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Christian MP praised for using sign language in Parliament

Fri 17 Mar 2017
By Alex Williams

A Christian MP has been praised for using sign language to ask a question in the House of Commons.

Labour's Dawn Butler signed her message in the chamber, urging the Government to recognise British Sign Language as an official language.

 

The representative for Brent Central signed: "Will the minister agree the 18th March marks the 14th anniversary since the UK Government recognised British Sign Language?

"Will the minister agree time to bring and give British Sign Language legal status like other recognised languages?"

Her question to the House of Commons Leader David Lidington is thought to be the first time sign language has been used to ask a question.

 

Twitter user @savagejennie86 commented: "As a hearing child of Deaf parents, this made me so proud. Thank you for raising awareness. It's about time."

Meanwhile, @TobyLinton said Dawn Butler "has shown that BSL beauty and richness can be used in UK Parliament, breaking 300 year old barrier."

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Commons leader David Lidington (pictured above) responded in the House, saying: "The Department for Work and Pensions has under way a review of the provision of signing services in this country.

"I can also say to the House that the Department for Education does now plan to accept British Sign Language as an alternative qualification to functional skills in English within apprenticeships and I hope that that will be one step forward towards giving opportunities to more people who live with deafness to play a full part in the labour market."

Fellow Labour MPs Lillian Greenwood, David Lammy and Wes Streeting were also among those to take to Twitter to praise Dawn Butler on her signed question.

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