MS Society election manifesto launched in parliament

With an election on the horizon, this week we launched our manifesto at the AGM of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for MS. The event took place in parliament with MPs and members of the House of Lords.

This Tuesday we launched our MS Society manifesto in parliament. MPs joined us to hear about the priorities of people living with MS ahead of the general election.

Our manifesto calls for the next UK Government to take action to transform the lives of people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). Produced together with people affected by MS, it outlines measures to improve financial security and health outcomes for people living with MS.

Stay healthy and live well for longer

Our manifesto calls on the next government to build a thriving and sustainable healthcare and neurology workforce to address shortages in neurologists and MS nurses.

Almost a quarter of a million people are on the neurology waiting list. We explained to MPs that the next government should establish a UK-wide neurological taskforce to improve this. And tackle the issues facing people affected by neurological conditions. We need proper investment and support in place so people with MS get the health and care they need to manage their condition. As well as access to the life-changing treatments that can slow progression of MS.

Mental health is also a priority for many people affected by MS. We call on the next government to improve mental health support for people with MS. And reform social care so it supports working-aged disabled adults to live independent lives.

Financial security and the opportunity to succeed in work

We also repeated our calls to fix problems with disability benefits. And to better support people with MS to move into, and stay in, employment that fits their skills and experience.

Many people living with neurological conditions still face discrimination at work. Personal Independence Payment (PIP), continues to present a battle for people living with MS. Assessments don’t take into account the unpredictability of conditions like MS.

The next UK government must make sure people have the financial security they need to live well. And the opportunity to succeed in work when they can.

Cross-party support for the MS community

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for MS is a cross-party group of MPs and members of the House of Lords who are interested in issues affecting people living with MS.

Parliamentarians from across the UK’s political map are members of the group, including members of Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National and Democratic Unionist parties. We provide support to the group.

MPs from several parties attended the event this week. As well as hearing about our manifesto, parliamentarians also met to renew the APPG for MS until the election. 

A headshot of Charlotte Nichol MP, a woman with red hair with a fringe in a pony tail, smiling.

Chair of the APPG for MS, Charlotte Nichols MP, said:

The MS Society’s manifesto is full of ideas to address the many challenges facing people living with MS. I was delighted to welcome the MS Society to speak about these issues at the AGM of the APPG for MS this week. Hearing Phoebe share her experience of living with MS was a powerful testimony of why it’s so important to deliver change for people affected bv MS. The MS Society’s manifesto offers insight to MPs and prospective candidates about the policies we can advocate for in parliament to transform the lives of people living with MS. It is a real privilege to work on an issue close to my heart and bring other parliamentarians together to do the same. I was delighted to be re-elected as Chair of the APPG for MS and I look forward to continue championing the issue in parliament.
Charlotte Nichols MP
Phoebe Day stood in front of Big Ben, holding the MS Society Manifesto

Our volunteer Phoebe Day shared her experience of living with MS at the APPG. Phoebe is a member of our general election campaign co-production group. She was involved in creating the manifesto alongside other volunteers and MS Society staff.  Phoebe said:

I’m so proud to volunteer for the MS Society, as together we fight for better treatment and care. Navigating life with MS is like a full-time job, however the job description changes daily. And it’s the only job where I don’t want a promotion - I don’t want my disease to progress. But I don’t get to decide on what happens.

Implementing our manifesto would deliver better integrated support and shape a more hopeful and brighter future for us all. Not only for people living with MS, but also their families.
Phoebe Day, MS Society Volunteer

Our Head of Campaigns and Public Affairs, Charlotte Gill, said:

MPs now, and in any future parliament, have the opportunity to play a crucial role in transforming the way people with MS are supported to live full lives. We urgently need effective diagnosis and treatment pathways, timely access to life-changing therapies, and well-resourced health and social care to stay well.

We also need the financial security that comes with being supported to stay in work that fits our skills and experience for as long as we can. As well as a welfare system that recognises the unique challenges people with MS face and that is set up to support them.

The changes we call for in our manifesto wouldn’t just transform the lives of people with MS. They would also improve the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people who are closest to them - their friends, families and carers.

As candidates put themselves forward to us as our potential MPs, we’ll be asking them to commit to take action to improve the lives of people affected by MS.
Charlotte Gill, Head of Campaigns and Public Affairs at MS Society

What next? 

If you want to get involved in our campaigning, get in contact with our campaigns team at [email protected] or sign up to join our campaigns community.

Join our campaigns community

You can also download our full manifesto (PDF, 428.17 KB) to find out more.