asked for a debate on encouraging people with learning difficulties to get involved in the performing arts. As part of his question, the MP for Southend West praised The Music Man Project’s stunning Sunday night performance at the London Palladium Theatre where they took to the stage in front of a full house.
Speaking in the House of Commons chamber, Sir David said:
“Will my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on encouraging people with learning difficulties to get involved with the performing arts? On Sunday, at the London Palladium, the Countess of Wessex, the chairman of the Royal Mencap Society, Mr Derek Lewis, and many parliamentarians witnessed an absolutely inspiring performance by the Music Man Project.”
In response, Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the House, noted how she wished she was in attendance at the concert and agreed to find time for a debate on the Sir David’s proposition:
“I regret, in that case, that I was not invited. The Government aim to ensure that Britain is one of the world’s most creative and exciting places to live. As part of this, we are absolutely committed to ensuring access and equality within the performing arts, and of course to making sure that creative professions are accessible to talented individuals irrespective of their background. I thoroughly welcome my hon. Friend’s question, and I will look to find time for such a debate.”
Shortly after Sir David’s question, his parliamentary colleague, Mark Pawsey (MP for Rugby), showed his interest in similar initiatives saying:
“I was interested in the remarks made by my hon. Friend the Member for Southend West (Sir David Amess) about those with learning disabilities taking part in theatre. They can also play rugby. Can we encourage such initiatives?”