Dawn Butler named as MP of the Year 2017

Dawn Butler MP for Brent Central

Dawn Butler MP for Brent Central - Credit: Archant

Dawn Butler has been called “an inspiration” by Brent’s deaf community after beating off 132 cross party colleagues to become the overall winner of the MP of the Year Award 2017.

The Brent Central MP, who is ambassador of Harrow & Brent United Deaf Club (HBUDC), was named the winner yesterday by the Patchwork Foundation, an organisation which promotes and encourages the positive integration of under-represented communities into society.

Ms Butler, who last year won Patchwork’s Labour People’s Choice Award, was recognised for three main areas of her work, including giving a voice to the deaf community.

She said: “I have great respect for the Patchwork Foundation and the work that they do to engage underrepresented groups in society, which is a cause that I also passionately believe in.”

The Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities is the first MP to ever ask a question in British Sign Language (BSL) in Parliament and has asked the government to commit to giving BSL full legal status, so users can be given protections and rights which are afforded to other recognised languages.

Asif Iqbal MBE, president of HBUDC, said: “Dawn truly deserved to be named as the winner for the MP of the Year. Shortly after becoming ambassador of our Deaf Club, she made a powerful impact on the deaf community when she campaigned for the rights of deaf people to have BSL Act and supported our petition for BSL to be added to the national curriculum.

“Keep up the good work, she is truly an inspiration.”

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Ms Butler was also recognised for her campaigns against employment tribunal fees, which was introduced by the government in 2013 and raising awareness in Parliament of racism and discrimination.

She added: “I have always said that our Parliament should be reflective of the people it seeks to represent and I will continue to work towards this important aim to increase participation from all our communities.”

“I believe that equality is equality, you cannot pick and choose.

“In my new role as Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, I will be fighting for an agenda to deliver real equality in this country for all our diverse communities.”

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