Nicola Sturgeon to address SNP conference for disabled members

Nicola Sturgeon will hold the first political confrence for disabled party members Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Nicola Sturgeon will hold the first political confrence for disabled party members Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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The SNP is to stage Scotland’s first ever political conference for party members who are disabled.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will address the event, which is taking place in Glasgow, along with Dennis Robertson, who became Holyrood’s first ever blind MSP when he was elected in 2011.

Conference organiser Jamie Szymkowiak said: “Today’s conference is the first of its kind for any political party in Scotland - and I am delighted to see the SNP’s commitment to breaking down barriers faced by people with disabilities demonstrated again.

“For many people today’s conference will be their first political gathering and by sharing experiences I hope we will be able to encourage one another to become more politically active and in doing so expand the definition of activism itself.”

Mental Health Minister Jamie Hepburn and Community Empowerment Minister Marco Biagi are also due to speak at the event.

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Mr Robertson, who will lead a workshop on being a disabled representative, said: “For almost 200 people with disabilities to be gathering for the first disabled conference of any political party in Scotland is deeply inspiring - and represents a great opportunity to nurture skills, encourage debate and empower our disabled members.

“The SNP Government is committed to increasing participation amongst people with disabilities, and recently announced a new fund to support disabled candidates standing for election.

“But there is still more work to be done and today’s conference is a ground-breaking opportunity to discuss these issues and to continue our progress towards ensuring that nobody in Scotland ever feels excluded from the political process because of a physical or mental impairment.”

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