Disabled people’s rights campaigner Lord Morris dies

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Disabled people’s rights campaigner Lord Morris dies

13th August 2012

Lord Morris of Manchester, who spearheaded the campaign for the rights of disabled people and those with special needs, has died at the age of 84.

Lord Morris was Alf Morris MP of Wythenshawe when he introduced a Private Member’s Bill on 5 December 1969, which became the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. He later became the UK's first minister for the disabled in 1974.

Only last year, Fentons Solicitors worked closely with Lord Morris to organise a special Thanksgiving Service to mark the 40th anniversary of the Act coming into force. The introduction of the Act was the first time legislation had been enacted anywhere in the world to provide facilities for and prevent discrimination against those with special needs.

Senior partner Kieran Maguire said it was an honour to have been associated with the service, and to have worked closely with Lord Morris. “The legislation he campaigned for transformed the lives of millions of disabled people in the United Kingdom, and set a precedent that has been followed by many other countries throughout the world,” said Kieran.

“Even though he faced opposition from many sides, Lord Morris remained undeterred and unflinching in his campaigning. The Act had a major impact on the lives of disabled people, and provided a springboard for much of the legislation in force today,” he said.

“As the minister for the disabled, his determination was then responsible for introducing benefits for disabled people and their carers, including a mobility allowance. He was a true champion of disabled people’s rights.”

Following Fentons’ work as Secretariat to the Archer Inquiry – which investigated how people contracted Hepatitis C as a result of receiving contaminated blood products in the 1970s and ‘80s – Lord Morris invited the firm to organise the special commemorative event on his behalf.

“Lord Morris` tireless campaigning for the disabled, seriously ill and impaired will be forever remembered,” said Kieran. “It was an honour and privilege to work with him, and I’m sure his achievements will be celebrated and remembered for generations to come.”