Newly elected MP for Battersea Marsha de Cordova has been appointed the shadow minister for disabilities.
De Cordova replaces St Helens South and Whiston MP Marie Rimmer in the role, after she decided to step down. She said of her appointment: “It’s an honour to be appointed to this role, an area I have dedicated my professional life to but also deeply personal to me. I want to use my position to make sure we have a proper and fair social security system for disabled people, that we reduce the employment gap, and that we make sure Brexit is not used as an excuse to roll back the rights of disabled people.”
The Battersea MP suffers from nystagmus, a condition that causes the involuntary movement of the eye, and is registered blind. She has worked in the disability charity sector for over 10 years, working for Action for Blind People, setting up and serving as the Chief Executive Officer for South East London Vision, and until recently was the Director of Engagement and Advocacy at Thomas Pocklington Trust.
De Cordova is a member of Unite and she represented disabled workers on their London & Eastern Regional Committee and the National Disabled Members Committee. In 2014 she was elected as a Councillor for Larkhall Ward in Lambeth, sitting on the Equalities Impact Assessment Panel. She was previously the Vice Chair of Disability Labour.
Nearby parliamentary colleague Rosena Allin-Khan tweeted to confirm the news, saying:
Fantastic to see my friend and colleague @MarshadeCordova appointed to the important role of Shadow Disabilities Minister. 👍
— Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (@DrRosena) October 9, 2017
Jeremy Corbyn said in a statement: “I am delighted to welcome Marsha to our work and pensions team. She brings a wealth of experience to the role and will help us continue to expose the failings of this Conservative government that has even been found wanting by the UN over its treatment of disabled people.”
Debbie Abrahams, shadow work and pensions secretary, tweeted:
— Debbie Abrahams (@Debbie_abrahams) October 9, 2017
De Cordova tweeted to confirm the news:
It’s an honour to be appointed Shadow Minister for Disabled People. First question at the dispatch box was on the UN’s recent damning report pic.twitter.com/pc955acRdm
— Marsha de Cordova MP (@Marshadecordova) October 9, 2017
Labour press office confirmed the news when approached for comment.