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Nailsworth schoolboy visits the Houses of Parliament


Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie welcomed Sebby Brett and his family to Parliament to watch Prime Minister’s Questions.

Sebby from Nailsworth has been keen to come to Westminster to see where Ms Baillie works following her support for his mum Joanna Brett’s campaign to improve disabled access at leisure parks.

The nine-year-old, who suffers a medical condition similar to cerebral palsy, was asked to leave his wheelchair and prove he could walk before being allowed on a ride at Legoland in 2019. His mum said it was a humiliating and painful experience for him even though the family had told the park about his disabilities.

The MP raised the issue in parliament and with Merlin, which owns Legoland. The company worked with the MP and the family to improve its procedures and ride experience for disabled children. It then invited Sebby back to see the improvements.

Ms Baillie spent some time with the family after PMQs talking about the progress that has been made at leisure facilities as well as general family updates.

“It was so lovely to catch up with Sebby, his mum, dad and his sister Lottie and be able to get them to see PMQs,” said Baillie.

“Sebby was not able to come when I spoke in parliament about what happened to him but he knew the successful campaign to improve procedures and access at Merlin leisure parks was down to his courage so we always said he would visit one day.

“And, to be honest, PMQs was definitely more exciting than listening to me and he loved it, including going to the Commons Terrace.”

Joanna said: “Thank you to our wonderful MP Siobhan Baillie for kindly arranging for our family to experience Prime Minister’s Questions from the viewing gallery.  It was an absolute privilege to walk into the Houses of Parliament and be surrounded by the building’s history, significance, and grandeur. It was fantastic to witness the politicians representing their constituents by debating their different points of views.

“Afterwards we met with Siobhan and continued our discussions on disability inclusion. This is obviously extremely important to our family, and Siobhan has been instrumental in supporting us and helping raise awareness of the campaign for disabled children to have the same access as their non-disabled peers. What an incredible day, and certainly one that will never be forgotten!”

Merlin improved disability access after a campaign by Joanna that was supported by Siobhan. The MP presented a 26,000-signature petition to parliament calling for better disabled facilities and hosted a debate in the House of Commons demanding theme parks do better.

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