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Adapted Vehicle Hire News Updates: UK’s first disability minister dies aged 84

Lord Morris of Manchester, a tireless campaigner for disability rights, has died aged 84, just days before the Paralympic Games begin in London.

Alf Morris became MP for Manchester Wythenshawe in 1964, a position he held for 33 years. In 1970 he introduced the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act which provided parking privileges, educational entitlements and practical steps to open up public buildings, such as disabled toilets.

In 1974 he went on to become the first minister for the disabled in Harold Wilson’s second government.

Baroness Royall, Labour leader in the Lords, said she was “deeply saddened” by his death: “He championed the rights of disabled people, including injured service personnel, throughout his life and was deeply committed to public service.”

As well as campaigning for disabled rights, Morris was President of the Haemophilia Society and fought hard to get compensation for thousands of haemophiliacs who contracted HIV and hepatitis C from contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 80s.

He was also pivotal in setting up an independent inquiry looking into Gulf war syndrome which affected thousands of troops after the first conflict with Iraq in 1990-91.

Bernard Manson, Chair of the Haemophilia Society, said Morris had “created genuine and lasting change for the better; his passing marks the end of an era”.

Alf Morris was made a life peer in 1997 and continued to be an active backbencher right up until his death.

In other news, Chase Park Music Festival, the UK’s largest outdoor event that offers full access to disabled people, took place this weekend (11 August) in Whickham.

Adapted Vehicle Hire helps disabled motorists and carers with their adapted and wheelchair accessible vehicle requirements. Click here to find out more about WAVs, MPVs and the other specialist vehicle adaptations AVH can advise you on.