John Bercow scolds Department for Work and Pensions for not providing accessible documents to blind MP

Marsha de Cordova

Marsha de Cordova MP. Image: Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has scolded the Department for Work and Pensions for failing to provide accessible documents to a blind Labour MP.

Marsha de Cordova, who is the Labour MP for Battersea, is registered blind, and had not been provided with a large print version of the DWP's Universal Credit managed migration regulations.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Bercow said it was "simply not acceptable" and he would "be loathed to have to pronounce on it again" after shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz, raised the issue.



Ms Cordova has been told she will receive a copy of the document in an accessible format on Friday - four days after the new regulations were released.

"The resources available to government are very considerable and it is simply not acceptable that a Member of Parliament with a known additional need should not have that need as near as possible immediately satisfied," Mr Bercow said.

"This was an entirely predicable request and I hope that it will be not necessary for this matter to be aired again."

He added: "I hope the matter is settled. I would be loathed to have to pronounce on it again and I'd rather imagine [Ms Cordova] wouldn't want that either. She should just be able to get on with her job suitably supported."